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.

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 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

Special Education & Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Goals

At the Watson Institute’s family of special education schools, activities and field trips are planned for students with special needs with the goal of helping them to achieve their educational goals as outlined in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). For the past few years, special education staff at the Watson Institute Education Center Sewickley have … Read More

Special Education School Spreads Positivity to Peers & Community


At the Watson Institute, students with special needs are encouraged to participate in daily activities that are fun and help them work towards achieving their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals. Students with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the WISCA program, a special education school at Watson, have recently embraced an educational opportunity that also … Read More

Child Behavioral Health & Neuropsychology Testing


Diagnostic Assessments & Psychological/Neuropsychological Tests for Children At the Watson Institute, we provide services to children with special needs and a wide variety of diagnoses such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Watson’s behavioral health services include a wide array of diagnostic assessments and testing for children up to the age of … Read More

Therapy Services for Children and Adolescents with Special Needs

behavioral health services at Watson

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? … Read More

Wraparound Services for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder


The Watson Institute strives to provide a full range of special education programs and psychological services to students with special needs – and their families. In the psychological services department, a variety of service options are available – such as wraparound services for children with autism spectrum disorder. What are wraparound services? Wraparound services are … Read More