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 initial 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
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.
Day and Time:
The session will run from 4pm-5.30pm on Wednesday afternoon beginning on Wednesday
21st of July. (The program will run during school terms and will pause over school holiday
Please note: The same parent must be able to attend at least 11 of the 14 sessions to be
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.