Enfield Advisory Service for Autism

Enfield Advisory Service for Autism

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PEERS (Abridged) Programme


Information About PEERS (abridged)

The version of PEERS that we run (through the Enfield Advisory Service for Autism) is an abridged version that Dr Lauren Taylor created (based on Dr Elizabeth Laugeson’s  2014 Programme of Educational Enrichment of Relational Skills). It is run over approximately 7 sessions.

Using the PEERS (abridged) curriculum

The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) was originally developed in America as a parent-assisted intervention focusing on supporting children and young people (CYP) who were having difficulty making and keeping friends. The program has been field-tested extensively with Autistic CYP and young adults (Laugeson, 2014). Dr Lauren Taylor created an abridged version of the PEERs schools-based curriculum in order to implement it in schools in the UK. This abridged version has been approved by Elizabeth Laugeson.

The PEERS programme is an evidence based intervention for autistic CYP and has been widely and successfully applied to neurodiverse groups. Training focuses on skills related to making and keeping friends and managing peer conflict and rejection. Lessons include two-way conversations, entering and exiting conversations, managing arguments with friends, and handling teasing, and other forms of social rejection. Rules and steps of social behaviour are created from research evidence regarding: (1) the common social errors (2) the core social skills needed to make and keep friends, and (3) the ecologically valid ways in which socially accepted CYP handle peer conflict and rejection. Lessons are intended to be delivered in the order they are presented, as skills are cumulative. The orientation of the manual is cognitive-behavioural in the sense that material is presented as a series of rules or steps to be followed by CYP. The techniques used, such as role-play demonstrations, behavioural rehearsal exercises, and homework assignments have been shown to improve social skills outcomes through research (see Laugeson 2014, Loke 2017, & Taylor 2017 for further information).

Enfield PEERS Abridged Programme

PEERS (abridged) group aims to help young people to learn and develop the skills to have and sustain successful friendships. Many young people find adolescence a challenging time when the focus is on developing friendships, this has been particularly difficult for some young people due to the isolating effect of the COVID19 pandemic. This PEERS group will offer support for young people to gain experience and be more comfortable in social interactions. The group will be offered to young people who want to improve their social skills, it is important that they are motivated to develop these skills, whilst enjoying the process! The group will run for an hour a week for 7 weeks.

There will be a separate group for parents and carers running alongside the young persons group, so that they can be involved in supporting their young person’s journey. This will involve weekly sessions to discuss what their young person has covered that week, as well as sharing helpful tips and techniques to practice at home. This group will offer an inclusive and safe space to share where parents can reflect on their young person’s progress.

 The young person’s group includes:

  • Fun activities in a small and friendly group
  • Learning successful ways of how to get on with others in social situations
  • Reviewing helpful and unhelpful examples of how to respond in different situations
  • Learning to solve problems that we find difficult in these situations
  • Practice skills learnt at home and in school
  • After each session support materials will be provided in order to practice these skills at home
  • A questionnaire will be issued pre/post intervention to assess impact

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