Skip to Content

Services and Specialties of Therapeutic Nursery and Preschool

UPMC Content 3


A best practice evaluation will be completed at intake, in accordance with preferred prescriber standards.

The evaluation will include:

  • A comprehensive developmental history
  • An in-depth social-emotional assessment using a standardized behavioral report from the parent
  • An informal developmental assessment

Evaluations are completed by a licensed psychologist and reviewed by the attending psychiatrist.

Treatment Planning

Treatment services in the center-based program at Matilda Theiss are carried out within the context of a typical early childhood setting and coordinated through the assigned program clinician.

Treatment plans will be developed at the initial interagency service planning team meeting. Goals and interventions will be developed in collaboration with the family, classroom clinical staff, and specialty clinical staff. Treatment of early childhood behavior disorders at the Matilda Theiss Therapeutic Nursery and Preschool includes goals for the:

  • Child
  • Parent
  • Parent-child relationship

The child-focused goals in the individualized treatment program are designed to be addressed in the therapeutic milieu setting and address a child’s social-emotional development and behavioral needs, while attending to other facets of early development, including

  • Language
  • Cognition
  • Self-care and adaptive skills

Parent-focused and relationship-focused goals will be developed based on the individual needs of the family. Therapeutic techniques vary in intensity and are implemented based on the individual needs of the child.

Models of Intervention

Preventive intervention

Consistent with a risk vs. resiliency orientation, the programming for infants and toddlers at Matilda Theiss is designed to minimize the effects of specific environmental or biological risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing emotional or behavioral problems, by providing services that promote resiliency against those risks.

The Therapeutic Nursery provides a stimulating early-learning environment and parenting education, support, and relationship-enhancement services to families with infants and toddlers with:

  • Prenatal exposure to drugs and/or alcohol 
  • A parent or sibling diagnosed with a serious psychiatric disorder

Early intensive intervention

At the preschool level, treatment focuses on children with diagnosed psychiatric disorders, such as:

  • Disruptive Behavior Disorder
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Mood or Anxiety Disorders

Interventions are provided in a naturalistic, early-learning environment appropriate for young children.

Within that setting, children receive services that are appropriate to their needs and developmental level, while supporting their families and the importance of establishing a positive and nurturing parent-child relationship.

Contact Us

Call 412-383-1575 for more information about The Matilda Theiss Therapeutic Nursery and Preschool.