CIDDS’ residential programs are child-centered and
family-focused. The treatment plan addresses the child/adolescent’s strengths,
competencies and needs in a variety of areas including life skills, coping and self-management
skills and effective communication. Cultural, recreational and family involvement are also prioritized areas of focus, in which goals and objectives are identified and specific techniques are implemented to promote change.
The goal is to teach each child how to change their behavioral expressions into socially acceptable forms of behavior. Using a strengths-based planning approach, goals and strategies for each individual are established and taught in a way to realize the greatest level of personal achievement and happiness as possible. For most, this will mean returning home to live with their parents. For some, this will mean semi-independent living as an adult, with community employment and freedom of choice; for others, independence could be as limited as self-care and hygiene and highly-supported living and work environments. No matter where the child falls on the continuum of future independence, therapies and behavioral interventions designed to address specific behaviors can bring about substantial growth.
Every effort is made to ensure that all of CIDDS’ residential homes and cottages reflect a
warm, homelike setting. This approach not only provides a safe, dignified environment for the children but also provides opportunities for experiential learning, where the children can practice life skills needed as an adult, from cooking and cleaning to positive communication, conflict resolution, cooperation and compromise.
Programs of Note:
- PALS (“Promoting
Appropriate Leadership Skills”) Mentoring Program, funded by the Sodowick
Health and Fitness Endowment, enables our teens to experience the joy and satisfaction
of being a mentor to a younger child.
The program emphasizes the importance of commitment and responsibility,
provides many and varied opportunities to practice communication and positive
conflict resolution skills, encourages relationship-building and enables the
mentor and mentee to set and achieve goals.
Perhaps most importantly, the mentor-mentee relationship brings great
strides in pride and self-esteem. The
program is offered in select homes.
- Scouting is also offered in select homes to both
young men and women. Opportunities are
available for the children to interact with troops in the community.
Behavior Disorders (DBD)
and Campus homes in West Chester and
The DBD program is offered to male and female children, ages 10 through 21, with a degree of cognitive limitations ranging from borderline intellectual functioning to mild intellectual disabilities, with IQs ranging from 50 to 75.
This program specifically focuses on improving the emotional and
behavioral condition of the child, as well as developing skills for
communication, self-care, and socialization in a nurturing and positive
environment. This program operates
on-campus as well as in the community.
Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders (ADHD, ODD, CD)
- Impulse Control Disorders
- Intermittent Explosive Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
and Campus homes in West Chester and Downingtown
The I/DD program serves boys and girls, ages 8 through 21, with a degree of intellectual/developmental disability ranging from mild to severe, with IQ scores from 20 to 70. The I/DD program teaches skill development in
self care, communication and positive behavioral change enabling the youth to reach his/her fullest potential.
Responsibility Program (SRP)
The Sexual Responsibility Program provides intensive treatment in a semi-secure setting to adolescent males with intellectual disabilities, ages 12 through 21, who have a history of sexually irresponsible behaviors. Generally, these boys have an IQ score between 50 and 75. Staff-client ratios
of 1:3 provide intensive supervision and treatment
of the youth, with the goal of providing assessment and treatment specifically designed
to assist adolescents with intellectual disabilities to learn to conduct themselves appropriately
in various settings, learn to protect against victimization and to develop skills
in adaptive behaviors that will promote healthy functioning. The SRP program recognizes research on successful
treatment of juvenile with sexual disorders which recommends a more holistic or
whole system of body and mind approach to assessment. This is extremely important because
many of these individuals have histories of abandonment and rejections.
The goals of the Sexual Responsibility
Program are to:
- eliminate sexually irresponsible behavior
- improve communication skills
- develop feelings of empathy
- grow sense of accountability to accept
- demonstrate appropriate responses in varied
Treatment Family Program (TFP)
Foster Homes in Bucks, Chester,
Lancaster and Philadelphia Counties
The Treatment Family Program is a specialized foster family program, designed to service individuals from pre-school through age 21 diagnosed with intellectual/developmental or learning disabilities that often have behavioral challenges as well. This program is based on the premise that
“every child deserves a home”. The aim
of the program is to help individuals learn more adaptive ways to respond to
their environment, reduce challenging behaviors, improve coping and
communication skills and build self-confidence.
The goal is for each child to gain the necessary skills such that
reunification with the biological family/guardian can occur.
Private School for Children with Intellectual and Multiple
The goal of Devereux CIDDS’ Kanner Learning Center is to create
learning opportunities for each student to develop skills that will enable
him/her to live as a respected, healthy individual in the community. The
Kanner Learning Center offers a twelve-month educational program to both
residential and day students. This
includes a seven week extended school year (ESY) program. The program is ungraded with students grouped
by the following criteria: age; functioning levels; and behavioral needs.
Types of special education
supports include Autistic Support, Emotional Support, Life Skills Support and
Multiple Disabilities Support. Class
sizes range from four to eight with student to staff ratios of 1:1, 2:1, and
Special Education Teacher implements each student's IEP (Individualized
Education Plan) with classroom assistance from a Direct Support Professional,
Teacher Assistant and Personal Care Assistants if needed. The Kanner
Learning Center Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) develops the IEP with input
from the student, parents, school district, and other funding agencies. Progress is monitored through the use of
assessments and ongoing data collection of skills and behaviors.
The educational experience
includes a highly-specialized curriculum, designed with five components and
presented with a developmental/functional sequential construct.
Skills/Language: The emphasis is the teaching of appropriate social skills
through direct classroom instruction and naturally occurring opportunities. It
uses a total communication program for teaching language to both verbal and
nonverbal students. The Picture Exchange
System (PECS) is utilized as appropriate. The area of Social/Emotional growth
and development also focuses on how to recognize social boundaries and avoid
- Daily Living Skills:
This includes activities of daily living through routines and task analyses.
Training: This includes routines for
attaining, maintaining, changing or terminating employment. It includes a continuum of services both on
and off campus, including a partnership with Wawa to provide hands-on work
experience in local stores.
Academics: The academics are taught
within five areas, which are Reading, Mathematics, Writing, Social Studies and
- Leisure/Recreation: This includes routines for appropriate skill
building during less structured activities.
The five areas are inter-related
through the Daily Living and Employment Routines so as to create purposeful
teaching opportunities both on campus and in the community.
Programs of Note:
- CIDDS Nurture Center, a companionable zoo program where students care for animals and learn functional, employment and social skills
while building self-esteem and compassion.
- Service Learning,
which uses active participation in service experiences that meet community needs while developing empathy, leadership skills and social responsibility. Students of all ages and skill levels are involved in service learning in a variety of settings. These experiences enhance what is taught in the school by extending learning beyond the classroom and fostering the development of a sense of caring for others. Activities may include, but are not limited to senior companions, tutoring fellow students, hunger awareness, school improvement projects, fund raising projects, health programs, park restoration and homeless shelter assistance.