Therapy Services for Children and Adolescents with Special Needs

The Watson Institute provides a full range or psychological services for children and adolescents with special needs and their families. In the psychological services department, outpatient behavioral health services for children with special needs such as individual and social skills group therapy are provided.

What therapy services are available for my child with special needs?

The Watson Institute’s psychological services for children with special needs offer a variety of therapy services for children up to the age of 21. Individual, social skills group therapy and medication management are the primary therapies provided by Watson’s experienced psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists. Individual therapy and medication management are available for children with all special needs, not just those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis.

Individual Therapy for Children

Watson’s individual therapy for children and adolescents with special needs focuses on selecting interventions that are tailored to meet the child’s needs, based on his/her diagnosis, strengths and areas of opportunity. Therapy is typically provided on a weekly basis, but may be revised based on the needs of the child.

As a parent or guardian of a child in individual therapy, you will receive education about his/her diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment options that are available. You may also be invited to participate in family group therapy sessions along with your child as part of the treatment process.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Social Skills Group Therapy

Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis ages 6 through 18 can participate in our social skills group therapy. Participation in this group requires completion of a diagnostic assessment with a psychologist or therapist and may be offered in conjunction with individual therapy.

The goal of social skills group therapy is to help children and adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis improve conversation skills, make and maintain friendships, apply emotional regulation skills, and assess and handle teasing and/or bullying, among other social skills. Social skills groups meet weekly for ninety minute sessions, allowing participants the time to practice and develop their skills.

Medication Management

Medication management is provided by a licensed child/adolescent psychiatrist and will help provide up-to-date medication treatment approaches for your child. As a parent or guardian of a child or adolescent with a mental health diagnosis, you will collaborate with the therapists to ensure medications are being managed appropriately. A combination of medication and therapy may be suggested as that is often times the most effective treatment approach.

How can child therapy services help?

You may be wondering if therapy services are necessary for your child. Some common symptoms and stressors that may indicate that therapy services could be beneficial to your child include: excessive worries, sleep issues due to worry, anger/aggression, inappropriate behaviors, social difficulties, lack of motivation, traumatic experience, and even withdrawal or isolation. If any of these symptoms are evident in your child, consider reaching out to the Watson Institute and inquiring about our therapy services.

How can I access therapy services for my child with special needs?

If you think your child could benefit from Watson’s therapy services, request an appointment with a Watson psychological services expert today! An evaluation is not a necessary pre-requisite to begin individual therapy, although an evaluation may be recommended by our clinicians.