Virtual Social Skills Summer Camp for Middle or High School Students Utilizing PEERS® School-Based Model

Presented by Melissa Dubie, M.S., or Betty Lou Rowe, M.Ed., Educational Consultants, Indiana Resource Center for Autism

                                         Melissa Dubie headshot     Betty Lou Rowe Headshot


PEERS® is a world-renowned evidence-based social skills curriculum for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, and other socio-emotional problems. It was first developed at UCLA by PEERS® Clinical director, Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson. Melissa and Betty Lou were trained by Dr. Laugeson and became PEERS® certified trainers in 2019. With the generous support of AWS Foundation in Fort Wayne, Indiana they piloted a project in which they taught groups of individuals from 7th-12th grade via Zoom. The curriculum focus is on creating and maintaining friendships. The topics may include two-way conversation skills, choosing appropriate friends, appropriate use of jokes, good sportsmanship, get-togethers, and handling disagreements.

Topics covered depend upon the number of weeks student chooses to attend. The training will include didactic instruction, PowerPoints, small group practice in breakout rooms, instruction for get-togethers outside of class, video role plays and a pre/post survey. In addition, there is a one hour a week meeting with caregivers to coach on assisting their teen on applying skills outside of the social skills group.

Who Should Attend

Middle school (grades 6-8 in fall, 2023) or high school (grades 9-12 in fall, 2023) students identified with an autism spectrum disorder, learning disability, or who have social skills challenges related to making and keeping friendships.

Summer Camp Requirements

  • Each camp needs a minimum of 6 students and a maximum of 12.
  • Online camp will be Monday-Friday for 5 days from 9:00-12:00 (ET)
  • Students will be expected to meet each afternoon with a student(s) from camp to practice the skills learned in the morning. During the practice the pair will record the session and share with Betty Lou or Melissa to review.
  • On Wednesdays, there will be a parent/guardian meeting in the afternoon. Time will be determined by availability.
  • Student must be able to stay engaged throughout the camp by being able to have a two-way conversation, speak in complete sentences, and ask and answer questions on the virtual platform.
  • Instructors will meet with parent/guardian and student prior to the first camp day to get to know the student’s social skills abilities and challenges.
  • Must be able to download a virtual platform to socially get together away from the PEERS class (e.g., Zoom or House Party app)

Cost & Registration

Note each camp is one week. You can choose to sign up for one week or two weeks for middle school or high school age.

  • 1 week is $250.00
  • 2 weeks is $400.00
  • All registrations are processed online by Indiana University (IU) Conferences. You may pay with a credit card, check, or purchase order. All registrations are final. No money will be refunded unless the camp is canceled due to not meeting participant minimum.
  • To access the Zoom meetings, a link will be sent to the email you use to register.
  • Please note – This is a virtual camp that uses the Zoom webinar platform so you will need a laptop, tablet, or smartphone to access it.

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