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Why Didn't They Just Say That? PEERspective - A Complete Curriculum

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Why Didn't They Just Say That?
PEERspective - A Complete Curriculum

2018 National Parenting Products Award (NAPPA) Winner! Award Winning Finalist in the Education/Academic category of the 2018 International Book Awards!

A high school class -- with a complete curriculum -- that teaches students with ASD and their NT peers social skills!  "Let’s create a class instead of the typical social skills programs!" With this statement began the development of this innovative evidence-based curriculum for secondary students with ASD and their neurotypical (NT) peers. PEERspective is a complete curriculum that teaches high school students self-awareness, self-acceptance, relationship building, conflict resolution, managing stress management and wellness, and many other topics that have lifelong impact on students' lives. The curriculum is popular among students with ASD as well as their NT peers, leading to friendships and relationships far beyond the classroom.


Jennifer M. Schmidt, MEd, is a special education teacher at Beavercreek High School in Beavercreek, Ohio. Jennifer has 20 years of teaching experience in both general and special education settings. She began working closely with students with autism while teaching in Chapel Hill, North Caroline, and was trained in the TEACCH method. At BHS, Jennifer and her now retired speech-language pathologist colleague piloted the PEERspective learning approach in the fall of 2007, and the class continues to this day. Besides, other school districts have adopted the same model with similar success. Jennifer is a passionate educator who enjoys presenting at local, state, and national conferences about PEERspective, autism, and other topics related to special education. She was recognized as Beavercreek City Schools Teacher of the Year in 2012, and in 2014 received the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year recognition as a result of her innovative teaching model. Jennifer stays active teaching at workshops, through her role as a lead teacher on the Autism Coalition Team at Beavercreek High School, and at a local college. She is committed to helping other schools find success in teaching pragmatic language to students on the autism spectrum through PEERspective

ISBN: 9781942197348

Reviews (1)

April 13 2018
This is definitely a great book to use to provide support, details and justification to institute an academic class in a middle or high school setting to improve relevant social skills for ASD students. Get this book to any inspired teachers and therapists who want to make an impactful difference in the lives of their students. The book outlines why a social skills curriculum is needed, how it works, the course design, and details of the curriculum in step by step units and why it is so important for ASD students to have true interaction with their peers. It has applicable IEP goals, sample letters to administration and parents – and a lot of evidence-based research. It makes it easy to see how establishing and following this program would make a significant difference to the students and families (and teachers). I did immediately recommend it to a friend who was about to do an IEP meeting for her son in high school and a teacher who currently does a social skills group. While this is a great book to provide to educators involved in teaching ASD students or social skills and wish it were easy to implement everywhere, realistically it may not be. (You need some very motivated teachers to drive it and an open administration to implement it.) As a parent, I think there are some other ways the book can be utilized, to try to get some immediate benefits especially if you cannot get immediate response to implement a class at your school. I feel it could be utilized in “homemade” social skills groups particularly on summer vacation if you have a group of ASD friends with siblings who could interact. (assign siblings to other kids, not their brother or sister). I think it could also be used with caregivers/babysitters for daily activities to try, especially if they are other teenagers. While that wouldn’t hit a true “peerspective”, it could still provide value, start conversations and open communication (while having structure and an alternative to video games).
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