• Devereux Pennsylvania

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Children & Adolescents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (CIDDS)

390 East Boot Road
West Chester, PA 19380
Phone: (610) 431-8100
Mel Beidler, Executive Director

Children’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services (CIDDS) serves children, adolescents and young adults from birth to 21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, as well as behavioral and emotional disorders.  Each year, more than 1,000 children and adolescents receive specialized care in the environment best suited to the challenges they face, all with the goal of providing each child with the academic, social, emotional and life skills needed to flourish in their home community

CIDDS services include two Approved Private Day Schools, community-based mental health services, community based employment training and social skills training, therapeutic foster care and a full-time residential program.

Individuals and families not located near our service areas are encouraged to contact us for help and information.  We are proud to serve individuals from across the country.

For detailed information on our Autism Programs please refer to our Autism page. For services provided by Devereux Pocono, please click here.

CIDDS Approved Private Schools

CIDDS Learning Center, West Chester PA

For children with a primary diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, please visit Devereux CARES

For children and youth with intellectual and developmental disability, the CIDDS Learning Center offers individualized academic instruction as well as social and emotional supports tailored to the needs of each student.  Our wonderful teaching staff provides caring, personalized attention and purposeful learning opportunities, with a strong focus on the transition from school to work.  The goal of Devereux CIDDS’ Learning Center is to create learning opportunities that develop skills that will enable each student to live as a respected, healthy individual in the community.  

Each student has an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), which outlines goals for skill development and the best strategies by which the student can reach his or her goals.  Each student’s teacher, with classroom assistance from a Direct Support Professional, Teacher Assistant and Personal Care Assistants if needed, ensures implementation of the IEP.  A multi-disciplinary team, including the individual’s parent(s) or guardian, regularly reviews the plan to discuss challenges, progress and adjustments to goals as appropriate. 

The learning environment focuses on building upon the unique strengths of each student.  Therefore, CIDDS strives to offer a breadth of opportunities for its students to express themselves and find personal levels of accomplishment, in activities such as: Special Olympics; talent shows and school dances; student government; peer mentoring; service learning; community gardening;  and employment education, both in the classroom and in the community.

Core Curriculum:

  • Functional Academics
  • Social Skills and Language
  • Daily Living Skills
  • Technology
  • Employment Training\School to Work
  • Art
  • Animal Assisted Therapy
  • Community Service
  • Leisure and Recreation
  • Health and Wellness

Residential Programs

Short-Term Autism Intenstive Residential Services, West Chester PA
IDD Program, West Chester and Downingtown PA
Disruptive Behavior Disorders Program, West Chester PA
Sexual Responsibility Program, West Chester PA

Devereux Pennsylvania provides a rich, evolving continuum of 24 hour, out-of-home residential services  for children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  A team of caring, talented staff is dedicated to helping each indvidual achieve social, emotional, behavioral and educational goals and return to their home communities.

Under the umbrella of CIDDS, there are four different residential programs, each with their own focus, customizing the entire treatment environment to serve the unique needs of children and adolescents served.  Common throughout all the residential programs, however, is the evidence based practice of Program-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PW-PBIS), which infuses all aspects of care.

The goal of CIDDS’ residential programs is to provide each child, and their families, with the skills and resources needed to reach the greatest level of personal happiness and success 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.  Family friendly strategies are developed while the child is in treatment with the goal of training and transferring these skills to the family and/or caretakers, in order to facilitate a successful discharge to the home environment.

Every effort is made to insure 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.

Children and adolescents served by the residential programs will attend the educational program which best suits their needs.  This includes public schools, intermediate unit programs and the CIDDS Learning Center or Devereux CARES.

Foster Care for Children and Adolescents

Available to residents of Delaware and Philadelphia Counties

Devereux CIDDS offers a range of foster care services in southeast Pennsylvania, all with the goal of supporting children and young adults who have experienced trauma in their personal histories, with the ultimate goal of re-uniting the children with their biological families.  Children as young as one month to young adults age 21 find support from Devereux, which include general foster care, mother/baby care, and therapeutic foster care (in Philadelphia, known as specialized behavioral health foster care).   Devereux CIDDS also has a specialized foster care program, called the Treatment Family Program, which serves children and youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  

Devereux has received accolades for its specialized behavioral health foster care program and is lauded for its excellence in serving children with significant emotional and behavioral challenges, as well as children on the autism spectrum. Whether provided after completion of a more intense level of care, lack of success in other placements, or for those at risk of residential placement, specialized behavioral health foster care offers a stable, supportive, consistent, and attentive home environment. 

Resource (foster) parents are the primary agent of change for the children and young adults they support. As an industry thought leader, Devereux provides our foster parents with in-depth education on evidence based therapies proven to have a positive impact on some of our community’s most vulnerable youth.

All resource parents undergo rigorous screening and training before admission into the program.  They are expected to complete 30 hours of pre-service training and 24 hours of annual training after they become resource parents.  Devereux’s full-time trainer delivers ongoing education monthly in the homes, enabling the education to be personalized to each foster family.

