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.
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/
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!
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! firstname.lastname@example.org www.ask4aba.com PH (949)791-9275.