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ASD Nest Middle Schooler

Middle School Model

The Nest Program middle school model supports young autistic adolescent students in their development of academic skills and social competencies. The Nest program helps these young people strengthen self-advocacy skills to lay the groundwork for independent functioning in their educational careers.

In the 2021-22 school year, there are 22 schools implementing the Nest program middle school model. The model grew out of the established elementary school model, while recognizing the unique needs of students in adolescence.

See below for tips for kids entering middle school, the Keeping it Real strengths-based project, and further video resources. 

Making it in Middle School 

Transitioning from elementary to middle school can be tough for any student, but particularly so for students with ASD. The Nest Support Project created the following video to give fifth graders some tips from current Nest middle schoolers.

Keeping it Real Project

Keeping it Real was a collaboration between self-advocates and the Nest Support Project to develop strength-based modules—activities and curricula—for adolescent students with ASD. 

  • Jesse Saperstein kept it kind, developing an anti-bullying assembly and curriculum entitled “Lessons in Compassion”
  • Dr. Stephen Shore kept it strong by creating resources to help teachers identify and utilize students’ passions to help them succeed academically and socially
  • Zosia Zaks kept it true by devising a self-advocacy protocol to help students independently reach out for the supports they need 

Videos for Families of Adolescents with ASD

See our Video Resources page for recorded Parent Workshops on topics related to ASD and adolescence, including: 

  • Anxiety
  • Disclosure
  • The social world
  • ...and more