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 social challenges such as high functioning autism (Aspergers), as well as those 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).
We offer two PEERS programs at our center, CAAT PEERS® for TEENS is for adolescents who are enrolled in middle or high school and CAAT PEERS® for YOUNG ADULTS is for individuals who have graduated high school and are interested in learning ways to make and keep friends and develop relational and life skills.
PEERS is unique and unlike other Social Skills Programs in that it:
- Is evidence-based
- Includes parents
- Teaches ecologically valid social skills (what socially successful teens and young adult today do)
- Tailors teaching methods to shared social skills deficits
Parental participation is a key component of our PEERS program. Research shows that parental support, instruction, and supervision significantly benefit the development of friendships. By learning to be effective social coaches, aiding in homework completion, providing opportunities for peer interaction, and giving guidance on interpersonal problem-solving, parents contribute to their adolescent’s or young adult’s ability to develop and sustain lasting friendships. This parental social coaching also helps ensure that these new skills are retained after the program is over. Parent groups run concurrent with teen/young adult groups at the same time and location.
For more information on the PEERS teen program and how to enroll, click HERE.
For more information on the PEERS young adult program and how to enroll, click HERE.
Research Publications on PEERS
Measuring the Plasticity of Social Approach- A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of the PEERS Intervention on EEG Asymmetry in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Van Hecke, et al., 2013)