Devereux Pennsylvania Neurobehavioral Unit
Please contact Kelly McCool at 610-431-8191 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Martin Berthold at 610-431-8126 or by email at email@example.com for more information.
The Devereux Neurobehavioral Unit at CIDDS provides intensive, autism-specific treatment for children, ages 6 to 21, with severe behavioral
challenges and skills deficits, which have not responded to treatment in traditional community based or residential settings.
Devereux employs evidenced-based practices across a continuum of care. These practices include a foundation of positive behavior interventions and
supports delivered in a treatment environment that is trauma sensitive and trauma informed. The continuum begins with a comprehensive, functional
behavioral assessment in the family’s home, followed by intensive, clinical services for a period of three to six months on the Devereux CIDDS campus, and
concludes with discharge and after care service planning in partnership with Devereux CARES consultants and BHRS (Wrap Around) services. Our team of
professionals includes Board Certified Behavioral Analysts (BCBAs), a clinical psychologist, child psychiatrist, special education teacher, nurses, speech
language therapist, residential unit supervisor, and direct care providers, specially trained in Applied Behavior Analysis, Picture Exchange Communication
System (PECS), and Individualized Positive Behavior Support.
The program model components are:
In-Home Pre-Admission Consultation: The Neurobehavioral Unit is a program for individuals between the ages of 6 and 21, with a primary diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability,
who demonstrate severe to moderate communication and adaptive behavior skill deficits, and have a history of serious behavioral disorder. The
program is not appropriate for children who have a primary diagnosis of emotional disturbance, exhibit suicidal or homicidal ideation, engage in
sexually aggressive behaviors, or have a significant feeding disorder or other intensive medical needs. Prior to admission, a Devereux therapist
will meet with the family in their home and conduct a functional behavior assessment to determine if the child will benefit from this intensive
step down program. In addition, the “sending team” (the school district, agency, Devereux and the family) will develop an active discharge plan and
establish IEP goals, including reduction in challenging behaviors and instruction in functionally equivalent responses and functional
communication. Families will be asked to sign a treatment participation agreement, as family participation in treatment and education is critical
to the success of the program.
Comprehensive Functional Behavioral Assessment: Includes an initial functional behavioral assessment in the family’s home, and ongoing data-based functional analysis while at CIDDS. Functional
behavioral assessment is a broad term used to describe a number of different methods that allow practitioners to identify the reason a specific
behavior is occurring. This best practice assessment process includes three different methods: 1) informant methods (interviews and
questionnaires), 2) direct observational methods (observer records antecedents, behaviors, and consequences in real time) and 3) functional
analysis (antecedents and consequences are manipulated to see their effects). Results from the functional behavioral assessment are then used to
design an effective treatment plan.
Positive Behavior Support Plan Development and Functional Communication Training:
Daily individual behavioral assessment and intervention sessions are provided by certified Behavior Analysts, who also conduct family training
sessions, and develop intervention and treatment plans. Treatment plans include an individualized communication plan and an individualized Positive
Behavior Intervention Plan across residential, educational, home and community settings. In addition, consistent 1:1 direct care staffing ratios
deliver services at a higher intensity level than traditional RTF services.
Intensive Family/Caregiver Training: An individualized family/caregiver treatment plan is developed during the child’s stay at CIDDS. In addition, each family/caregiver attends a
structured weekly behavioral intervention training program using ABA based curriculum.
Home and School Post-Discharge Consultation:
Discharge goal development and after care service planning are emphasized from the first day of treatment, and include identification of home and
school needs, family resources, and local community services. In-home family services include in-home behavioral assessment and consultation,
community based instruction, integration and step down options within Devereux’s treatment continuum, and a direct partnership with Devereux CARES
Consultants for consultation services and Devereux community services for autism specific after care services (e.g., BHRS/Wrap Around) with a
collaborative transition phase of treatment.