THE PEERS ADOLESCENT SOCIAL SKILLS PROGRAM
The Andrews Centre is pleased to offer the PEERS Program (Program for the Evaluation and Enrichment of Relational Skills) – a program aimed at developing Social Skills in Adolescents. The PEERS is a parent-assisted intervention for adolescents who are having difficulty making or keeping friends. The program will be facilitated by Emma Healey and Susan Harry, two psychologists from the Andrews Centre team who have extensive experience working with adolescents. There will be some assistants to support the group facilitation under the supervision of our Psychologists.
Who will benefit?… The intervention was developed initially for teens with autism spectrum disorders and research has demonstrated that teens with ASD may show lasting benefits from PEERS. Because PEERS targets skills development rather than correction of social mistakes and because the steps to making and keeping friends seem to be the same, regardless of the diagnosis of the teen, PEERS may have widespread applicability. Any teen who does not know the steps to forming and maintaining friendships could benefit from PEERS.
There are separate parent and teen sessions that meet at the same time for 90 minutes each week over a 14-week period.
The group focuses on skills like:
- having conversations
- Entering and exiting conversations
- Electronic forms of communication, including making phone calls to friends
- Choosing appropriate friends
- Handling teasing, bullying and other forms of rejection
- Handling arguments and disagreements with friends
- Having appropriate get-togethers with friends, including being a good host and a good sport.
Parents are taught how to help their teens make and keep friends by acting as social coaches outside of the group. During the teen session, teens are presented with a lesson and then practice whatever skill they just learned while participating in socialization activities or playing board games, card games, or outdoor sports. Homework assignments are also given each week to make sure teens are practicing the skills they are learning.
Sessions will be held at the Andrews Centre: 2-6 Hanna Drive, Endeavour Hills.
Day and Time:
The session will run from 4pm-5.30pm on Wednesday afternoon beginning on Wednesday 4th of August. (The program will run during school terms and will pause over school holiday periods).
Please note: The same parent must be able to attend at least 11 of the 14 sessions to be enrolled.
Parent Program Total cost: $350
This breaks down to a cost of $25.00 per parent session.
- A parent may be eligible for a rebate of $23.35 per session if they have a Mental Health Plan referral for group work from their GP. If a parent attends all sessions the medicare rebate would come to a total of $326.90.
Adolescent Program Total cost: $1026.90
This breaks down to a cost of $73.35 per session.
- If the adolescent has a Mental Health Plan from their GP they are eligible for a $23.35 rebate per session – this leaves a total of $50 out of pocket cost per session). If an adolescent attends all sessions the medicare rebate would come to a total of $326.90.
- If your child has an NDIS package they may be able to claim the total cost if they are self-managed or plan managed. (Please discuss this with your plan manager to determine whether this is a possibility). Please note: We are not registered NDIS providers.
PLEASE NOTE: It is our desire to offer this program to Adolescents who are in need of social skills training no matter their financial situation. Health care card holders or those with financial difficulties are invited to ring The Andrews Centre to seek help to cover part or all of the costs associated with this program
The enrolment process:
Please contact the Andrews Centre on 9700 4944 to register your interest in the PEERS adolescent social skills program. Information and consent forms will be sent to you for your completion. A phone interview with one of our psychologists will be arranged to determine whether your child would benefit from the program and to provide information about the program and answer any questions. If it is determined that your child will benefit from the program, they will be enrolled, and a face-to-face interview will be organised.