PEERS® Social Skills Program

Social interaction can be hard for teenagers to navigate, especially if they have a condition like autism spectrum disorder that affects their social skills. The Program for Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) for Adolescents at CHOC Children’s offers training for teens with ASD to help them make friends, communicate effectively and handle conflict.

Our goals are to:

  • Help teens develop communication skills that are an important part of their daily activities
  • Help caregivers become coaches for their teens as they practice and maintain these skills.

What is the PEERS® for Adolescents Program?

The PEERS® for Adolescents Program is an evidence-based social skills training program for adolescents in junior high or high school. Teens with autism are eligible for the program. Guardians and caregivers are also an important part of the program and participate in weekly group meetings throughout the program.

What happens during PEERS® training?

Teens are taught social skills through class instruction and role-play demonstrations. They then practice these skills during group activities. Teens will be assigned weekly homework assignments such as entering group conversations or calling peers on the phone. Parents and caregivers will be asked to help teens with their assignments outside of the sessions.

Teens will learn about:

  • Developing and maintaining friendships
  • Conversational skills
  • Entering and existing conversations
  • Electronic communication
  • Using humor appropriately
  • Organizing get-togethers
  • Being a good sport
  • Handling disagreements
  • Changing a bad reputation
  • Handling teasing and bullying

How often are the PEERS® training sessions?

Training sessions are held weekly for 16 weeks. Teen groups and guardian/caregiver groups are held separately, but at the same time.

Contact Us

The program is covered by some insurance plans. New patients may be asked to attend an assessment before enrolling in the program.

PEERS® Sessions

Day: Wednesdays
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Location: Thompson Autism Center at CHOC Children’s or virtually using Zoom

For more information or to sign up for the PEERS® for Adolescents Program, call the Thompson Autism Center at 714-288-7656.

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