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Why Watson to assist teens with the transition to college?

  • Watson offers two college transition programs (PREP and ACCLAIM) developed to assist teens diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder with planning and preparing for post-secondary education.
  • The ACCLAIM curriculum focuses on the skills needed for college success, such as:  executive functioning, communication, social interaction, emotional regulation, job and career preparation, college and community acclimation, and activities of daily living.
  • Student participate in in-vivo learning experiences that provide a preview to college.  This model "desensitizes" students to the college transition, reducing anxiety and increasing availability for learning.
  • ACCLAIM is offered at multiple sites:  community college, mid-sized college and university to meet the varied needs and strengths of teens with an autism spectrum disorder.

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Learning and Information for Families and Educators

A comprehensive, research based resource for families and educators of individuals with disabilities.


Autism College and Community Life Acclimation and Intervention Model


The Autism College and Community Life Acclimation and Intervention Model (ACCLAIM) of The Watson Institute is specifically designed for college-bound teenagers with Asperger's disorder and high-functioning autistic disorder.  The program focuses on the development of skills necessary to succeed at college and includes therapeutic, learning, and social components.  Many adolescents with high functioning ASD may have the cognitive ability to attend college but lack the social, organizational and daily living skills to be successful there.  The organization of college and college life can be quite complex.  Watson developed ACCLAIM to help adolescents get a "preview" of college prior to enrollment.  The program is intended to acclimate academically capable candidates to campus life, reducing the anxiety associated with a major life transition, and developing the social and organizational skills that are requisites for success in college.

Parents, school personnel, and community service providers collaborate in developing detailed goals and objectives for each participant's program.  Specially trained staff provide individualized programming for each participant, teaching social interactions, social communication skills, coping skills, organizational skills, daily living skills, emotional regulation, problem solving skills, and behavioral competencies through facilitated participation in age-appropriate activities and community outings.

Call 412-749-2889 for more information.


Admission Requirements

View a DVD of ACCLAIM 2011 at Community College of Allegheny County