The PEERS Curriculum for School-Based Professionals (USE CA UCEDD)

January 31, 2014

The PEERS® School-Based Training is designed exclusively for educators, mental health specialists, and school-based professionals who are interested in learning and/or implementing the PEERS® intervention and research in the school setting. This is a unique training designed to provide professionals with the tools to implement the intervention outlined in the new PEERS® Curriculum for School-Based Professionals (Laugeson, 2013), which brings UCLA's highly acclaimed and widely popular PEERS® intervention into the school setting.

  • This sixteen-week program, clinically proven to significantly improve social skills and social interactions among teens with autism spectrum disorder, is now customized for the needs of psychologists, counselors, speech pathologists, administrators, and teachers.
  • The manual is broken down into clearly divided lesson plans, each of which have concrete rules and steps, corresponding homework assignments, plans for review, and unique, fun activities to ensure that teens are comfortable incorporating what they've learned.
  • The curriculum also includes parent handouts, tips for preparing for each lesson, strategies for overcoming potential pitfalls, and the research underlying this program.

Educators, mental health specialists, and school-based professionals who attend the PEERS® School-Based Training can expect 3 days of intensive instruction regarding the PEERS research and intervention. This will enable the implementation of the PEERS school-based intervention into the attendees' school and educational settings.

Attendees will have the unique opportunity to learn directly from Dr. Laugeson and her clinical staff on the effective administration of this new treatment available October 2013. Elizabeth Laugeson, Psy.D., Director of the UCLA PEERS Clinic, will serve as course instructor throughout the PEERS School-Based Training along with respective clinical staff.  

 About the PEERS® for Adolescents Intervention:

PEERS® for Adolescents was developed in 2009 by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson and Dr. Fred Frankel at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. PEERS for Adolescents is a 14-week evidence-based and parent-assisted social skills intervention for motivated teens with autism spectrum disorder and other socio-emotional and social difficulties in middle and high school who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. The PEERS® for Adolescents intervention is well supported by positive outcomes in a randomized controlled clinical trial and follow-up study (Laugeson,

Frankel, Gantman, Mogil, & Dillon, 2008; Laugeson, Frankel, Mogil, & Dillon, 2009). Furthermore, the efficacy of this intervention has been replicated at various sites across the world (Vaughan Van Hecke et al. 2013; Schohl et al. 2013).

During each group session, teens are taught important social skills and are given the opportunity to practice these skills in session during socialization activities (e.g. playing sports, board games, etc.). This type of clinical intervention has been adapted to provide educators and other school-based professionals with the tools needed to implement this treatment in a school setting, as outlined in the PEERS Curriculum for School-Based Professionals (Laugeson, 2013). 

Topics of Instruction in PEERS for Adolescents Include:

  • How to use appropriate conversational skills
  • How to find common interests by trading information
  • How to use electronic forms of communication
  • How to choose appropriate friends
  • How to appropriately use humor
  • How to enter and exit conversations between peers
  • How to handle rejection, teasing, and bullying
  • How to handle rumors and gossip
  • How to organize and have get-togethers with friends
  • How to be a good sport during games and activities
  • How to handle arguments and disagreements with friends
  • How to change a bad reputation

Training Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees will learn about the friendship and social difficulties common to adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and other socio-emotional problems.
  2. Attendees will become familiar with the PEERS for Adolescents research and clinical intervention, as well as with the PEERS Curriculum for School-Based Professionals.
  3. Attendees will be equipped with the tools for administration of the PEERS School-Based intervention in the school setting.
  4. Attendees will learn how to incorporate parents and family members into the ongoing treatment.

General Training Information

Each PEERS School-Based Training will include didactic instruction on the research findings and interventions of both the PEERS Curriculum for School-Based Professionals as well as the PEERS for Adolescents program. Additional hours are left unscheduled in order to facilitate reading of the PEERS Curriculum for School-Based Professionals and preparation for subsequent course sessions. Prior to the training, each attendee will receive a copy of the formalized PEERS® Curriculum for School-Based Professionals (Laugeson, 2013) to review before the training and to utilize throughout.

Training Location

The PEERS School-Based Training will be held at:
UCLA Neuroscience Research Building
635 Charles E Young Drive South
Los Angeles, CA 90095

 * Specific room locations, training schedule, and important details will be sent to attendees prior to the training.

Training Schedule

  • The training will span across 3 days from 9am-4pm each day with a break midday for lunch. Trainings typically occur across Thursday-Saturday.
  • Onsite check-in will begin at 9:00am
  • Training will conclude at 4:00pm
  • Please note exact times are subject to change and attendees will be notified of any changes.

Payment Information

  • The fee to attend this 3-day training seminar is $2,200 USD per person to be paid in advance. Enrollment is limited.
  • Due to limited enrollment we need to process and approve all registration forms before we obtain your payment information.
  • All registration forms submitted via E-MAIL or FAX will be processed for approval within 4-5 business days in the order that they are received.
  • Approved attendees will be sent a confirmation via e-mail that will include a link to pay securely online using VISA, Mastercard or American Express.
  • Payment must be received before your enrollment is finalized.

Statement of Need

Because this program is one of the few evidence-based interventions of its kind in the nation, it has garnered interest from mental health professionals and families of adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders throughout the U.S. and international community. The UCLA PEERS® Clinic has been featured in the popular media, including major television networks and print media, resulting in an overwhelming response by professionals to obtain education in the use of this intervention. By providing an intensive training seminar, the UCLA PEERS® Clinic seeks to help professionals meet the growing need for this intervention within their communities.


Please visit us on the web at for additional information regarding the UCLA PEERS® Clinic.

Contact us with questions related to the PEERS® School-Based Training at or at (310) 26-PEERS.