Special Education News & Updates

Stay up-to-date on the latest special education news and updates from the Watson Institute. We include news, as well as stories and helpful information featuring our special education teachers, therapists, and mental health professionals and how they provide exceptional educational and supportive services to children with special needs. Also learn about our special education school programs and outpatient resources for children ages 3 to 21.

Importance of Career Advancement Opportunities

If you’re considering a career in the special education field, you may be faced with a number of career opportunities in a variety of settings. Why should you consider a special education career at Watson? Keep reading to learn more about our organization and why career advancement is an integral part of Watson’s culture! The […]

Teaching Body Autonomy to Children with Special Needs

Child with a physical disability seated in a wheelchair while a nurse wipes down her face.

In a previous article in which we discussed teaching privacy to individuals with special needs, we briefly touched on the topic of body autonomy. In this article, we go into more depth about body autonomy: what it is, how to teach it, and how, as an educator or a parent, you can reinforce body autonomy with […]

Introducing Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS)

Beginning in January 2021, the mental health support commonly known as wraparound or BHRS (Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services) was replaced across Pennsylvania by a new program called Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS). Through IBHS, the Watson Institute and other IBHS providers are able to make mental and behavioral health supports for children and their families […]

What Makes an “All-Star” Teacher?

Educators play an integral role in the personal and academic development of youth. This past year in particular educators went above and beyond to ensure their students were still able to learn and thrive in the face of many obstacles. Allison Painter, a special education teacher at the Watson Institute’s Education Center South, was recognized […]

Mental Health Supports in School

Students with exceptionalities, particularly mental health challenges, may have difficulty thriving in a traditional school setting. Without access to intensive mental health supports in school, students may struggle to balance their emotional well-being with the pressures of school and social circles. According to the National Institute for Mental Health1, one (1) in five (5) children ages […]

What is a Positive Behavior Support Plan?

young female educator reviewing school work with a young female student at her desk in a classroom

If your child’s school conducted a Functional Behavior Assessment to help identify and manage interfering behaviors, they may have included a recommendation to develop and implement a Positive Behavior Support Plan. In this article, you’ll learn what a Positive Behavior Support plan is and how educators and support staff can use this tool to help […]

What is a Functional Behavior Assessment?

Are you receiving reports from school about your child’s challenging behaviors in class? Have these behaviors begun to interfere with your child’s ability to focus on learning while at school? It may be beneficial for your school to conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). In this article, learn what a Functional Behavior Assessment entails and […]

Prevention Strategies for Contextually Inappropriate Masturbation

Sexual education is important for children as they approach adolescence, especially for individuals with disabilities since they are at a greater risk of victimization [1]. There are numerous topics covered by the umbrella term, “sexual education”; it encompasses body awareness, development, consent, dating, relationships, dignity, sexual health, and sexual behaviors. One of these topics, masturbation, […]

Teaching Privacy – Sexual Education for Children with Special Needs

If you are thinking about teaching your child or students about sexual education, be sure to read our introductory piece, “Sexual Education for Children with Disabilities” first.  Now that you know how important sexual education is for children, particularly those with disabilities, let’s discuss privacy. Does the child understand the difference between public and private […]

Sexual Education for Children with Disabilities

The topic of sexual education can be uncomfortable for parents to broach with their children or educators to discuss with their students. However, teaching sexual education is important to your child’s development, particularly if your child has exceptionalities. In this article, we’ll answer a few frequently asked questions about sexual education for children with disabilities. […]