An App for Teens who Struggle with Social Skills

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Designed as a companion tool for the evidence-based PEERS program (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills), developed at the University of California at Los Angeles in the U.S., the Friendmaker app provides youth with real-life instruction in the process of making friends, from how to choose friends to improving conversational skills, online safety and etiquette, and advice on how to handle teasing and bullying. The app also includes role-play videos that break each skill down into concrete steps and demonstrate how to put them into action. This app may be useful for adolescents and adults who struggle socially, including those with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, bipolar, sensory processing disorder, or anyone who struggles with social interactions. When used in addition to a traditional social skills training program the use of the Friendmaker app as a “virtual coach” has been shown to lead to greater improvements in social skills and greater generalization of skills across settings compared to social skills instruction alone (see Organization for Autism Research, 2015). Available for download on iPhone and iPad.