PEERS story

PEERS®:  Increasing Social Skills

Some PEERS® graduates from the Charlottesville group who graduated in October 2019

PEERS® is an acronym for the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills and is designed to assist young adults, especially on the autism spectrum, who are having difficulty making and keeping friends. In addition to lessons focusing on making and keeping friends, this 16-week course also focuses on developing romantic relationships, managing conflict and rejection, as well as steps for handling bullying and other core social skills necessary for young adults to thrive in their communities.  While these critical lessons are presented to a group of young adults, a concurrent session is taught to a group of social coaches, often the young adults’ parents, in a separate room. At the conclusion of each lesson, the students are given homework assignments such as: plan a get-together, join a social group, or make a phone call to a classmate. Before completing each assignment, the young adult practices the skills presented in the lesson with their social coaches. In addition to a didactic lesson, students also participate in behavioral rehearsals to practice new skills in a supportive environment. To date, 16 participants have graduated from The Choice Group’s PEERS® classes in Richmond and Charlottesville. The PEERS® curriculum is available through The Choice Group in Richmond and Charlottesville for high school and college students as well as young adults just entering the workforce. 

For information about upcoming groups in Richmond or Charlottesville, please contact Justin Sheets or Zach Sisisky or click on the following links: 


  • Richmond PEERS® group starting January 8, 2020
  • Charlottesville PEERS® group starting January 7, 2020


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