March 6, 2022 update: We are fully funded. THANK YOU! With offline and matching donations, we have reached our $2100 goal to fund all of the remaining classes.Opening Doors PTA
is raising money to sponsor a PEERS® social skills class for 6th to 8th graders for families in the San Mateo County and surrounding counties. We raised enough to pay for 1 of 2 classes starting in 2022. Classes will be led by Ellen McCarty, a mindfulness and education specialist and former Learning Center teacher. The class is designed for students with mild/moderate ASD on Learning Center, RSP or 504 tracks with social pragmatics challenges. Candidates will be screened by Ms. McCarty.
Opening Doors PTA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donations are tax-deductible (Tax ID: 260849039). Email [email redacted]
for questions.PEERS® In-Person Program
When: Feb 2022 through May 2022 (12 classes)
Time: Saturdays from 11-1pm (time may change)
Location: The class will be held in San Mateo County (TBD).
Class Size: 10 students
Cost to students: Free (paid by Opening Doors PTA)
Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills
(PEERS®) is a social skills training intervention for youth with social challenges developed at UCLA. It has a strong evidence-base for use with adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder, who are socially isolated, are bullied or who have other social skills challenges. During the program, students from 6th to 8th grade are taught important social skills. During the last segment of the in-person program, students will be given the opportunity to practice these skills in session through fun activities like board games.
Ms. McCarty’s social skills programs integrate the PEERS curriculum with social-skills-based mindfulness training. In-person programs mix students with different social preferences to practice real world integration. The program’s long-term goal is to train all students how to flexibly and safely integrate with diverse groups of people as tweens and teens and, most importantly, to have fun!
Ellen McCarty is a certified PEERS® trainer. She has an Education Specialist credential with an Autism Authorization from the State of California. A former senior mindfulness instructor for the non-profit Mindful Schools, she aims through various endeavors to create a social safety net for vulnerable K-12 youth.