PEERS® stresses the importance of developing and maintaining friendships for individuals with autism. The benefits of healthy, meaningful friendships include:
• Buffering the impact of stressful life events
• Building self-esteem
• Increasing independence
• Reducing the incidence of depression and anxiety
During the PEERS® group session, the individual is taught important social skills and given the opportunity to practice these skills through activities such as sports or board games. Parents also learn how to assist the participant in making and keeping friends.
Prerequisites for this program include:
• Fitting the age range for one of the groups listed below
• Ability to have a back and forth reciprocal conversation with others
• No behavioral concerns that would disrupt the group
• Want and desire to develop and maintain friendships with their peers
• A consistent parent or social coach able to participate in the group. This allows for generalization across all environments.
• Dedication to completing weekly assignments that include activities such as making phone calls, practicing skills in the home setting, and planning get-togethers.
• Ability to attend most meetings of the group (two absences are allowed)
Each session covers the following topics:
• How to use appropriate conversational skills
• How to find common interests by trading information
• How to appropriately use humor
• How to enter and exit conversations between peers
• How to handle rejection, teasing, and bullying
• How to handle rumors and gossip
• How to be a good host during get-togethers
• How to make phone calls to friends
• How to choose appropriate friends
• How to be a good sport
• How to handle arguments and disagreements
• How to change a bad reputation
We now offer an Adult PEERS® program, geared towards participants over 18 years old. This program covers the same relational and social activities and learning goals as the program for teens. For more information about our Adult PEERS® program, please contact us at 1-800-200-2119 or email@example.com.
Children's Friendship Training is a 12-week course geared for elementary school aged children.
PEERS® for Teens is a 14-week course geared for individuals who are in middle and high school.
PEERS® for Young Adults is a 16-week course geared for individuals between the ages of 18 and 30.
In our various regions, we provide members of our community with additional social groups besides PEERS®. To learn more about the social opportunities in your region, please contact us at 1-800-200-2119 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We offer PEERS® and Children's Friendship Training across the regions we serve. These programs are available in the following regions: