Learning and Information for Families and Educators
A comprehensive, research based resource for families and educators of individuals with disabilities.
Exceptional Children Achieving Exceptional Results
Based on the theories of naturalistic teaching, inclusive programming and family-centered programming, The Watson Institute’s LEAP Preschool (Learning Experiences: an Alternative Program for preschoolers and parents) reflects both a behavioral and developmental approach for teaching children with autism in an early childhood environment. This approach is unique because it focuses on enhancing the skills of children with autism with interaction and play with typically-developing peers.
To best meet the needs of children with autism, the preschool curriculum is supplemented with learning activities and instructional strategies specifically designed to facilitate the development of functional skills, independent play and work skills, social interaction skills, language skills and adaptive behavior.
In addition to working with children, LEAP preschool provides behavioral skills training for families. The program focuses on teaching parents the basic principles of behavior management as well as strategies for teaching children new skills.
The Watson Institute has three LEAP preschool locations:
LEAP – Sharpsburg
W. Bruce Thomas Education Center
200 Linden Avenue
Sharpsburg, PA 15215
PLEASE NOTE: 200 Linden Ave. is a mailing address ONLY. For online directions please use 1150 Penn Street as the address.
LEAP at the Children’s Center for Creative Learning (CCCL) at Osborne Elementary
1414 Beaver St.
Sewickley, PA 15143
LEAP at Lifesteps
383 New Castle Rd.
Butler, PA 16001
The Watson Institute also provides training and consultation to help preschools throughout the area replicate the LEAP preschool model.