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Celebrating Our Devereux Families

At Devereux, our families play an integral role in achieving successful treatment and outcomes for children, adolescents and adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. Devereux’s unique approach combines evidence-based interventions with compassionate family engagement to provide practical, effective and efficient care. Look below to read stories celebrating our families, and learn how Devereux provides hope, compassion and healing as we work together, with our families, to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve every day.

 

Samantha VanAlstyne   Devereux New York adult writes children’s book about journey with cerebral palsy

Samantha VanAlstyne is a devoted aunt, dedicated college student - and most recently - published author. VanAlstyne, who receives services through Devereux New York, wrote a children’s book titled, “Hi, I’m Sam,” about her journey with cerebral palsy and learning self-acceptance.

Erin Clemens   Building a healthier tomorrow: Erin Clemens explains why she wanted to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

Erin Clemens, who receives services through Devereux Pennsylvania, waited the recommended two weeks after receiving the second dose of her COVID-19 vaccine to do something she had not done since the beginning of the pandemic - give her mother, who also was fully vaccinated, a great big hug.

Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM   Autism Journey article features Devereux’s Amy Kelly: "The unexpected, invisible gifts of COVID-19 and autism"

Read this Autism Journey article featuring Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, as she shares four things she learned to embrace during the pandemic, while raising a daughter with autism.

Devereux Pocono   Parents explain why they turned to Devereux Pocono to support son

Evon and Rick Peet recently wrote a letter to Devereux team members, explaining why they wanted their son to receive services through Devereux Pocono, and praising the organization for its commitment to excellence and quality of care. Look below to read their heartfelt letter.

Emily Judovits   Securing meaningful employment through Devereux Pennsylvania’s CAAPP program

Emily Judovits and Joey Baumgart credit Devereux Pennsylvania’s Community Adult Autism Partnership Program, which provides individualized and innovative community-based support services for adults with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities, with teaching them essential job and social skills, and helping them thrive in the community.

Isaac Hammond   Achieving independence through Devereux New Jersey’s community employment program

When Isaac Hammond sets a goal for himself, all those around the 34-year-old know it is only a matter of time before he will achieve success. Hammond, who is enrolled in Devereux New Jersey’s community employment program, recently celebrated his two-year anniversary of continuous employment.

Devereux Pennsylvania’s Children’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services   Devereux Pennsylvania foster parent helps children thrive and achieve goals

For more than four years, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania therapeutic foster parent Shereen Evans has provided a safe, supportive and loving home for children in need. Since August 2019, Evans has worked with Devereux Pennsylvania’s Children’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services Philadelphia foster care program to help youth living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences reach their full and unique potential.

Lifesharing   Devereux Pocono family receives award from Pennsylvania Lifesharing Coalition

Devereux Pocono life share providers, Suzanne McPherson and her husband, Matthew Sinclair, recently received the Pennsylvania Lifesharing Coalition’s Northeast Region “2020 Excellence in Lifesharing Award” for their dedication and commitment to helping adults in need.

Amy Kelly   UpJourney article features Devereux’s Amy Kelly: “How to make online learning more engaging and interactive”

Read this UpJourney article featuring Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, as she offers creative ways to engage students through remote instruction. Kelly suggests teachers can 1) hold an online scavenger hunt; 2) start a digital “show and tell;” and 3) challenge students to create virtual field trips. Note: Kelly’s section can be found about half-way into the article.

Rock the vote   Devereux empowers adults to make their voices heard through voting

Voting is a way of making decisions and expressing views, and Devereux is committed to helping ensure adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.

Danny and Annie   Autism through a different lens - A sibling’s perspective

Read this heartwarming article - featured in Autism Spectrum News - from Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, and her son, Danny, who shares an essay about his personal journey with his sister who has autism. Danny writes, “Annie’s influence spreads into every aspect of my life, and she has given me the inspiration to make an impact in the world around me.”

