Tag Archives: PEERS


Act now to join a group that will start in June — facilitated by Alexander Gantman, Psy.D. and Kimberly Orliczky, BCBA. It will meet on Tuesdays from 6:30pm to 8pm in Newport Beach. Enrollment is limited and parent participation is required. 

For details contact Kimberly Orliczky at 949/607-8560.



Another Milestone: Graduation from PEERS. Bravo!

He did it! Our son made it through the 14-week PEERS program! He has the certificate of completion — as well as 14 lessons in making and keeping friends and handling challenging social situations. It’s a proud time.

I realize that for a while we’ll have to stay on him, constantly urging him to reach out to make friends because it’s natural for him to want to retreat and simply entertain himself without all the anxiety that accompanies socialization. But the more he gets used to it, the easier it will be.

A valuable part of our final session was that we parents were advised to regularly check in with our teen’s psychological state. We’re going to continue with cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT]—it’s something that has worked well with our son in the past; he’s familiar with the process. Most importantly, we want to make sure he’s not secluded, separated from others and that he regularly talks about things he’s thinking.

If you have any questions about the PEERS program, please ask.

Click the link below to watch a video of Liz Laugeson, director of UCLA PEERS, talk about the steps for slipping into a conversation. We have the notebook pages for this lesson, but my son find its extra helpful to see it acted out in real life situations. Body language is key in this lesson.

Wrong Planet – Autism Talk TV 23 – How to Join a Social Circle & Make Friends in a Group.

Politics Teaches Valuable Social Lesson


By laughing off his now infamous water gaffe, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) recently demonstrated Lesson 13 of PEERS: What to Do When You Are the Target of Gossip.

  • Do not show that you are upset.
  • Do not confront the source of the gossip.
  • Avoid the source of the gossip.
  • Act amazed.
  • Spread an anti-rumor about yourself.

Social media and late night comedians went to town on Rubio.

“I needed water, what am I gonna do? It happens,” Rubio said on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” chuckling as he voluntarily took another swig from the bottle on national TV.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/rubio-attempts-spin-water-gaffe-favor-article-1.1263909#ixzz2KvL8tJf4

His PAC is even offering bottles of “Rubio” water for PAC donations. https://www.reclaimamericapac.com/donate/water-bottle/   Image

Politics aside, I like the way he took advantage of the opportunity and poked fun at himself. This action was very timely for us as our 13th PEERS session was Tuesday evening. What a great example for our kids!

Week 12 of 14-Week PEERS Program

It’s hard to believe we’re just two weeks away from completion of the PEERS program. What a great learning process — for us and our son! We continue to push and prod him out of his comfort zone daily [at times, I must admit, the jaws of life are needed!], but once he makes the effort to talk to new people, he’s so pleased with his success! He’s on a daily search to find others with a common interest — a notion he would have never entertained before PEERS.

The wonderful thing about this program is that the processes for each lesson are very detailed and the kids practice during their session. At the same time, the parents are learning the same lesson with all the support information from Dr. Gantman. It’s unparalleled. For example, the kids have learned how to plan their own get-togethers. For weeks they’ve been practicing exchanging information, being a loyal friend, good sport and hospitable host. That’s been going great. But if an individual doesn’t know when to start laying the groundwork for a weekend activity, all those aforementioned skills won’t be much good. And that’s why Dr. Gantman is key, in my humble opinion. He provides that additional, nuanced information that makes the lessons come together. 

So when should you start laying the groundwork for a weekend activity? Wednesday or Thursday. Make sure your teen/your adult knows this. It may seem to be common knowledge, but, well, you know.

Lesson 12 deals with handling disagreements. The strategies we learned can be applied anywhere!

Dr. Alexander Gantman leads the parent group and Kimberly Orliczky, M.A., BCBA, works with the teens at Autism Solutions for Kids, Inc. [ASK]. Contact ASK for details on the Spring 2013 session that’s forming now! kimberly@ask4aba.com   www.ask4aba.com                    PH (949)791-9275.

Social Skills Training with our Eyes Wide Open!

We have enrolled in a PEERS® [Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills] course with our son. It’s a manualized, social skills training intervention program that I’ve been reading about and hearing about for several years now. I finally made the time to make it part of our lives for the next three-plus months.


It’s a 14-week course for me, my husband and son—we’ve got 12 more sessions to go. Our son loves it! I really like the fact that we all have to be involved. It keeps everyone on the same page. We learn the same buzz words to use to avoid confusion and to help with skill mastery. There is a homework assignment each week. So far, the assignments have been somewhat within his comfort zone—but I know with each week it’ll be necessary for him to expand his own personal boundaries. I’m looking forward to watching that.

Over the course of the next few months, I’ll report in—hopefully with encouraging news.

[To find a Certified PEERS® Provider near you, please click here: FAQ.]

Learning how to be a friend, make a friend and keep a friend.

PEERS: Learning how to be a friend, make a friend and keep a friend.