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Devereux CARES Consultants

Reaching Out to Families

CARES provides state-of-the-art educational services to children with autism spectrum disorders based on their individual assessments.  But to ensure that each child learns most effectively it is important that skills taught in school be reinforced at home.  So each family member is trained and educated by the CARES Consultants so they can incorporate the same educational techniques at home to help students succeed and meet their full potential. 

Reaching Out to Schools

CARES Consultants offer public or other private schools training so they can replicate CARES proven educational strategies.  Professionals can choose onsite workshops at their own educational facility or they can spend time at the Devereux CARES School.  Here they not only experience a series of workshops, but also shadow experienced staff that will focus on real experiences that relate to the contents of the workshops.

Workshops include:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis Instructional Techniques
  • Assessment of Skills
  • IEP Development
  • Setting up Classrooms
  • Developing Functional Classroom Schedules
  • Functional Communication Training – PECS, following schedules, etc.
  • Social Skills Training
  • Visual Enhancement Strategies
  • Evaluating Student Progress
  • Custom Designed Training to meet specific needs of staff or students

CARES Consultants

CARES Consultants are professionals that have dedicated their life to making students, education professionals and families more hopeful by offering training that changes the lives of children and their support network. These experienced consultants are sought after as the best in their field. Here’s why.

  • Possess Doctoral or Master Degrees in Psychology, Education or related fields
  • Have extensive experience working with children as well as consulting with schools and families
  • Utilize an instructional model based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Implement effective programs for growing school districts of students that had traditionally had been placed in approved private schools
  • Offer assistance beyond workshops and in-service training alone – to lead to long-term positive change in staff performance and student gains – via a developed model that includes performance checklists, and team supervision meetings to ensure a more consistent application of instructional techniques.

Consultant Profiles

Kristen M. Villone, Ph.D., BCBA-D is the Director of Consulting Services for Devereux Pennsylvania. Kristen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UCLA and her pre-doctoral training with Drs. Ivar Lovaas and Tristram Smith at UCLA’s Clinic for Early Intervention. She received both her Master’s Degree in Behavior Analysis and her Doctorate in Developmental and Child Psychology from the University of Kansas. Her advising professor at the University of Kansas was Dr. Donald M. Baer. At UCLA, Dr. Villone provided home-based, behavioral therapy with young children with autism in a variety of capacities (behavior therapist, senior therapist, clinic supervisor, workshop consultant) with families and school districts across the country. At the University of Kansas, she served as a supervisor across a variety of settings, including a residential treatment facility for adults with mental retardation, a home-based behavior therapy program with court-mandated families, and a university preschool classroom in the Edna A. Hill Child Development Center.

Upon graduation, Dr. Villone served as Clinic Supervisor for a UCLA early-intervention replication site in Rockville, Maryland. In 2001, Dr.Villone and a colleague developed the School Consultation Department at Bancroft NeuroHealth, which provided classroom-based behavioral training, workshops/in-service training sessions, program development and individualized behavior-support plans for children with a variety of disabilities (Autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, Down’s syndrome, language delays) in New Jersey and Philadelphia-area school districts. In 2003, she continued to provide these types of services as Melmark’s Director of Consultative Services, where she also conducted program evaluations and provided expert testimony across the country and in Canada. In 2008, Dr. Villone served as Senior Clinical Behavior Analyst at the Melmark School, training and supervising staff to provide clinical and educational programming for students with severe challenging behaviors.

Dr. Villone has presented at major universities (Georgetown, University of Maryland, University of Kentucky, Howard University, American University, Auburn University), national-level conferences (Association of Behavior Analysis, Association for the Education of Young Children), state-level conferences (New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community, Alabama’s Department of Education, New York State’s Board of Cooperative Educational Services), and international-level conferences (Manitoba Families for Effective Autism Treatment, Association of Behavior Analysis-Toronto). In 2007, Lorman Educational Services published her manual “Developing Behavior Plans for Aggressive Children.” Dr. Villone is Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis and the Association for Science in Autism Treatment.

