Camp WISP (Watson Inclusive Summer Program) - Rose E. Schneider Family YMCA

Summer Programs

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General Information
Description of ServiceThe Watson Inclusive Summer Program (WISP) is an inclusive therapeutic summer camp program for children with autism and related disorders.

WISP is a model inclusive summer program that enables children with autism to be integrated successfully into typical summer camps with their peers. The program operates in multiple sites, providing children with services near their own neighborhoods. The program time and duration vary according to the camp schedule. Typically, a camp program lasts eight weeks, from mid June to early August, and runs from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The program emphasizes teaching social skills within a typical summer camp environment, using capable peers in naturalistic settings.

All children in WISP receive intensive intervention emphasizing the development of social skills within a typical summer camp environment, utilizing peer models of appropriate behavior. Some children require one-to-one staffing in order to be successfully included within the summer camp setting, some are able to share specialized staff, and some children require no more than consulting services. Therefore, staffing arrangements are flexible and individualized in accordance with the needs of the child.

Since this is an intensive therapeutic program rather than merely a daycare or recreational program, consistent attendance for the duration of the program is important. If the family will be away for an extended period while camp is in session or if a child has recurrent conflicts with the camp hours, Camp WISP may not be an appropriate option.
Geographical AreaAllegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington, Westmoreland
Intake ProcedureClick here for the application packet.
Intake RequirementsSpace is limited – pre-acceptance by Watson is required before a child is placed into the WISP program and assigned a Watson support staff.
Additional RequirementsPlease include with the application a copy of your child’s IEP, most recent psychological, educational, and speech/language evaluations, and any other pertinent documents offering relevant information about your child. This information will be reviewed during the selection process.
Client Information
EligibilityChildren with autism and related disorders ages 5 to 12.
Fees or Charges
Types of FeesStaff fees and camp fees.
Fee Amounts1:1 aide staff support is $5,564. 2:1 aide staff support is $3,715. Master’s level consultation-only staff support is $1,578.
Hours of Operation June, July, August, from approximately 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Contact Information
Contact's Name Rebecca Thimons
Contact's Position Service Coordinator
Physical Site Address 1 301 Camp Meeting Road
Physical Site Address 2 The Watson Institute
Physical Site City, State, Zip Sewickley, PA 15143
Main Phone 412-741-1800
Fax 412-741-9021
Service Location Email
Web Address
Affiliated Agency, Programs, and Services
Affiliated Agency: Summer Programs
Affiliated Program: Summer Programs
This Service: Camp WISP (Watson Inclusive Summer Program) - Rose E. Schneider Family YMCA
Taxonomy Postings
Posted to Categories: Autism Spectrum Disorder (YF-1800.0400)
Children and Youth With Disabilities/Health Conditions (YJ-8750.1500)
Summer Camps (PL-6400.1500-820)
Therapeutic Camps (PL-6400.1500-850)