Program for the Evaluation and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) is currently the only evidence-based social skills program for teens and tweens with high-functioning autism. PEERS was developed at UCLA by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, and focuses on teaching the science of making friends. The program includes parent coaching and an emphasis on learning the skills that socially successful teens use to navigate the social world. Topics, such as handling bullying, social media, humor and hosting a get-together are just a few of the many skills PEERS addresses. Susan LeVay, one of The Independence Academy's co-founders, is one of only three certified PEERS providers in Indiana. Currently, IA is the only school in the state offering PEERS to its students as a supplement to their daily life and social skills programs.
Indiana Online Academy
IA partners with Indiana Online Academy (IOA) to offer additional courses to our students, along with an opportunity for credit recovery. IOA is a program of the Central Indiana Educational Service Center located in Indianapolis. There is an additional fee for IOA courses.
The mission of IOA is to provide students with the means to earn high school credit through the delivery of dynamic, engaging, standards-based curricula. IOA believes in:
- Infusing 21st Century Skills for each student in all IOA courses.
- Providing academic challenges for each student.
- Using a variety of teaching strategies to motivate each student to successfully master standards.
- Giving each student an equal opportunity to learn.
- Assisting each student to assume responsibility for personalized learning.
- Providing each student with highly qualified, licensed teachers for every course.
- Providing a high-tech environment with the means for frequent, personalized contact between the teacher and each student.
Indianapolis Public Schools
IA partners with Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and they serve as a service provider for some of our students. Students may access specialty programs at IPS such as trade programs.