On April 11, the Autism Spectrum Education, Research and Training (ASERT) team at the University of Calgary hosted a community event to share their latest research and results on a social skills training program designed to help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) improve social skills and develop social relationships. The program is called PEERS® (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills), and it was originally developed at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson and Dr. Fred Frankel in 2005. The success of the PEERS® intervention is backed by strong research evidence and the program has since expanded to locations across the United States and Canada.
At the community event, Dr. Adam McCrimmon provided an update on the program, and highlighted new areas of research that he and his team are conducting that indicate possible additional benefits of the PEERS® model. Since its introduction in Calgary in 2013, the PEERS® program has helped over 100 participants and their families to enhance their social skills and improve their connections within their respective communities. ASERT is currently offering PEERS® for teens (Ages 13-18 years), PEERS®-YA young adults (Ages 19-28 years), and PEERS®+ for individuals who have completed the teen group and are now interested in learning about dating.
Attendance at the event by members of the public who were interested in learning more about the program was impressive. During the presentation, there were also over a dozen PEERS® graduates who shared their stories and experiences with other families who were considering registering for the program. As the organization that introduced PEERS® to Calgary, The Sinneave Family Foundation is excited to see its continued growth and on-going success within the community. We wish Dr. McCrimmon and the ASERT team the very best in continuing to move this innovative program forward and enriching the lives of Calgarians with ASD. For more information or to inquire about how you can apply for PEERS®, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.