This past fall, Kenneth Young Center staff implemented the Too Good For Drugs curriculum to youth in grades 6 and 7 at Grove Jr High School, during physical education classes. Too Good for Drugs is an evidence-based curriculum developed by the Mendez Foundation that teaches students how to refuse peer pressure and influence and resist substance use. This curriculum includes social-emotional skills like setting goals, making responsible decisions, how to communicate effectively, and managing emotions. It also highlights the short-term and long-term effects of misusing alcohol and other drugs.
Before implementation, Grove Jr. High School reached out to the Kenneth Young Center and asked if they could adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Project Associate, Sean Caselton, who had previously worked with students with disabilities, graciously took on this role. Caselton worked with the classroom teacher to adapt each and every lesson of the curriculum to meet the needs of the students. Adaptations included: making the curriculum more engaging, walking students through worksheets rather than having them complete independently, and teacher facilitated role-plays.
Caselton also implemented an adapted version of Generation Rx, an evidenced-informed prevention and awareness program that teaches youth about the safe use of prescription medications. Both of these curricula were met with warm reception from Grove Jr. High School staff and students. Both Grove Jr. High School and Kenneth Young Center are looking to continue this accommodation moving forward.
As we observe Autism Awareness Month in April, this is just one example of the many ways we can include individuals with disabilities, such as individuals with autism, in our programming.
Too Good for Drugs Grade 6 - 2019 Edition. (Mendez Foundation.) Retrieved April 21, 2020, from https://toogoodprograms.org/products/too-good-for-drugs-grade-6-kit-2019-edition
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