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PEERS® Program

The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is a world-renowned evidence-based, 16-weeks social skills intervention program for adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, and other social challenges.

Upcoming adolescent groups
All groups are run on zoom using AEDT timezone (NSW/VIC/ACT) 

  • Tuesday 23rd of January 2024 5:15pm-6:45pm

  • Wednesday 27th of March at 5:15pm-6:45pm

Upcoming adult groups
All groups are run on zoom using AEDT timezone (NSW/VIC/ACT)

  • Monday 22nd of January 2024 at 5:15pm-6:45pm

  • Tuesday 26th of March at 5:15pm-6:45pm

Peers online
what is PEERS

What is PEERS®?

The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is a world-renowned evidence-based social skills treatment program for adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, and other socio-emotional problems. The program was developed by Dr Elizabeth Laugeson University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). PEERS® is a parent/caregiver-assisted, 16-weeks social skills intervention for adolescents and adults with social challenges.

  • Improves social and psychosocial functioning for people with ASD and other social challenges

  • ­Targets cooperative social behaviour, social assertiveness, and self-control, leading to social acceptance

  • Increases social responsiveness due to attention of receptive and expressive social communication skills

  • Increases empathy based on improved social cognitive skills

 

Greater participation in social activities and hobbies increasing friendship and decreasing loneliness

What is PEERS

What happens in PEERS®?

Adults will learn about:

• Conversational skills

• Appropriate use of humour

• Forming and maintaining friendships

• Electronic communication

• Handling direct and indirect bullying

• Managing arguments & disagreements

• Organising get-togethers with friends

• Dating skills

• Strategies for handling sexual matters

 

Attendees are presented with targeted skills through step-by-step instruction, role-play demonstrations, and the opportunity to practice the real-world skills through behavioural rehearsal exercises. During these behavioural rehearsals, attendees are divided into small breakout groups to practice with direct coaching from our program team.

Parents, practitioners, and educators attend a separate group (at the same time) in which they are provided with additional instruction on how to coach participants through practice and provide constructive feedback.

 

Adolescents and young adults must be socially motivated and attend each session with a social coach.

 

Social coaches will learn:

Social coaches (i.e., parent, family member, adult sibling, life coach, job coach, peer mentor, support worker) attend seperate sessions at the same time as the young adults.

In these sessions, they are taught how to assist young adults by providing feedback and practical support during weekly socialisation homework.

 

All programs meet once a week for 90 minutes over a 16-week period.

What happens in th programs

Why choose PEERS®? A look into the research

  • The PEERS® program has been shown to be effective through multiple randomised controlled trials and maintenance of gains 1-5 years after treatment has been evidenced.

  • After the 16 week PEERS® program, research results revealed an overall improvement in social skills, reported by caregivers. This included cooperative social behaviour with peers and caregivers, social assertiveness and self-control.

  • After the 16 week program, participants showed significant improvements in social responsiveness, due to the programs attention to receptive and expressive social communication skills.

  • Participants also significantly improve their empathy after the 16 week program. This may be due to an increase of social cognitive skills, leading people to understand people’s mental and emotional states to make sense of the people’s behaviour.

  • The PEERS® program reduced self-reported loneliness due to greater participation in social activities and hobbies, as well as the development of friendship.

  • Frequency of invited get-togethers (i.e., social invitations extended to the participant from non-PEERS friends) increased greatly according to caregiver report.

 (Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright 2004).

 (Laugeson., Gantman., Kapp., Orenski., Ellingsen 2015)

What does it mean to be Evidence-Based?

 

To be labelled Evidence-Based the PEERS® program has had to undergo substantial clinical trials and research to gather data to support its benefits.

PEERS® Research

Why Choose PEERS - the research

PEERS® Cost:

The cost of our 16-week PEERS® Program amounts to $333 per week.

This is inclusive of:

  • 90 minute social skills group with a speech pathologist

  • 90 minute training for the allocated social coach with a provisional psychologist

  • Frequent parent/carer mentoring and support session

  • Resources provided to support participant and social coach

  • Weekly homework tasks to build and develop skills between sessions

NDIS funding

The National Disability Insurance scheme is also called the NDIS. The NDIS gives people with social and emotional challenges more choice and control over the support services they receive. PEERS® supports participants with their social, emotional and behavioural NDIS participant goals.

Funding can be utilised from the Capacity Building funds, specifically;

  • Improved Relationships

  • Improved Daily Living Skills​

If you are self-managed or plan managed, our groups and programs can be claimed under your NDIS plan depending on your funding and goals. Find out more www.ndis.nsw.gov.au

PEERS cost
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