Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1025-1036

Evidence-Based Social Skills Training for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The UCLA PEERS Program

  • Elizabeth A. LaugesonAffiliated withSemel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles Email author 
  • , Fred FrankelAffiliated withSemel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles
  • , Alexander GantmanAffiliated withSemel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles
  • , Ashley R. DillonAffiliated withSemel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los AngelesPacific Graduate School of Psychology
  • , Catherine MogilAffiliated withSemel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles

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Abstract

The present study examines the efficacy and durability of the PEERS Program, a parent-assisted social skills group intervention for high-functioning adolescents with ASD. Results indicate that teens receiving PEERS significantly improved their social skills knowledge, social responsiveness, and overall social skills in the areas of social communication, social cognition, social awareness, social motivation, assertion, cooperation, and responsibility, while decreasing autistic mannerisms and increasing the frequency of peer interactions. Independent teacher ratings revealed significant improvement in social skills and assertion from pre-test to follow-up assessment. Examination of durability of improvement revealed maintenance of gains in nearly all domains with additional treatment gains at a 14-week follow-up assessment.

Keywords

Social skills Autism Asperger’s Disorder PEERS Friendship Adolescents