Community-Based and Other Specialized Services

CIDDS believes in the importance of supporting children with intellectual and development disabilities, and their families, within their own neighborhoods.  We are dedicated to providing specialized assessment and wrap-around services within home, school, and other community based settings in southeast Pennsylvania.

Autism Assessment Center

Providing Timely Answers, Support, and Resources for Families

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 two weeks of your initial call. As the assessments can take several hours to complete, Devereux’s 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

Available to residents of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

Assessment is a gateway to a multitude of services designed to support the specific needs of children. Through Devereux’s Assessment Services, a child may be diagnosed with a learning disability, attention disorder, or other emotional or psychiatric disorder.  Once evaluation is complete, Devereux staff expertly can guide the family on the next steps in accessing and developing an effective plan of supports.

Behavioral Health Rehabilitation (BHRS) Services

Available to residents of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties 

Since 1998, Devereux has been providing BHRS Services to children and adolescents between the ages of two and 21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with the goal of treating the individual in his or her home, school and community.   BHRS is a process that strives to create positive outcomes – such as problem solving and coping skills - for the child through a structured and individualized process that is family-centered and culturally competent.

Our staff works as a team—Behavioral Specialist Consultant, Mobile Therapist, Therapeutic Staff Support and Case Manager—with the individual’s family members to provide them with the tools needed to help the individual succeed in his or her environment.  We also seek to build a family’s “natural supports” - their network of social and community relationships (such as teachers, coaches and friends) that can be a source of strength for the child and family.

Contact us to determine if your family member can benefit from Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services.

Community Adult Autism Partnership Program

The mission of the Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP) is to provide individualized, community-based supports to individuals age 18 through adulthood with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities, as well as their families. Instruction and support is provided across work, community and home environments in an effort to increase independence, enhance quality of life, and facilitate individuals in becoming socially connected, productive, and personally-fulfilled members of their communities.

Program components include:

  • Employment Assessment and Training in collaboration with the Community Supported Employment Program.
  • Community Based Instruction
  • Service Learning and Volunteer Opportunities

Individual Support Plans are developed in collaboration with the county supports coordinator, Devereux, and most importantly, the individual and their family/caregiver. Goals are individualized to a person’s specific needs and interests and progress is closely monitored through data collection, team meetings, and frequent communication amongst team members.

CAAPP accepts the following funding sources: Consolidated/ P/FDS Waivers; Adult Autism Waiver; OBRA, Commcare and Independence Waivers; School district funding; and Private pay options

Families without funding can contact CAAPP’s program director for more information regarding requirements and steps to securing funding.

CIDDS Learning Center

The CIDDS Learning Center offers a year round 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 3:1. 

The educational experience includes a highly-specialized curriculum, designed with five components and presented with a developmental/functional sequential construct. 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.

  • Social 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 exploitation. 
  • Daily Living Skills: This includes activities of daily living through routines and task analyses.
  • Employment 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.
  • Functional Academics: The academics are taught within five areas, which are Reading, Mathematics, Writing, Social Studies and Science.
  • Leisure/Recreation: This includes routines for appropriate skill building during less structured activities.

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.  CIDDS recently has partnered with the Chester County Food Bank and participates in its growing program to provide fresh produce to families in need in Chester County.

Contact for More Information/Admissions:
Maryann Misetic, Education Compliance Specialist 
390 East Boot Road 
West Chester, PA 19380 
(610) 425-6309 Telephone 
(610) 696-2185 

Residential Programs

Contact for More Information/Admissions:
(866)532-2212 (Telephone)
(610) 430-0567 (Fax)

Kelly McCool, Admissions Manager - (610) 431-8191
Martin Berthold, Admissions Manager - (610) 431-8126

Short-Term Autism Intensive Residential Services

The Devereux Neurobehavioral Unit (NBU) at CIDDS provides intensive, autism-specific treatment for children, ages 6 to 21, with severe behavioral challenges and skills deficits, which have not responded to treatment in traditional community based or residential settings.

Devereux NBU employs evidenced-based practices across a continuum of care. These practices include a foundation of positive behavior interventions and supports 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. The NBU 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. Click here for more information.

Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD)

Community and Campus homes in West Chester and Downingtown

The I/DD program serves boys and girls, ages 6 through 21, with a degree of intellectual and developmental disability ranging from mild to severe, with IQ scores from 20 to 60.  These children also exhibit significant behavioral challenges including self-injury, physical aggression and property destruction.  The I/DD program teaches skill development, positive behavioral change, communication and self-care enabling the youth to reach his or her fullest potential.

Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DBD)

Community and Campus homes in West Chester and Downingtown

The DBD program is offered to male and female children, ages 10 through 21, with IQs ranging from 50 to 75 who display significant behavioral challenges including physical aggression, property destruction and poor conflict resolution.  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.

Diagnoses may include:

  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
  • Impulse Control Disorders
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Sexual Responsibility Program (SRP)

Semi-secured campus residential treatment program in West Chester

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, and many have histories of abandonment and rejection.

The program is staff-rich, providing individualized 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 that will enable them to be a positively engaged member of the community.