PEERS Social Skills Program

The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills, or PEERS, Social Skills Program at the Child Study Center offers group therapy services for preschoolers, teens, and young adults who would benefit from supports in making and maintaining friendships. The PEERS Social Skills Program is an evidence-based social skills intervention, and research shows positive long-term outcomes for participants. We offer in-person PEERS groups for preschoolers, teens, and young adults, as well as virtual summer intensives focused specifically on conversation and dating, described below.

PEERS Social Skills Groups for Adolescents and Young Adults

PEERS is a caregiver-assisted social skills group for teens ages 13 to 17 and young adults ages 18 to 35 who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. Participants and their parents or social coach meet each week for 90 minutes over a 15- to 17-week period. At this time, groups are held in person.

During group therapy, participants learn skills and strategies related to making and keeping friends, such as how to start, enter, and exit conversations; how to assess and use humor; and electronic communication. We also discuss sources of friendships, ways to organize get-togethers with your peers, and how to handle arguments and disagreements with friends. Bullying, teasing, rejection, gossip, and cyberbullying are also addressed. The young adult group additionally discusses skills related to dating.

Each group therapy session includes instruction, modeling, coaching, and ongoing feedback. Teens and young adults learn skills through in-group rehearsal and homework, which helps build confidence and solidify new skills.

Separate, concurrent classes are held for parents and guardians, whose involvement is integral to their child’s success with the program. In these groups you learn the skills being taught to participants so that you can serve as a social coach in your child’s everyday life.

Intensive Programs

We also offer virtual intensive sessions adapted from the PEERS program. These groups are not meant to be a substitute for the full PEERS program. Learn more about additional virtual group services from UCLA PEERS Clinic.

Summer Conversation Intensive Program

The Summer Conversation Intensive Program is a class-like program for teens and young adults ages 13 to 35 who are interested in building or refreshing their conversation skills. We offer a teen group and young adult group over the summer. These five-day virtual intensive programs focus on targeted skills from the PEERS curriculum, such as starting and maintaining conversations and entering and exiting group conversations.

Dating Intensive Program

This class-like program is for high school seniors and older who have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. The five-day virtual group covers topics such as letting someone know you like them, asking someone out on a date, and how to plan a date. The Dating Intensive Program is recommended for individuals seeking a program that emphasizes dating skills.

PEERS for Preschoolers

PEERS for Preschoolers is a parent-assisted intervention for children ages 4 to 7 who are having difficulty making or keeping friends. Our clinicians teach parents how to coach and facilitate their children’s social skills. Parents and children meet weekly for 90 minutes in separate concurrent groups during this 16-week program. The group focuses on skills like meeting and greeting friends, sharing and giving a turn, asking for a turn, keeping cool, being a good sport, joining a game, keeping body boundaries, and using an inside voice.

Children are taught skills through puppet-facilitated lessons and practice in the program. Parents are taught how to teach their children new social skills and how to help their children make and keep friends by arranging playdates and acting as social coaches for their children in real-time playdates. Weekly role-play videos, parent handouts, and homework assignments help ensure that parents and children are learning and practicing the different skills.

Current Offerings

We are currently recruiting for our summer virtual intensives.

Our conversation intensive for young adults will take place Monday to Friday from 5:30 to 7:00PM from July 15 to July 19.

Our dating intensive will take place Monday to Friday from 5:30 to 7:00PM from July 29 to August 2.

Our conversation intensive for teens will take place Monday to Friday from 5:00 to 6:30PM from August 19 to August 23. 

Our full in-person programs are currently being finalized. We anticipate offering a teen group in the fall at our Manhattan, New Jersey, and Long Island locations. We anticipate offering our next young adult group and preschool groups at our Manhattan location in January 2025. If you would like to be included on our registration list, please email

How to Register

To register, a participant must have average or greater cognitive and verbal functioning, an interest in making and keeping friends, and an understanding of the English language. One parent or guardian must also participate. Unless otherwise noted, no formal diagnosis is necessary to take part in the program.

A member of our PEERS team performs an initial 15-minute phone screening of all applicants. Your child and your child’s social coach are then invited to meet a member of our PEERS team, so together you can determine if your child can benefit from a social skills therapy group.

For more information and to register for our programs at our main location in Manhattan and at the Child Study Center—Long Island, please contact our care management team at 646-754-5000 or email