Leading National Behavioral Healthcare Provider

Call 1-800-345-1292

  • June Awareness Month
  • Foster Care
  • Start an Online Fundraiser Today
  • Carl Clark III
  • Autism Success Story

Tweet Share on LinkedIn Send email Print

From receiving care to starting a career: Devereux’s CAAPP program provides hope

 

Erin Clemens participates in Devereux Pennsylvania’s Community Adult Autism Partnership Program.

Ten years ago, Erin Clemens was struggling with day-to-day activities, relying heavily on family and friends to help guide her through life’s challenges. Going to college or finding employment seemed like unobtainable goals.  

Then, in 2008, her parents turned to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.  

Clemens’ parents enrolled her in Devereux Pennsylvania’s Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP). The program provides individualized and innovative community-based support services for adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other disabilities.  

Facing fears; receiving support

Clemens was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when she was 15-years-old. When the time came for her to start receiving services from Devereux, she felt both relieved and anxious.  

“I had been struggling for so long and needed help, but I was also worried about how much say I would have in what help I’d receive,” Clemens explained. Her fears dissipated over time and she realized she did not need to rely as much on family and friends. Clemens had Devereux Pennsylvania’s CAAPP team to support her with specific life skills including communicating more effectively, and organizing and prioritizing tasks. 

“It’s really great to have someone I can contact and ask, ‘Can you help me figure out how to do this?’ Especially, when I need that kind of help almost daily,” she said. 

A path to a more independent life

Clemens said the program has provided her with the skills needed to increase her independence and improve her overall quality of life.  

“Since working with Devereux CAAPP, I have learned that I am capable of doing things. It might take me a little longer, and I may need some support sometimes, but I am able to do more things on my own,” Clemens said.  

She has since earned her driver’s license and found a job with the same organization that has helped her lead a more fulfilling, productive and socially connected life. She works part-time for Devereux Pennsylvania’s Center for Autism Research and Education Services (CARES). The school provides services to students, ages five to 21, who have been diagnosed with ASD and other developmental disabilities. Programing focuses on teaching each student based on his or her unique strengths and needs. 

 

Clemens shares time with a
pup while volunteering at the Brandywine Valley SPCA.

A bright future ahead

For Clemens, who has moved out of her parents’ house and into her own apartment, Devereux has given her hope. She still utilizes the organization’s services and is now learning how to successfully navigate college. She is studying and, taking it one class at a time. And while she will eventually earn her certificate in early childhood education, Erin has her sights set on becoming a dog trainer. “I hope to transfer the skills I learn into a career working with animals.” 

“There seem to be a lot of people on the autism spectrum who end up falling through the cracks. They work so hard to function in the world that they are seen as ‘too high functioning’ to get the help they need,” Clemens said. “But CAAPP reminds me that I am worthy of being included as a functioning member of society.” 

If it weren’t for Devereux’s CAAPP program, Clemens said she likely would still be living with her parents and possibly unemployed. As for going back to college? She would not have even tried, she said. “Devereux CAAPP has absolutely helped get me to where I am today. From the moment I began receiving services, I have continued to progress,” she said. 

To learn more about CAAPP, contact Amanda Duffy, or click here to learn about our adult programming in Pennsylvania. To learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, click here.

 

Latest News

Dr. Todd Harris   Dr. Todd Harris and Erin Clemens discuss aging with autism on the Beasley Media Group’s Focus on the Delaware Valley podcast

Take a listen as Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Executive Director of Autism Services Dr. Todd Harris, and Erin Clemens, who receives services through Devereux Pennsylvania, discuss growing up and aging with autism on the Beasley Media Group’s Focus on the Delaware Valley podcast.

Gwen Skinner   Supported by Devereux, Erin Clemens celebrates graduation from Delaware County Community College

Erin Clemens, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when she was 15 and receives services through Devereux Pennsylvania, graduated in May from Delaware County Community College.

Gwen Skinner   Article featuring Gwen Skinner: “Mental illness is a serious but treatable problem”

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. will experience a mental health challenge in a given year. Read this Marietta Daily Journal article featuring Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Vice President of Operations Gwen Skinner about raising awareness of behavioral health conditions.

California   Devereux California awarded $6,000 grant for multi-sensory equipment for adults with autism

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health California was recently awarded a $6,000 grant to purchase multi-sensory equipment for adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Golf 2019   Hole in one: Annual golf outing generates more than $150,000 for Devereux Pennsylvania

Wet weather did not dampen the spirits of more than 250 golfers who hit the links for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania’s annual Golf Classic.

Carl E. Clark II   Devereux President and CEO Carl E. Clark II elected to Greenleaf Center’s Board of Trustees

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health announced that President and Chief Executive Officer Carl E. Clark II was elected to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.


More Stories