Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS)

June 22, 2021

PEERS is the leading evidence-based social skills intervention program for teenagers and young adults with social challenges such as high functioning autism spectrum disorder (Aspergers), as well as those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression and other socio-emotional problems.

PEERS involves parents; teaches skills which align with what socially successful teens and young adults today do; and tailors teaching methods to shared social skills deficits.

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PEERS for teens

PEERS for teens (12 to 17 years) is suited to teens who are interested in learning skills to make and keep friends and/or handling conflict and rejection. During each group session, teens are taught important social skills and are given the opportunity to practise these skills.

During the 16-week program, participants will be exposed to a range of skills and topics, including how to:

  • Use appropriate conversational skills
  • Choose appropriate friends
  • Appropriately use electronic forms of communication
  • Appropriately use humour and assess humour feedback
  • Start, enter and exit conversations between peers
  • Organise successful get-togethers with friends
  • Be a good sport when playing games/sports with friends
  • Handle arguments and disagreements with friends and in relationships
  • Handle rejection, teasing, bullying, rumours/gossip and cyber bullying
  • Change a bad reputation

Participation requirements for PEERS for teens include:

  • Friendship problems
  • Teens in secondary schooling
  • Teens must be interested in attending the program; must agree to participate voluntarily; and must consistently attend

Parent must be willing to participate

PEERS for young adults

PEERS for young adults (18 to 24 years) is suited to people who are interested in learning skills to make and keep friends and/or develop romantic relationships. During each group session, young adults are taught important social skills and are given the opportunity to practise these skills.

During the 16week program, participants will be exposed to a range of skills and topics, including how to:

  • Choose appropriate friends
  • Appropriately use electronic forms of communication
  • Appropriately use humour and assess humour feedback
  • Start, enter, and exit conversations between peers
  • Organise successful get-togethers with friends
  • Develop and use appropriate dating etiquette
  • Handle arguments and disagreements with friends
  • Handle rejection, teasing, bullying, and rumours/gossip

Participation requirements for PEERS for young adults include:

  • Friendship problems
  • Young adults aged 18-35 and graduated from high school
  • Young adults must be interested in attending the program; must consistently attend; and must agree to participate voluntarily.
  • Young adults must have a consistent social coach willing to attend the program each week

This program is available at:

Program delivery varies between clinics so please check with your local clinic about their programs.