The COVID-19 pandemic has led many school districts to hold classes remotely this fall. While virtual learning can be difficult for students on the autism spectrum and their parents and teachers, it also provides the opportunity to take advantage of online resources. OAR’s online educational resources can supplement virtual learning for a range of audiences:
- Autism Tuned In: Autism Tuned In is an online extension of OAR’s Kit for Kids program, which is designed to teach elementary and middle school students about their peers with autism. This resource uses a set of eight themed activities, such as matching and fill-in-the-blank games, to frame the conversation about autism in a positive way and help promote inclusion and acceptance among students and their peers on the spectrum. It includes a web-based presentation of eight videos that walk students through each page of the “What’s up with Nick?” story, bringing cartoon characters from the hard copy booklets to life through animation, sound effects, and narration. Teachers can assign the activities as online classwork or homework and track student progress.
- Sex Ed. Guide for Self-Advocates: OAR’s online guide to sexuality and sex education is written specifically for people on the autism spectrum age 15 and up and can be used as a starting point for learning more about relationships and sexuality. In each of the sections of the guide, self-advocates will be able to read articles and watch brief videos before testing their knowledge about a given topic and practicing new skills. Parents can share it with their child and use it to generate discussion about issues related to sex and relationships.
- Curriculum in a Box: The Curriculum in a Box provides school districts, schools, and teachers with the foundational knowledge and effective strategies they need to be better able to teach students with autism. The program can be used in professional development programs as well as by teachers independently to refresh their knowledge and skills. It covers topics such as the characteristics of autism, challenging behavior, and the effective use of teacher supports. All of the materials are accessible online.
These are only a few of the resources that OAR provides to support parents, educators, self-advocates, and other members of the autism community. Additional resources that cover topics ranging from assessment to safety can be found on OAR’s resource page. For COVID-19 updates and resources, check out OAR’s updated list.