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.

Preparing Students for Adulthood – Exploring Air Travel

Text reads "Travel Training" and two images of autistic students at the airport in the sensory space

The Watson Institute’s Social Center for Academic Achievement (WISCA) program for autistic students incorporates transition services into the curriculum which aim to prepare students for adulthood. As part of this […]

Preparing for Adulthood: A Student’s Story

Autistic student working in the kitchen at his part-time job.

Students at the Watson Institute begin preparing for adulthood early. Officially, transition curriculum starts at age 14, but activities and projects that help students develop the skills to succeed after […]

Cross-Program Peer Mentoring at Watson

two students sit together reading a book in a classroom

Watson’s peer mentoring program, which started in the WISCA autism school program, has now expanded to other Watson school programs! The Watson Institute’s special education school programs at our Bridgeville, […]

Special Education Assistive Technology is Driving Independence

Two educators watch as a student using a power wheelchair drives down the hallway of a school.

Special education assistive technology has paved the way for students with disabilities to expand the ways in which they learn and grow. At the Watson Institute’s Education Center South, eye […]

A Classroom Therapist’s Career Path Story

Classroom therapist seated at a table with laptop smiling at the camera.

As a former community monitor in juvenile probation (JP), Marino Swanson brings a unique perspective to his role as a Classroom Therapist at Friendship Academy. In fact, he learned of […]

Makerspace Special Education Initiative

What is Makerspace? A Makerspace is a collaborative work space inside a school, library, or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring, and sharing that uses high-tech to no tech […]

Autism Peer Mentoring Program at Watson

At the Watson Institute, our special education teachers and staff work to adapt educational programming to best serve our students’ individualized needs. In the WISCA program, autistic students benefit from […]

What Makes WISCA a Recognized Autism School?

Behavior technician oversees a student shredding papers for their in-house vocational job.

The Watson Institute Social Center for Academic Achievement (WISCA) school program provides autistic students with educational, therapeutic, and behavioral support to help them succeed in and outside the classroom. As […]

From IA to IT – Unique Career Paths at Watson

Then and now comparison of Watson employee, Ryan Young, first pictured with a student when he was an aide in 1998 and now as the director of IT in 2023.

If you had asked Ryan Young when he was a high school graduate where his career would take him, he could not have imagined the path he would follow, leading […]

Achieving Transition Goals Through School-Based Enterprise

three students with autism seated at a table together smiling at the camera while selling hot pretzels

Students with disabilities in the Cupples Center classrooms at the Education Center Sewickley work to build the skills necessary to prepare for their transition into adulthood. One of the ways […]