Peer Mentoring Program

Are you interested in mentoring adolescents with autism?

The Spectrum Education Center is hosts PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) every semester. PEERS is an intervention for adolescents in the community with autism who would like help making and keeping friends. The success of the program depends on the hard work of PEERS mentors. PEERS mentors are UMU students who are trained to help adolescents with autism develop their social skills. PEERS mentors are enrolled in SPE 210, a 2-credit course. Students enrolled in the class will meet as a group once a week, each Thursday from 11:15 am– 12:15pm.

Mentors will learn about ways to successfully interact with people who have autism, and encourage their development of appropriate social skills. Each mentor will be paired with a PEERS group member.  Students in SPE 210 meet with the PEERS group for 90 minutes each week, in addition to attending the weekly class meeting.

Program Testimonials page

Thus far, the program has proven to decrease disruptive behaviors and increase the social behavior of the students.

“I was unsure if my son who is ten years old and has Autism along with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder would handle the campus life......if even for the very short time of one hour for us but, to him an eternity. I was particularly impressed how welcoming the staff and students were to Mitchell as he is unique in so many ways.  As we discussed in the beginning, he has many amazing traits but, you have to look for them by unlocking the key to his abilities.”  - Susan K. Miner, M.S.ED., mother, special needs educator 


“I just wanted to write to the tutors and Dr. Turko and tell you how happy I am that my grandson, Chance, is lucky enough to be a participant and how much your program is needed in our community. There are no other programs and there are MANY kids in our schools who need education assistance, such as tutors and mentors, so much more than they need fancy buildings that have left us with such assistance cut out of their budgets.”      – Grandmother of a mentee


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