Why Didn't They Just Say That?
PEERspective - A Complete Curriculum
"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 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.
MEET THE AUTHORS
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.