Holding Hands provides, Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) which is a 14-week evidence-based social skills intervention for high functioning, motivated teens in the 7th-12th grade who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. During each group session teens are taught (skill building) important social skills and are given the opportunity to practice the skills throughout the week. Parents are required to attend and participate in weekly parent training and support session, facilitated by a PEERS trained Mental Health clinicians. Research shows that parental support and training is key!

PEERS is not only for individuals diagnosed with ASD. PEERS has been found to be effective for people with a variety of diagnoses, including but not limited to Aspergerís, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Social Phobias, Bipolar Disorder, and OCD.

PEERS Groups are facilitated at the center and are held 3 times per year. For dates, times and inquires, contact Ziba Nassab. Groups are led by Ziba Nassab, whom is certified in PEERS. Holding Hands utilizes Dr. Liz Laugesonís  (licensed clinical psychologist and a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior)  evidence based curriculum  manual.

Topic of Instruction Include:

  • How to use appropriate conversational skills
  • How to find common interests by trading information
  • 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 be a good host during get-togethers
  • How to make phone calls to friends
  • How to choose appropriate friends
  • How to be a good sport
  • How to handle arguments and disagreements
  • How to change a bad reputation