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The Autism Ambassadors Handbook

The Autism Ambassadors Handbook
Peer Support for Learning, Growth, and Success

First Edition

February 2018 | 232 pages | SAGE AdvantEDGE
Sometimes, all a student needs to succeed is a friend.

Every day, thousands of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) struggle to stay afloat at school—sometimes bullied, often ostracized. Mastering academics can be hard enough without the added challenge of navigating social situations that neurotypical kids take for granted. If students with ASD had a peer to model and reinforce socially appropriate behavior and coach them through schoolwork, it could help them feel at home in the student population.

This inspirational new book describes how to set up just such a peer-mentoring organization in your school or community. With a clear understanding of the needs of students with ASD and the kids who will be their guides, Kukoff provides:

Steps for organizing and implementing your own Autism Ambassadors program

Clear-cut guidelines on the responsibilities of student "ambassadors," plus peer-support strategies to improve the ambassador experience

More than a hundred specific interventions any student can employ with students with ASD

A path for students with ASD to become Autism Ambassadors themselves

Based on the methodology of Applied Behavior Analysis—the gold standard in autism intervention—but created and led by students, the Autism Ambassadors curriculum will promote leadership and improve the school experience for all students.

Foreword by Gary S. Katz Preface
Part I. The Program
1. Autism And Society Today
2. Typical Students and Autism
3. The Importance of Peer Leadership: What the Research Says
4. Who and What is Autism Ambassadors?
5. What is an Ambassador?
6. Autism Ambassadors at Your School: The Nuts and Bolts of Implementation
7. Curriculum Overview
Part II. The Curriculum
Section 1. Younger/Lower Functioning Students
Pay Attention/ Calm Hands
Being Alone
Logical Sequencing
Passing the Baton Washing Hands at School
Section 2. Academic/ In Class
Asserting Yourself in Class
Taking Notes
Giving an Oral Presentation in Class
Replacing Classroom Items
Switching Desks
Watching a Video in Class
Writing an Intro Paragraph
Section 3. School Related/ Out of Class
Writing a “Chunk” Paragraph
Writing a Concluding Paragraph
Fire/Emergency Drill
Getting to Class on Time
Organizing Your Time
Finding Favorite Books
Organizing Your Notebook
Study Hall
Section 4. Outing/ Extracurricular
The Bus Class
Trip/ Museum Class
Trip/ Zoo
Interviewing for a High School Job
Section 5. Social
Asking Someone Out on a Date
Cafeteria Etiquette
Cursing and Offensive Language
Explaining Your Diagnosis to Friends
Finding Friends at Lunch
Finding Favorite Popular Music
Joining a Club at School
Making a Plan
School Dance
Section 6. Sports
Playing Football
Playing Soccer
Playing Tag
Playing Tetherball
Part III. Appendices
Parent Letter
Frequently Asked
Questions Questionnaire
Evaluation Tool

Zak Kukoff

Zak Kukoff is an 18-year-old social entrepreneur based in Westlake Village, California, and, at the time of this book's printing, a senior at Westlake High School. Zak is the founder of Autism Ambassadors, a nonprofit that builds friendships between students with special needs and typical students in more than 25 schools throughout the United States and abroad. In his spare time, he volunteers at the Westminster Free Clinic, which provides free medical services for those without healthcare. He also writes for the Huffington Post Education Section and helps organize both TEDxConejo and TEDxYouth@Conejo. He previously founded the education... More About Author


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ISBN: 9789352806119