PEERS Program (ages 13-18)
The PEERS® curriculum is a manualized 16-week intervention that was developed to teach social and friendship skills to cognitively able adolescents with ASD, along with typically developing peers.
During weekly 90-minute sessions, small groups of adolescents are taught social skills including conversational skills, appropriate use of electronic communication, choosing appropriate friends, appropriate use of humor, entering and exiting a conversation, steps for having appropriate get-togethers, good sportsmanship, handling rejection, handling disagreements, and handling rumors and gossip. Parents are simultaneously learning the same material and are trained to coach their adolescents as they complete weekly homework assignments related to the course material. PEERS is offered to teens between the ages of 13-18 and who are in at least seventh through twelfth grades.
- Parent participation is required
- Parents meet on Thursdays from 5-7 p.m.
- Funding options include private pay or the Empowerment Scholarship Account Program (to take advantage of the ESA, participants must already have an empowerment scholarship before beginning the intake process)
Teen PEER MENTOR Volunteer Opportunity
At SARRC, PEERS includes a peer mentorship model. This means that for every teen with ASD, we enroll at least one Peer Mentor without an autism diagnosis. All participants participate in the group together and are paired up for in-group practice and homework assignments. Pairings change every week so teens with ASD have an opportunity to practice with different Peer Mentors. As a volunteer mentor, you will be demonstrating appropriate social skills, giving feedback to our teens with autism, and actively participating in each session. We are looking for teens who are comfortable initiating conversations, are willing to have phone calls and online get-togethers, and show up each week with a positive attitude. At the completion of the program, you have a better understanding of autism and receive a letter of recommendation.
Participants can look forward to learning the following skills:
- Using appropriate conversational skills
- Finding common interests with peers
- Appropriately using humor
- Entering & exiting conversations
- Handling rumors and gossip
- Handling arguments & disagreements
- Choosing appropriate friends
- Making phone calls to friends
- Being a good host during get-togethers
- Being a good sport
- Changing a bad reputation
- Handling rejection, teasing & bullying
SCHEDULE & MEETING LOCATION
- Participants meet every Thursday from 5-7 p.m.
- All participant sessions take place in person at SARRC’s 18th St. Campus: 300 N. 18th St., Phoenix, AZ 85006
For more information on program dates or to register, please contact SARRC's Family Resource Team at 602-606-9806 or contact us online »