As classrooms, organizations, and individuals around the country gear up for National Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month in April, they now have access to a high-quality resource: OAR’s Friendship Tip Sheets, released in December. Available online or in hard copy through our store, the tip sheets can help typical kids be understanding, supportive friends to their autistic peers.
To account for variances in social development and language comprehension, the tip sheets are available for students in four different grade ranges: K-1, 2-3, 4-5, and 6-8. The visuals, activities, and reflection questions are designed to promote discussion keep students engaged, and the content directly addresses the complicated issues of bullying, disclosure, diversity, and inclusivity in language that kids can understand.
The tip sheets also cover some of the communication barriers and sensory differences that can cause misunderstandings between autistic and non-autistic kids and provide clear, actionable steps that focus on what autistic individuals want their peers to know. Ideally, the information on the tip sheets will help typical kids better understand the autistic people in their lives, reducing instances of bullying and helping autistic children feel more comfortable and supported.
The Friendship Tip Sheets can be used as a standalone resource or as part of the Kit for Kids, OAR’s highly successful peer education program that promotes more inclusive classrooms by encouraging kids to enthusiastically embrace their friends’ differences in day-to-day life. More than 135,000 students across the United States have already benefited from the Kit for Kids, and the tip sheets have been accessed over 200 times online since their release in December. Teachers who are interested in receiving bulk orders of the tip sheets or any Kit for Kids materials can contact OAR at .