Todd Harris, Ph.D. is the Director of Autism Services for Devereux Pennsylvania.  Previously, he was the Director of Devereux’s Center for Autism Research and Education Services (CARES), an approved private school, consultation and training program and community-based adult program located in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Todd received his doctorate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he focused upon the use of applied behavior analysis techniques to instruct and support autistics students and their families. Todd has taught Autism Specialization courses at the University of Delaware, in addition to publishing and presenting research in the areas of teaching functional communication skills and PECS, staff and family support and training practices, community-based transition programming, and methods to reduce unwanted behaviors through positive approaches.
He is an advisory board member for the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies as well as a member of the peer review committee for the Delaware Autism Program.

Cathleen Albertson, MA, BCBA, is the Clinical Coordinator for Devereux CARES in Downingtown, PA where she oversees all clinical aspects of the school and transition program. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Richmond in Richmond, VA and her Master’s Degree in Psychology from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2006.  Ms. Albertson’s began her career at Melmark and was appointed Director of Children’s Residential Services, where she was charged with the oversight and management of complex special education programming. Ms. Albertson has presented at national and regional conferences.  Areas of interest include staff training, transition services, collaboration with multiple disciplines, and feeding disorders.

Kate Dickey, M.S. Ed., is an independent contractor for Devereux CARES Consultants where she provides educational consultation, training, and positive behavior support to area school districts and their families. Ms. Dickey graduated from West Chester University with a degree in Communicative Disorders and earned her Master’s degree in Education with a specialty in Applied Behavior Analysis from Temple University. Ms. Dickey possesses 25 years of experience working in the field of autism and related Intellectual Disabilities. Some of her more recent work experience includes the New Jersey Center for Autism, Pyramid Educational Consultants, Gloucester County Special Services School District and Devereux CARES Consultants. She has presented at national and regional conferences. In addition, she has developed and implemented multiple training protocols for different settings and target groups. Areas of interest include: instructional strategies, observational and feedback protocols, staff training and progress monitoring.

Brandee El Attar, MS, currently works at Devereux CARES where she is as an educational consultant, assisting area school districts in service improvement to students with ASD's, as well as the past transition grant manger for CARES. She is a graduate of Shippensburg University where she received a Master of Science degree in psychology. Mrs. El Attar has vast experience supporting individuals with autism over the past twelve years, including work in early intervention consulting.  She served as clinical director and clinical coordinator for two adult programs, Keystone Service Systems and The Chimes; which were focused on providing residential and employment options for adults on the spectrum.   Her primary tasks at CARES focus on staff development and support based on data driven models that result in the effective delivery of programs that prepare school-aged students with ASDs to transition to adulthood.   She has led various workshops and has presented at conferences including EPA, Penn ABA and PDE.  Additionally, she currently oversees the autism educational training for individuals working in Chester County.       

CARES Consultants can help your family, school and community improve the quality of life for your students with autism disorders. Call for details on programs and learning activities or to set up an appointment at 610-873-4930.

Christine Ivanick, M.S., is the Educational and Behavior Consultant for Devereux CARES. Christine Ivanick has been a professional in the field of autism since 1986 and has been a part of both community-based direct service programs and consultation and training programs throughout that time. Since coming to Devereux CARES in 2007, Ms. Ivanick has provided community-based consultation and training to educational, vocational and residential agencies and families for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) across the life-span. In addition, Christine assists with the coordination of as well as participation in the CARES Autism Summer Institute, a three-day workshop and training series.  Christine received her Masters of Science Degree from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro in Child Development and Family Studies and a BA in Psychology and Human Development from Indiana University in Bloomington.  Christine received her training in Positive Behavior Support through the Research and Training Center, a national network of positive behavior support training in 1990 while working as an educational consultant at the Institute for the Study of Developmental Disabilities at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Ongoing interests include increasing skills for individuals on the autism spectrum using positive behavior support, community involvement for individuals with ASD across the lifespan, especially into adulthood, and social skills research and interventions for individuals with ASD.

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