Teaching School Peers about Autism
Peers are naturally curious about their classmates with autism. They want to know how to meet and hang out with them. Teaching peers about autism will help them better understand their classmates who are on the autism spectrum and the idiosyncrasies associated with these disorders. With increased understanding, the focus will shift away from characteristics that may make a classmate appear different and shift toward the positive aspects that make each individual a unique and important part of the school community.
“What’s Up with Nick?” is a colorful booklet designed for elementary and middle school students. It teaches children that students with autism may think differently or need some accommodations, but all students are of equal worth and should be treated as such. The Organization for Autism Research has designed and published a downloadable Kit for Kids, which includes the “What’s Up with Nick?” booklet, student-led lesson plan, classroom poster, and helpful hints for parents and teachers.