Special Education School Partners with University OT Programs


At the Watson Institute, a special education school in Western Pennsylvania, offering professional development opportunities for our staff is a critical component to providing comprehensive, high-quality special education services to students with special needs. Our partnerships with local universities provide invaluable professional development opportunities for staff. The Watson Institute works with students in various programs […]

Watson Educator Teaches Community Engagement & Support

Students pictured with Police Officer holding a sweet potato pie

Educators at the Watson Institute’s Friendship Academy are always looking for ways to help our students grow academically and socially. In addition to classroom learning, educators aim to instill the importance of building positive connections in the community. Friendship Academy is a special education school with programs for children between the ages of 5 to […]

Sensory Input for Children with Special Needs


At the Watson Institute, one main objective is helping children with special needs achieve their educational and developmental goals. Educators at Watson are always on the lookout for special education resources and will often research activities, such as those that provide sensory input, to incorporate into daily classroom activities to help our students succeed. Last […]

Fundraiser Helps Students Work on Functional & Vocational Skills

Student with special needs given structured choice

At the Watson Institute, students with special needs learn academic and developmental skills to help them reach their individualized goals. Social and emotional learning are also important skill sets incorporated into students’ daily classroom activities. Feelings such as empathy, compassion, and generosity are taught by example through philanthropic activities. Students in Gabrielle Sikora’s Life Skills […]

How to Find a Child Therapist


Finding the right resources for your child can be a challenge; especially if your child has complex medical or mental health needs. Here are some tips on finding the right therapist for your child, as well as how to navigate the confusing alphabet soup of medical acronyms.  The first step to identifying an appropriate therapist […]

PBIS Program Helps Friendship Students RISE Up!


At the Watson Institute’s Friendship Academy, our team of educators and specialists help students with severe emotional and behavioral challenges achieve their goals, academically and developmentally. At the beginning of last school year, Friendship implemented a school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program to encourage the use of positive behavior interventions and set consistent […]

Watson Alum Overcomes Fear to Become a Future Pilot


Many children dream of becoming a pilot at some point during their childhood, but for Tyler Kefalos, a former student at the Watson Institute LEAP Preschool, that dream is now becoming a reality.  At the Watson institute, our educators equip students with special needs with the skills and mechanisms to overcome obstacles throughout their lives. […]

Celebrate Christmas in July with Charitable Contributions

Wouldn’t it be great to get a jump start on the holidays while wearing your flip flops? You can make an impact in a child’s life by making a charitable contribution to the Watson Institute – all from the comfort of your favorite beach chair! The Watson Institute is a special education organization, serving children […]

Watson Psychologists Present Autism Research

At the Watson Institute, staff are encouraged to pursue research projects in their fields of expertise and publish or present those findings with their industry community. Dr. Amy Camodeca and Dr. Jennifer Croyle, two psychologists in the outpatient behavioral and mental health services department at Watson have spent over three years researching instruments that are […]

A Student’s Special Education Transition Story

At the Watson Institute, special education transition services help prepare our students to make the transition into adulthood after graduation or to transition smoothly back to their school district. We support students with special needs to help them achieve their educational, social, and developmental goals. The length of time a student attends the Watson Institute […]