Virtual Resources Available for the New School Year | Organization for Autism Research

Resource Spotlight

The academic year has just begun and schools have begun re-opening for in-person learning, but the rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant has prompted some districts to continue offering remote learning as an option. In collaboration with Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA), a public cyber charter school, OAR has expanded its peer education program so that it can be used by students in virtual settings.

Two New Videos!

This time last year, OAR awarded CCA an Autism Education Grant to produce two storytelling videos with their students. The first 15-minute video features a Zoom classroom full of students who read the “What’s Up with Nick?” story from OAR’s peer education program and answer questions asked by the teacher. In the second 3-minute video, two students reflect on the lesson and apply it to their relationship with another student. The two videos became available over the summer and will be used by CCA faculty and families and shared on OAR’s website.

OAR thanks Carla Swartz, CCA’s regional director of special education, Central Region, and project lead on the autism education grant, for her lasting contribution to OAR’s “Autism in the Schoolhouse” initiative.

Student’s Corner

The new videos can be accessed on the “Student’s Corner” page of OAR’s website. The online lesson includes:

  • Activity A – Introductory video (3 minutes)
  • Activity B – Story read along (15 minutes)
  • Activity C – Review video and quiz (7 minutes)
  • Activity D – Extra readings and worksheets (printable)

Students are encouraged to unlock more videos and play games on the Autism Tuned-In website.

About the Kit for Kids Peer Education Program

OAR’s “What’s Up with Nick?” peer education program was developed with the goal of teaching general education students in K-8 classrooms about their peers with autism. The program has reached more than 140,000 students since it was released back in 2012. The program revolves around a story about a new classmate named Nick, who has autism. The students learn more about Nick, his autism, and how they can be good friends.

Teachers are encouraged to use the free online resources or apply for an Autism Education Grant to support their local peer education and Autism Acceptance Month activities. For questions or comments, please contact us at programs with the subject line: “Kit for Kids.”


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