PEERS® (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) is a parent-assisted intervention focusing on teens in middle and high school who are having difficulty making or keeping friends, but would like to have those friendships. It is the developmental extension of an evidence-based program known as Children’s Friendship Training (Frankel & Myatt, 2003). PEERS® has been field-tested extensively on teens with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
The intervention includes separate parent and teen sessions that meet at the same time for 90 minutes each week over a 14-week period. The group focuses on skills like having conversations, entering and exiting a conversation, using electronic forms of communication, choosing appropriate friends, handling teasing, bullying, and other forms of social rejection, handling arguments and and disagreements with friends, having appropriate get-togethers, including how to be a good host and a good sport. By the end of the intervention, it is expected that many teens will have regular get-togethers with small groups of peers. This will lead into membership with our Teen Social Group.
Each session is based upon the previous session. The material is presented as a series of steps to be followed by parents and teens.
This program may be appropriated for students with; ADHD, Asperger’s Disorder, High-Functioning Autism, Depression and Anxiety Disorders and other social problems.
The PEERS® for Young Adult program is currently being developed and should be finalized soon, according to UCLA’s staff.