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​Merck Summer Intensive Treatment Program

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The Merck Summer Intensive Treatment Program of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC is a behavioral health program designed to meet the unique mental and behavioral health needs of at-risk children and adolescents.

Our Mission

The Merck Summer Intensive Treatment Program mission is to reduce serious psychiatric symptomatology and to improve a young person’s ability to function more successfully at home, at school, and in the community.


Services Provided

The therapeutic activities and treatment methods utilized may include:

  • Individualized positive behavior support plans (based on a functional behavioral assessment)
  • Verbal behavior and other elements of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
  • Social Thinking© (Social Thinking© is copyrighted by Michelle Garcia Winner.)
  • Social skills
  • Development of individual and parallel play skills
  • Communication training
  • Community based instruction/safety skills

Referral and Acceptance

  • The program accepts children ages 5 to 15 years old diagnosed with autism, PDD, or other developmental disability, as well as, another Axis 1 DSM-IV diagnosis.
  • Adolescents, ages 16 to 19, that meet the above criteria will be evaluated on an individual basis.


Children are accepted to the program under two categories: partial hospitalization and/or extended school year (ESY).

  • Children who attend the program under partial hospitalization may be at risk and qualify for higher levels of care, such as inpatient admission, placement into a residential treatment facility, or admission into a more restrictive school setting, without the summer service. Children accepted under partial hospitalization require insurance approval.
  • ESY will come to the program under an agreement with the child’s school district.


A completed application and psychiatric assessment is required for admittance to the program.

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