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PEERS®: Social Skills For Teens

PEERS® is an evidence-based social skills program that was created after years of research at the Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). It is the only evidence-based (i.e., supported by research) social-skills program for young people.  The focus is learning to make and keep friends. Nuanced social skills are taught through the use of a didactic lesson, followed by a video model of the skill. Teens then have the chance to practice the skill by role playing with a peer. After this, they are given positive and constructive feedback on their ability to demonstrate the skill. Teens are given a certificate of completion at the end of the course. A social coach is someone who is regularly part of the young person's life and can commit to attending the social coach group which is run by simultaneously but separate from the teens. Social coaches practice the social skills with the young person throughout the week. Their participation is critical to the success of the program so is a non-negotiable component of acceptance to the course.

This program has been shown to be effective for individuals with a variety of neurodivergent diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other social-emotional issues.

     Course Content:

  • How to develop and maintain friendships

  • How to enter and exit conversations

  • About electronic communication

  • How to use humour appropriately

  • Organizing and hosting get-togethers

  • Handling teasing, rejection, and bullying

  • How to be a good sport

  • Conversational skills

  • How to handle disagreements

  • How to change a reputation

  • Basic skills in managing social anxiety and nerves

Dates: Every Tuesday for 16 weeks from September 6th- December 20th, 2022

Format: Delivered via Zoom

Pre-Teen Group: Grades 5-7 from 5:15 - 6:45pm PST (we are based in Vancouver, British Columbia)
Teen Group: Grades 8-11 from 7- 8:30pm PST

*Age is a guideline. Group fit according to interests and communication style guide goodness of fit for a group

Fee: $1500. Sliding scale is available. Please contact us to discuss further. Families may consider using Autism Funding or contacting their extended  health benefits to inquire about coverage eligibility.

This course is co-facilitated by myself and Sarah Welton, a Canadian Certified Counsellor. We are both BC Certified Teachers and Certified PEERS Facilitators trained by UCLA to deliver PEERS® with fidelity to the original program.


- Average language abilities

- An interest in learning to build friendships

- Ability to independently stay on task and participate during 1.5 hour session

- Availability of a social coach to attend the classes with the young person

Please email to set up a free 15 minute call to assess whether this program is a good fit. Acceptance to the program is based on the above perquisites. If the program is mutually deemed to be a good fit for the young person, an intake video call with the facilitators and the young person will be scheduled. 


 Any questions can be directed to me or to the above email for either facilitator to answer. Please do not send any confidential information to this email address.


Unable to join us Fall 2022? Looking for a different age group?

Please send an e-mail with your name and what you might be looking for to


  • Proven to be just as effective

  • Provides access to youth in remote communities

  • Allows those with mental health barriers making it difficult to leave their home to attend (e.g., social anxiety, agoraphobia, depression)

  • Makes it more accessible for families with busy schedules to get involved from home or work. A social coach doesn’t need to be in the same location as the young person for the session. However, they DO need to be in regular contact with the young person throughout the week to be their social coach)

  • When indoor mask mandates are in place it can make it easier to to read social cues through un-masked online learning rather that masked in-person learning

  • Opportunity to practice online social communication

  • Allows for individuals with health concerns who are vulnerable during the pandemic to participate

Poster image with three young people kneeled on a picnic blanket. It advertises a PEERS group
Poster with three teens with arms around each other's shoulders advertising a teen PEERS group
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