More about the program

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PEERS® or the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills, is a social skills training intervention for adolescents and young adults. This program, developed by Elizabeth Laugeson at UCLA , has a strong evidence base for use with teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorders, but it is also appropriate for teens and young adults with ADHD, anxiety, depression, and other socioemotional problems. Recent research has demonstrated that gains made over the course of this program are maintained 3-5 years later (Laugeson et al., 2013).

PEERS® is unique and unlike other Social Skills Programs in that it:

  • Is evidence-based                                                                                                  
  • Includes parents                                                                                                      
  • Teaches ecologically valid social skills                                                        
  • Tailors teaching methods to shared social skills 

Prerequisites for Being Accepted into the Program:

  • Have friendship problems
  • Teens in middle school or high school
  • Young adults ages 18-32
  • Teens must be interested in  attending the program
  • Teens must agree to participate in the program voluntarily
  • Application Process

For more information about PEERS® check out the UCLA Website:

Frequently Asked Questions

  

How do we enroll?


We first require a free 15 minute phone screen with the parent and participant to ensure that the group is a good fit. Once this is determined, we schedule the intake appointment completing paperwork and the overall application process which then holds your space for the next course.



Do we take insurance?


Currently we are only contracted with Kaiser for the program. If you have Kaiser, you have to attain a prior authorization and may need a specific diagnosis to be approved. It is often difficult to set up contracts with traditional insurance for comprehensive programs like this. PEERS® is like a semester course that can be a very valuable investment in your child’s social and emotional education.


Can both parents participate in the weekly sessions?


Yes. We accommodate parents’ involvement but only one consistent parent is required to come each week. Parents sometimes substitute for each other if needed. We discourage this any more than 2 or 3 times for the duration of the program as one consistent coach have shown better outcomes.


What are teen groups like?


They are often fast paced using a Socratic method of teaching which allows members of the group identify the social steps or rules. This often works better with young people learning from their peers.  Positive reinforcement with the use of points for participation is tallied on the board during each session. We utilize visual aids, writing steps on the white board to help different types of learners. We also are able to make accommodations to some members to aid in their learning process when possible. Members of the group grow to enjoy each week feeling safe with like minded youth and taking part in the activities that assimilate social gatherings and connections.


What are parent/coach groups like?


We utilize a solution-focused and strength-based focus. The group is not designed to be a support group but more tailored to focus on helping coaches support and motivate teens and young adults to take some social risks and practicing the weekly skills taught and reviewed each week.


What if a young adult does not have a parent available or do not wish to have their parent be their coach?


We can offer an intern to be the coach which includes up to an hour of coaching each week in between sessions for a nominal extra charge.