With education as the core of our organization, the Watson Institute follows a “whole child” approach in the services we offer to support the overall growth of each child and family.  Through our services and programs, the Watson Institute serves more than 1,200 children and their families annually.  Watson’s schools house the heart and soul of the organization – the students.  It is in the schools that staff members work individually with children, watching them grow and overcome obstacles, becoming positive forces in the children’s and their families’ lives, and watching many students transition back to their home school districts.

In addition to our school programs, Watson offers inclusive summer camp programs, and provides child assessment and therapy for children and adolescents with autism.  Watson also provides educational programming with a partial hospital component to children and adolescents with severe emotional challenges.  Watson gives well-deserved breaks to families through our day respite program. Watson also hosts Social Skills Group Therapy and Parent Support Groups.

Special Education School Book Fair


The Watson Institute Education Centers in Sewickley and Bridgeville are hosting in person and online Book Fairs this week, running through Friday, October 20, 2017. Shop now on the online storefront for either location! The online book store will stay open until Friday! Education Center Sewickley: http://www.scholastic.com/bf/watsoninstitute1  Education Center South: https://bookfairs.scholastic.com/homepage/watsoninstituteeducsouth The Book Fairs will also be … Read More

Special Education Technology Gives Student a Voice

When Isaiah Erb-White started at one of the Watson Institute’s special education schools in 2013, his ability to speak or move independently was extremely limited due to his multiple disabilities and Isaiah also did not possess special education technology that could help him achieve these goals. Isaiah’s multiple disabilities greatly impacted his ability to communicate. … Read More

Special Education School Partners with Hundred Acres Manor

Today is the opening day at Hundred Acres Manor, a local haunted attraction in South Park. This haunting season, the Watson Institute will be partnering with Hundred Acres Manor in multiple ways to be a beneficiary of funding to support our special education schools and programs. The Watson Institute’s special education schools serve students with … Read More

Special Education Student Transitions to School District

At the Watson Institute’s special education schools, our primary objective is to help our students achieve their goals as outlined in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). For many students, the goal is that they will progress enough to transition back to, and attend, their home school district with special education supports. Over the summer, special … Read More

Toilet Training: Developing a Toileting Routine

Family Submitted Situation: “I know there must be a way to help my son with his toileting. It becomes so chaotic sometimes as he runs to the bathroom to use the toilet. He doesn’t seem to know what to do first. Do you have any ideas to help?” Summary: Developing and teaching a toileting routine … Read More

Art Project Helps Students with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges

Hannah Timm, the art teacher at Friendship Academy, is always looking for new ways to engage her students, many of whom face emotional and behavioral challenges. When she was approached by The Andy Warhol Museum to participate in a pilot program for children with special needs, she was immediately interested. Watson Board of Trustees member, … Read More

Special Education Transition for Friendship Academy Students

As part of Watson’s goal to prepare students for the special education transition post-graduation, Rebecca Muntean was added to the Community Based Vocation team at Friendship Academy. In this role, she is able to utilize her experience as an instructional aide working with students with behavioral and mental health challenges at the school. Becca wanted … Read More

Watson’s 6th Annual Prom Celebration


Students with special needs at the Watson Institute’s Education Centers in Sewickley and Bridgeville recently dressed to impress in preparation for the 6th annual Prom. The Prom, a tradition for many high school students, started at Watson in 2011 when Katie Patterson, Program Coordinator at the Education Center Sewickley, along with a few other staff members decided … Read More

Watson Proudly Hosts 5th Annual Special Kick Clinic

The Watson Institute, a special education organization serving students with special needs ages 3 to 21, proudly hosted its 5th Annual Special Kick Clinic this past weekend in partnership with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds soccer team. More than 130 children with special needs and their siblings took to the field at Highmark Stadium on Sunday to … Read More

Watson Institute Celebrates National Volunteer Week

In the words of Elizabeth Andrew, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart.” In celebration of National Volunteer Week, the Watson Institute is sharing the stories from student volunteers in our CareBreak respite program, to recognize the amazing individuals who dedicate their time and efforts to helping children with special … Read More