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health New York   Devereux New York adult inspired to write ‘thank you’ rap song for essential employees

Wayne Robinson, who receives services through Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health New York, is using his musical talents to give thanks to the center’s front-line staff for providing the best possible care and support during COVID-19. Robinson is enrolled in Devereux New York’s adult self-advocacy program, and was recently inspired to write a rap song to show his gratitude and appreciation for the center’s essential employees.

Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM   Speech Blubs article features Devereux’s Amy Kelly: “Creative Alternatives for Continued Learning for Children with Special Needs”

Read this Speech Blubs article featuring Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, as she offers creative alternatives for continued learning - at home - to help children with special needs develop the skills needed to grow and thrive. Kelly says, “When it comes time to return to the classroom, your child will be positioned for success.”

Amy Kelly   Amy Kelly shares tips for helping children with special needs adapt to remote instruction on The Autism Dad podcast

Listen as Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, who is a mother of three children, including one with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities, shares tips for helping children with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences find new routines and successfully adapt to remote instruction on The Autism Dad podcast.

Rayni Brindley, M.Ed., BCBA   Autism Journey article features Rayni Brindley: “A letter to fellow parents of children with special needs”

Read this Autism Journey article featuring Devereux Senior Vice President of Organizational Development Rayni Brindley, M.Ed., BCBA, as she shares tips for fellow parents of children with special needs to stay safe, healthy - and calm - during COVID-19.

Devereux’s Amy Kelly   Article features Devereux’s Amy Kelly: “Four ways to help kids and adults with special needs adapt to wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic”

Read this 30Seconds.com article featuring Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, as she offers tips to help individuals with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences adapt to wearing face masks in public.

Amy and Annie   Creative alternatives for continued learning for children with special needs

Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, offers creative alternatives for continued learning - at home - to help children with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences develop essential life skills.

Amy Kelly   Article features Devereux’s Amy Kelly: “Tips for working from home (and finding relief) with your children out of school”

For many parents and caregivers, working from home during COVID-19 (while your children are out of school or day care) can present unique challenges, especially if you are caring for a child with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. Read this Autism Spectrum News article featuring Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly as she offers tips for adapting to these changes.

Amy Kelly   Podcast: Devereux’s Amy Kelly shares tips for helping families with special needs cope during a pandemic

For many families, maintaining a regular schedule during school closures and social distancing can be challenging, especially if you are caring for a child or adult with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. Listen as Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, who is a mother of three teenage children (one with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities), shares tips to help parents and caregivers cope with a pandemic on WXPN’s Kathy Chats podcast.

Erin Clemens   Erin Clemens shares her journey with autism on the My Autism Tribe podcast

Listen as Erin Clemens, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when she was 15 and receives services through Devereux Pennsylvania, shares her journey with autism on the My Autism Tribe podcast.

Rayni Brindley, M.Ed., BCBA   Devereux’s Rayni Brindley writes letter to fellow parents of children with special needs

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Senior Vice President of Organizational Development Rayni Brindley, M.Ed., BCBA, whose 7-year-old son has autism, recently wrote a letter to fellow parents of children with special needs, offering tips to stay safe, healthy - and calm - during COVID-19.

Devereux’s Amy Kelly   Article features Devereux’s Amy Kelly: “Four ways to help kids and adults with special needs adapt to wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic”

Read this 30Seconds.com article featuring Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, as she offers tips to help individuals with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences adapt to wearing face masks in public.

Amy and Annie   Creative alternatives for continued learning for children with special needs

Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, offers creative alternatives for continued learning - at home - to help children with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences develop essential life skills.

Amy Kelly   Article features Devereux’s Amy Kelly: “Tips for working from home (and finding relief) with your children out of school”

For many parents and caregivers, working from home during COVID-19 (while your children are out of school or day care) can present unique challenges, especially if you are caring for a child with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. Read this Autism Spectrum News article featuring Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly as she offers tips for adapting to these changes.

