New in 2021
“Friendship Skills Boot Camp”

An online Training Module teaching PEERS® Friendship Skills to support teens and young adults on the autism sptectrum.

Learn more  here.

PEERS® Lab at the University of Maine

Group of teens outside academic building

Currently, PEERs groups are being conducted remotedly via Zoom, and those interested can contact Dr. Libby Stone Sterling ( for enrollment information. Download PEERs Remote flyer for more details.

The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relationship Skills (PEERS) was developed at the UCLA Semel Institute by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson.  As of today, it is the only evidence-based social skills intervention for teens and young adults with autism that is supported by more than 30 research studies conducted worldwide. PEERS is a manualized, social skills training intervention for adolescents and young adults. It has a strong evidence-base for use with teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorders, but is also appropriate for teens and young adults with ADHD, anxiety, depression, and other socioemotional problems. Drs. Deborah Rooks-Ellis and Sarah Howorth of MAIER have been certified by the Semel Institute to deliver this intervention.

Children’s Friendship Training and PEERS® Lab at UMaine are 16-week evidence-based parent-assisted/social coach- assisted social skills intervention to teach children, teens, and young adults how to make and keep friends. After intake surveys and interviews are conducted (75-90 minutes) and eligibility is determined, social skills groups and parent/social coaching groups will take place once per week for a total of 90 minutes at the University of Maine, Orono. Participants and their parent/social coach will meet in two, separate but concurrently timed groups. Virtual videos recorded will be of the participant and their social skills group role-play partner (another participant) using a 360 camera (e.g.: Samsung Gear 3601) with 4K resolution to fully immerse both participants in the virtual experience. Only participants who have given consent to be in the study will be video-recorded. In addition, a four-question survey will be completed by both parents/ social coaches and participants at the end of the study. There are 16 weekly sessions.

Children’s Friendship Training: Social Skills Group
For children with autism spectrum disorders and other social challenges between the ages of 6 and 12 years.

Your Child Will Learn How To:

• Find times & places to make friends • Keep cool during play • Ask friends to get together
• Engage in two-way conversations • Be a good sport • Join ongoing games
• Greet friends • Transition to new play activities • Use good volume control
• Slip into conversations • Ask and give help • Maintain good body boundaries

PEERS® Lab at UMaine:
Social Skills Group for Adolescents
For teens with autism spectrum disorders and other social challenges between the ages of 13 and 17 years.

Teens will learn how to:

• Use appropriate conversational skills • Be a good host during get-togethers • Handle rumors and gossip
• Use humor appropriately • Be a good sport • Handle rejection, teasing and bullying
• Use electronic communication • Handle arguments and disagreements  
• Enter & exit conversations • Change a bad reputation  

PEERS® Lab at UMaine: Social Skills Groups for Young Adults
For young adults with autism spectrum disorders and other social challenges between the ages of 18 and 23 years.

Young adults will learn about:

• Conversational Skills • Handling Direct and Indirect Bullying • Dating Skills
• Appropriate Use of Humor • Handling Arguments & Disagreements • Strategies for Handling Sexual Pressure
• Electronic Communication • Organizing Get-togethers with Friends  

Logo for PEERs Lab at UM: sillouette of two people one with arm over shoulder of the other

For Enrollment Information or Questions about the
PEERs Lab at UMaine

Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research
Phone: 207-581-2352

Groups of young children smiling

Children’s Friendship Training
Ages 6-12 years

Social Skills Group for Adolescents
Ages 13-17 years

Social Skills Group for Young Adults
Ages 18-23 years

Book cover: The Science of Making Friends. Photo of Three teens sitting in the grass

Book cover: The PEERS Curriculum for School-based professionals. Photo of teens talking

Book cover: Social Skills for Teenagers with Developmental and Autism Spectrum Disorders. photo of group of teens

Book cover: PEERS for Young Adults. Photo of young adults sitting together with books.