Social Skills Training for ages 14—30
Many people with Asperger’s and ASD lack the skills to make and keep friends, which is a critically important part of preparing for success in college and the workplace. That’s why I’m excited to be a certified provider of PEERS® training. PEERS (The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills), is a 16-week evidence-based program developed at UCLA by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson and Dr. Fred Frankel and is currently in use in almost 40 countries.
PEERS uses videos like this one to model behaviors and get students to think about social situations differently.
PEERS training can begin as early as middle school and can help high schoolers, college students, and even young adults learn how to make and keep friends. The program uses videos, role-playing, personal coaching, and mock social situations to teach students how to:
- Use appropriate conversational skills
- Use humor appropriately
- Use electronic communication
- Enter and exit conversations
- Be a good host during get-togethers
- Be a good sport
- Handle arguments and disagreements
- Change a bad reputation
- Handle rumors and gossip
- Handle rejection, teasing, and bullying
A social coach (usually a parent) is required to attend with the student. While I teach, the social coaches meet with a counselor. In these sessions, social coaches also learn the PEERS curriculum. In addition, the counselor partners with the social coaches to problem solve and prepare them to assist with their student’s weekly socialization homework assignments.
PEERS is not an ongoing “friend group,” but rather a 16-week social skills class that teaches students how to find their own friends based on common interests.