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.

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. […]

3 Tips to Structure the Holidays for Your Child with Special Needs

As the countdown to the holidays begins, you will likely be wondering how you are going to get it all done on top of your already busy schedule. The holidays can be a challenging time; routines may be changing which can cause stress or induce anxiety in children with special needs. Andee Morris, M.Ed., an […]

Friendship Academy Students Thrive in Blended Learning Model

friendship academy student learning with teacher via a SmartBoard in the classroom

As the school day begins, students wait patiently in their buses outside of Friendship Academy while staff assemble to greet them and escort them to their classrooms. Students attend school in-person two days a week in the blended learning model Friendship Academy has adopted this school year in the wake of COVID-19.  Within the classroom, […]

Supporting Parents of Children with Special Needs

At the Watson Institute, we share the goal of our students’ parents – helping their child succeed. We know that in order for our students to be successful, we also need to support their families. One of the ways we do this is through our parent support groups. Parent Support Groups at Watson Nearly 30 […]

Supporting Students through Virtual Learning

student viewing virtual lessons on smart phone device

At the Watson Institute, helping students with special needs achieve their academic and developmental goals is our priority. Although schools were closed in the second half of the school year for in-person learning, educators at the Watson Institute adapted their approach to ensure our students still received the educational lessons and support they needed to […]