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Hillsborough, NJ: First district in state to teach students 'to understand, empathize' kids with ASD

Oct 11, 2023, Patch.com: Hillsborough Schools First In NJ To Roll Out Autism Education Program https://patch.com/new-jersey/hillsborough/amp/31572598/hillsborough-schools-first-in-nj-to-roll-out-autism-education-program

Hillsborough Township recently became the first school district in New Jersey to roll out a program that teaches elementary and middle school students about children with autism.

According to a news release from the district, Hillsborough schools implemented the "Kits for Kids" peer education program created by the Virginia-based Organization for Autism Research. The program goal is to "promote empathy and autism acceptance among today's youth," the release stated.

"This program is a great example of social and emotional learning and helps students understand and empathize with those around them, most especially students with autism," Superintendent Mike Volpe said in a statement.

According to the district, the program was incorporated into the school counseling program. The school counselor then read a book to all K-4 classes about a boy named Nick, narrated through the eyes of a child with autism. According to the district, the story focused on displaying empathy for children, especially those with autism….

Since 2012, the Organization for Autism Research has taught more than 190,000 children across the globe about autism through the "Kit for Kids" program. The core program includes 20 story booklets, a student-led lesson plan, a classroom poster and information for parents and teachers.

Hillsborough Township recently became the first school district in New Jersey to roll out a program that teaches elementary and middle school students about children with autism. (Shutterstock)

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