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Summer Programs for Children With Special Needs at The Watson Institutee


At Watson’s SCALE camp, teens
engage in vocational experiences at
real-life work environments.

Think warm thoughts - summer is just around the corner! The Watson Institute offers several summer programs for children and adolescents with special needs. Registration begins in February.
The Watson Inclusive Summer Program (WISP) enables children with autism to be integrated successfully into typical summer camps with their peers. WISP operates in multiple sites and emphasizes teaching social skills, using capable peers in naturalistic settings. Some children require one-to-one staffing to be successfully included, some are able to share specialized staff, and some children require only consulting services, so staff arrangements are individualized to the child.
Summer Therapeutic Activities for Teens (STAT) is a summer program for teenagers with Asperger’s Disorder and high functioning autism. STAT is designed to encourage social interaction, allowing participants to establish relationships with others to find a circle of friends.
The Social, Community Based and Adaptive Life Experiences (SCALE) program is designed for adolescents on the autism spectrum who also have significant deficits in communication skills and adaptive functioning. SCALE is a “hands on” approach to developing social skills and promoting successful functioning in the community.
Autism College & Community Life Acclimation & Intervention Model (ACCLAIM) is a summer program for teens with Asperger’s disorder and high functioning autistic disorder. This program focuses on the development of skills necessary to succeed at college. Appropriate candidates have the academic abilities necessary for success in college but have significant limitations in their social and organizational skills.
Funding to participate in Watson’s summer programs comes from various sources:
• In some cases summer camp can be part of a child’s wraparound services. Wraparound services are mental health services provided to children with significant behavioral or mental health needs that help them live and thrive in their communities.
• Some school districts contract with Watson to use our summer programs for Extended School Year (ESY). ESY is a way to keep progress going for children with special needs who would regress without instruction over the summer. In addition to the camp programs described above, Watson conducts ESY programs at two of our schools: The Education Center in Sewickley, PA and Friendship Academy in Pittsburgh, PA.
• Watson receives donations to provide summer camp scholarships for some children to attend camp.
• Families may pay out of pocket for their child’s camp tuition.
For more information, call (412) 749-2851 or visit www.thewatsoninstitute.org.

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