Devereux  Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania

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Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders

Devereux Pennsylvania supports children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders in the development of communication, social and independence skills needed to realize fulfilling, productive and socially connected lives. All programs and services utilize evidenced-based strategies, including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and Applied Behavior Analysis.

Services include:

Devereux Pennsylvania Autism Assessment Center

Jenny Nielsen, Ph.D., BCBA-D – Clinical Director
Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services (CIDDS)
(610) 431-8830
600 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA 19335

To schedule an appointment, or for more information, please contact: Jenny Nielsen - Clinical Director.

The Devereux Pennsylvania Autism Assessment Center provides families with swift access to autism assessment and diagnostic services. Unlike most assessment programs, which can have wait times as long as 18 months, our assessment center team can arrange an appointment with your family within four weeks of your initial call. As the assessments can take several hours to complete, our Autism Assessment Center features a family room equipped with a stocked kitchenette, a play area and a computer with Internet access. Breaks are provided during the assessment process, as needed. With same-day preliminary feedback – followed by a detailed evaluation report with assessment information, diagnosis and recommendations – families can consult with Devereux professionals to discuss the report and receive guidance on the best, local services available to support your child and family.

Assessment Services

  • In-take evaluation (reviewing relevant history and background)
  • ADOS-II (Autism Diagnosis Observation Schedule)
  • Assessments completed by masters or doctoral level clinicians trained to clinical reliability standards on the ADOS-II, under the supervision of a licensed doctoral level psychologist. Other professionals, such as speech/language therapists and psychiatrists, are available as needed for consultation or direct assessment
  • Detailed evaluation report with diagnosis and recommendations
  • Same-day preliminary feedback
  • Consultation meeting to discuss evaluation report
  • Guidance on accessing appropriate community services available in the community 

At the Devereux Pennsylvania Autism Assessment Center, our licensed professionals have extensive training and experience delivering evidence-based assessments and interventions. Equally important is the caring and support we provide to families, giving them the answers they need for prompt access to services to help their loved ones build skills and achieve greater independence.

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Short-Term Autism Intensive Residential Services

Kelly McCool
(610) 431-8191

Erin Thomas
(610) 431-8126

The Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Intellectual/Developmental Disability Services (CIDDS) center’s Short-Term Autism Intensive Residential Services (STAIRS) program – a Neurobehavioral unit – provides intensive treatment for children and adolescents, ages six to 21, who have not responded to treatment in traditional community-based or residential settings. 

STAIRS serves individuals with a primary diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder and/or intellectual and developmental disability who demonstrate severe to moderate communication and adaptive behavior skill deficits. These youth also have a history of a serious behavioral disorder, defined as frequent and intense aggression, and/or self-injurious behavior, as well as other behaviors that are dangerous to self or others. 

The program employs evidenced-based practices across a continuum of care. These practices include a foundation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) 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.  More>>

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Devereux Pennsylvania – CIDDS Residential Treatment

Devereux Pennsylvania provides a wide array of 24-hour, out-of-home residential programs for children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A team of caring, talented staff are dedicated to helping each individual achieve social, emotional and educational goals and return to their home communities. More>>

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Devereux Pennsylvania – Approved Private Schools

Devereux Pennsylvania’s Approved Private Schools are state-licensed schools operated by private agencies and provide special education day and/or residential programs for students with disabilities. The school district and the state will share in the cost to place a child in an Approved Private School if the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team determines that the educational needs of the child cannot be met in a general education environment. Parents also may choose to privately fund the tuition cost of an Approved Private School. While placements are typically within state, children may be placed in an out-of-state program if an in-state school is not available.

Devereux Pennsylvania's Center for Autism Research and Education Services (CARES)
600 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA 19335
(610) 873-4930
Description: Co-ed day school for children with autism, ages five to 21. For more information, click here.
Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities – CIDDS Learning Center
390 E. Boot Road, West Chester, PA 19380
(610) 425-6309
Description: Co-ed day and residential programs for children, ages five to 21, with autism, other intellectual disabilities and mental health diagnoses.
Transition programs: Our transition programs for adolescents and young adults focus on achieving independence in self-care routines; domestic, employment, community-based and recreational skills; human sexuality; mobility training; and self-determination skills. We use person-centered futures planning and community-based instruction to support our students as they prepare for adulthood.

Families and caregivers play an integral role at Devereux Pennsylvania. Collaboration is facilitated through frequent, informal communication among teachers and families, as well as scheduled meetings for: an IEP, Futures Planning, and Parent-Teacher Organization and Quality Improvement meetings.

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Devereux Pennsylvania – CARES School and Family Consultation

Devereux Pennsylvania’s Center for Autism Research and Educational Services (CARES) is a noted leader in autism services in the Philadelphia region and beyond. CARES serves children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities, ages five to 21 years of age – and their families and schools – in the greater tri-state area, as well as nationally and internationally. 

The mission of CARES, from its on-site educational program to its highly regarded consultation unit, is to ensure that students are given the greatest opportunity for success as adults. Devereux CARES utilizes evidence-based instructional strategies implemented through the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as a strong foundation upon which our children can realize levels of happiness and personal fulfillment. CARES consultants help enable all those who touch the lives of students with autism spectrum disorders to learn and duplicate research-based educational strategies to improve the quality of life for each child in all settings – home, school and community

Contact information: 
Kristen M. Villone, Ph.D., BCBA-D
(484) 667-9850

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Devereux Pennsylvania CARES – Ascent School to Work Transition Program

Ascent – a program from Devereux Pennsylvania’s Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP) – assists school districts in meeting the unique needs of transition-aged students (ages 14 to 21) who do not benefit from spending a full school day in the classroom. The transition model emphasizes independence, employment readiness, community-based instruction and positive behavior support planning. With the support of the highly qualified Devereux specialists who work with the school’s IEP team, students develop appropriate and effective skills that will facilitate independence throughout their adult lives.

Program Components:

  • Assessment: Employment interests and readiness, community and independent living skills, social and communication skills, person-centered futures planning, functional behavior assessment 
  • Employment preparation and placement: Placement and support in community-based job and training sites, instruction in critical skills, portfolio and resume development  
  • Direct instruction in community-based skills, independent living skills, social skills, communication skills  
  • Positive behavior support planning: Skilled oversight by master’s level or higher professionals, training and support to all levels of direct service staff, data collection, monitoring, and reporting.

Contact Information:
Amanda Duffy
(610) 688-8597

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Devereux Pennsylvania – Wrap-Around Services  

Devereux Pennsylvania Wrap Around Program
Strafford, PA

Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS), or "Wrap-Around” Services, are designed for children in the state of Pennsylvania, ages two to 21, who meet the criteria for Medical Assistance. The goal of Wrap-Around Services is to support a child in his or her natural environment (home, school, community) with behavioral interventions overseen by a master's level clinician.

Contact Information:
Crissy Auger
(610) 688-1205

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