• Devereux Massachusetts

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Programs for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Devereux offers several programs for youth with ASD that incorporate different living arrangements including on-campus units and group homes. The goals of all programs are to help youth improve in the following areas:

  • Increase ability to initiate and maintain positive social relationships
  • Enhance functional living abilities to support greater self-sufficiency
  • Replace challenging behaviors with effective prosocial strategies
  • Decrease chronic feelings of anxiety and improve sensory processing
  • Enhance academic performance and develop vocational competencies

Population Served

Males age 10 to 17 years who have difficulties in the areas of social communication, social cognition and self-regulation.

These youth typically exhibit primary difficulties consistent with:

  • Asperger’s Disorder
  • High Functioning Autism
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder, not otherwise specified
  • Nonverbal Learning Disability

In addition, these youth often carry secondary diagnoses including:

  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • ObsessiveCompulsive Disorder
  • Major Depressive Disorder

Treatment Philosophy

The foundation of treatment is Positive Behavior Support. Multi-disciplinary teams conduct a thorough initial assessment of each child’s abilities in order to create individualized behavior plans based on the child’s strengths. These plans are designed to improve self-efficacy with a systematic focus on social pragmatic skills.

By integrating applied behavior analytic methods with a relational approach, Devereux offers youth and their families a cohesive, supportive and evidence-based model of treatment. In addition to core approaches, a full range of services are provided for optimum care:

  • Functional assessment of behavior
  • 24/7 Focus on social skills development
  • Functional living skills development
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Family support group and aftercare planning
  • Occupational Therapy (fine/gross motor skills)
  • Creation of a ‘sensory profile’ of each youth
  • Regular therapeutic recreation
  • Expressive arts
  • Animal care therapy
  • Adventure Based Counseling
  • Vocational training

"When I first came to Devereux, I used to put myself down. Now I have more confidence in myself. I know if I put my mind to it, I can achieve my goals." -- Alyssa, 16