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October 29, 2020 51 min

Japanese author Haruki Murakami said it well, “A person's life may be a lonely thing by nature, but it is not isolated. To that life other lives are linked.” A key ingredient in transforming lonely human nature into a well-linked life is the faculty of mature social skills which make it possible to show interest in others, know how to make friends, read social situations, reciprocate in person or via text, put oneself in others’ shoes and collaborate successfully. Executive Function is equally essential in managing social goals, solving social problems, and propelling our social connectivity with thoughtful reflection. However, not everyone is intuitive and equipped to form social connections and nurture interpersonal relationships well and hence may require specific skills training.

On this episode, Founder/Director of the UCLA PEERS® clinic, associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA and  licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson discusses key components of evidence-based social skills program for preschoolers, adolescents and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other social impairments. 

About Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson
Dr. Laugeson is a clinical psychologist and an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Dr. Laugeson is the Founder/Director of the UCLA PEERS® Clinic,  an outpatient hospital-based program providing parent-assisted social skills training for preschoolers, adolescents and young adults with ASD and other social impairments. She also serves as the Training Director for the UCLA Tarjan Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).

Dr. Laugeson has been a principal investigator and collaborator on a number of studies funded by the NIH and CDC investigating social skills training for youth with developmental disabilities from preschool to early adulthood and is the co-developer of an evidence-based social skills intervention for teens and young adults known as PEERS®. 


  • The Science of Making Friends: Helping Socially Challenged Teens and Young Adults
  • The PEERS Treatment Manual
  • The PEERS Curriculum for School-Based Professionals
  • PEERS® for Young Adults
  • About Host, Sucheta Kamath
    Sucheta Kamath, is an award-winning speech-language pathologist, a TEDx speaker, a celebrated community leader, and the founder and CEO of ExQ®. As an EdTech entrepreneur, Sucheta has designed ExQ's personalized digital learning curriculum/tool that empowers middle and high school students to develop self-awareness and strategic thinking skills through the mastery of Executive Function and social-emotional competence.

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