PEERS® for Adolescents was developed in 2009 by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson and Dr. Fred Frankel at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. PEERS for Adolescents is a 14-week evidence-based and parent-assisted social skills intervention for motivated teens with autism spectrum disorder and other socio-emotional and social difficulties in middle and high school who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. The PEERS® for Adolescents intervention is well supported by positive outcomes in a randomized controlled clinical trial and follow-up study (Laugeson,Frankel, Gantman, Mogil, & Dillon, 2008; Laugeson, Frankel, Mogil, & Dillon, 2009). Furthermore, the efficacy of this intervention has been replicated at various sites across the world (Vaughan Van Hecke et al. 2013; Schohl et al. 2013).

During each group session, tweens are taught important social skills and are given the opportunity to practice these skills in session during socialization activities (e.g. playing sports, board games, etc.). This type of clinical intervention has been adapted to provide educators and other school-based professionals with the tools needed to implement this treatment in a school setting, as outlined in the PEERS Curriculum for School-Based Professionals (Laugeson, 2013).

Topics of Instruction in PEERS for Adolescents Include:
• How to use appropriate conversational skills
• How to find common interests by trading information
• How to use electronic forms of communication
• How to choose appropriate friends
• 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 organize and have get-togethers with friends
• How to be a good sport during games and activities
• How to handle arguments and disagreements with friends
• How to change a bad reputation

The cost of the program will be $25 per session. The total cost for the semester is $350. Some insurance plans (UnitedHealthCare) do fund group social skills therapy and families who are using UHC funding can request that we modify the child’s authorization to include the social skills group coding, which allows the child to receive therapy in a group setting instead of one on one.

If you would like your child to be enrolled in the program, please contact Centerpiece LLC as soon as possible so that we can schedule a meeting with you and your child to determine if placement in the program will be an appropriate fit and to complete the enrollment process.

Appropriate candidates must meet the following criteria:
-Be fully communicative and capable of conversation
-Be independent in self help/toileting
-Have the ability to sit and attend to group instruction for the 90 minute session without one on one adult support
-Not engage in behaviors that are a danger to self or others

The Centerpiece LLC clinical team will make the final decision on all admissions to the program.

We will NOT bill Medicaid/ForwardHealth for this service as it is not a covered benefit. Waiver funding may be allowed, please contact your caseworker for more information.