Special Education Transition Preparation


At the Watson Institute, a recognized autism school in Western Pennsylvania, staff adapt curriculum for students with autism spectrum disorder and various special needs to ensure they are working toward their educational goals. Part of this adapted curriculum used to prepare for their special education transition focuses on life skills and pre-vocational skills development. Beginning at age … Read More

Special Education Resources – Social Skills

Encouraging social interactions and developing social skills among students with special needs can be a critical component of a student’s individualized special education goals. In today’s Teacher Tips newsletter, read more about how to encourage social interactions among students. Below are two strategies you can employ in your classroom to encourage social interactions among students … Read More

Special Education Career – Why I Chose Watson


The Watson Institute aims to create a culture of support and inclusion at all of our special education schools. We understand that staff who feel supported can provide the highest quality special education to children with special needs. Kaitlyn Gorniak, a special education teacher at the Education Center Sewickley recognized the importance of this culture … Read More

What Makes Watson a Recognized Autism School?


The Watson Institute provides high quality special education to children with various special needs; however, we have gained significant recognition as an autism school for the services we provide children with autism spectrum disorder. The Watson Institute Social Center for Academic Achievement (WISCA) program was developed to meet the needs of students with high-functioning autism, … Read More

Special Education Resources – Coping with Sensitivity to Smells

Many students with special needs experience sensitivity to strong smells that surround them in both a community setting and also at school in places such as the cafeteria during lunch time. In today’s Teacher Tips newsletter, the Watson Institute offers suggestions to help students with special needs prevent negative reactions to smells. Sensory Tools: work with … Read More

Early Childhood Special Education – When I Grow Up


The Watson Institute recognizes the importance of early childhood special education and its positive impact on the success of students with special needs. At Watson, special education teachers incorporate IEP goals into all aspects of the classroom schedule, understanding that building the foundation for success should start early on in the students’ education. Megan Megrey, … Read More

Special Education Classrooms – Promoting On-Task Behavior

Teachers, have you ever had a student who had difficulty engaging with and working to complete a school work assignment? If so, read today’s Teacher Tip for more resources to promote on-task behaviors in the classroom. Incorporating a student’s special interest area (SIA) such as a hobby or favorite TV show into an assignment can help promote … Read More

Sensory-Friendly Event: The Andy Warhol Museum

Andy Warhol - Sensory Friendly Event

The Watson Institute understands that sensory-friendly experiences are important for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and sensory sensitivities.  The Andy Warhol Museum is also recognizing the importance of making art and cultural events accessible for children with special needs by offering a sensory-friendly event at the museum. On Saturday, October 8, 2016 teens … Read More

Early Childhood Special Education – A Family Story


Early childhood special education can be a critical component to the success of children with special needs. At the Watson Institute, early childhood programming includes LEAP Preschool, a program which integrates young students with autism spectrum disorder alongside their typically developing peers. The inclusive learning environment created in this unique program allows students with autism … Read More