Amy Kelly   Podcast: Devereux’s Amy Kelly shares tips for helping families with special needs cope during a pandemic

For many families, maintaining a regular schedule during school closures and social distancing can be challenging, especially if you are caring for a child or adult with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. Listen as Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, who is a mother of three teenage children (one with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities), shares tips to help parents and caregivers cope with a pandemic on WXPN’s Kathy Chats podcast.

Erin Clemens   Erin Clemens shares her journey with autism on the My Autism Tribe podcast

Listen as Erin Clemens, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when she was 15 and receives services through Devereux Pennsylvania, shares her journey with autism on the My Autism Tribe podcast.

Autism Spectrum News   Article featuring Devereux’s Amy Kelly: “Assembling an emergency toolkit for children with disabilities”

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for families of children with disabilities to be prepared for any emergency. Read this Autism Spectrum News article featuring Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly as she shares her emergency toolkit essentials.

Amy Kelly   Amy Kelly shares tips for helping families with special needs during the COVID-19 crisis on the My Autism Tribe podcast

Take a listen as Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, shares tips for helping families and caregivers of children with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences cope with the COVID-19 public health crisis on the My Autism Tribe podcast.

Finding a voice   Finding a voice: Self-advocacy in action at Devereux New Jersey

One day per week, in one of 10 Devereux New Jersey vocational programs located across the Garden State, adults meet with staff to learn more about how to advocate for themselves.

Amy Kelly   Article featuring Amy Kelly: “COVID-19: Helping families with special needs during a public health crisis”

Read this Autism Journey article featuring Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, as she shares steps families and caregivers of individuals with special needs can take to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clemens Poetry   Erin Clemens’ journey with autism through poetry

Erin Clemens, who receives services through Devereux Pennsylvania, was recently inspired to write a poem about her journey with autism.

Mary Pangle   Devereux Florida foster parent retires after 50 years of helping more than 200 youth

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Florida foster parent Mary Pangle retired this summer after providing a loving and nurturing home to more than 200 children over 50 years.

Red Hook Graduation   The future is bright: Family celebrates son’s graduation from Devereux New York

Lena and Paul Martino credit Devereux New York with helping their son, Cristinel, grow and thrive. Cristinel recently graduated from Devereux New York’s Red Hook School.

Intensive Family Coaching   Devereux Pennsylvania’s intensive family coaching program helps family

Joaquin and Tina Angles credit Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania’s intensive family coaching program with helping them build a more positive, healthy relationship with their twin boys.

Gwen Skinner   Supported by Devereux, Erin Clemens celebrates graduation from Delaware County Community College

Erin Clemens, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when she was 15 and receives services through Devereux Pennsylvania, graduated in May from Delaware County Community College.

Autism Day   Erin Clemens: A poem to her parents on World Autism Awareness Day

In honor of World Autism Awareness Day, Erin Clemens, who receives services through Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania, was inspired to write a poem to her parents.

Pennsylvania autism partnership   Local man achieving goals, thanks to Pennsylvania autism partnership

“Since I’ve been here at Devereux, I’ve been seeing what I can do, and what others like me can do.” Read about John Pagnoni and how Devereux Pennsylvania’s CAAPP program is helping make his dreams a reality in this inspiring article - featured in the Chester County Press.

  Autism through a different lens: A sibling’s perspective

“Annie’s influence spreads into every aspect of my life … she has given me the inspiration to make an impact in the world around me.” Read this inspiring and heartwarming article - featured in Autism Journey - from Devereux Director of Family and Community Services Amy Kelly, and her son, Danny.

  Giving back: Family brightens holiday season for youth at Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS

The holidays are a time of giving, and for Mary and Mark Bainbridge - whose son, Robert, received services through Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health - they are a time of giving back.

  Devereux Pennsylvania’s CAAPP program helps make dreams a reality

Growing up, John Pagnoni had a passion for cooking. He and his grandmother would watch Food Network shows featuring celebrity chefs such as Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri to gather ideas and learn new skills.

  From receiving care to starting a career: Devereux’s CAAPP program provides hope

Ten years ago, Erin Clemens was struggling with day-to-day activities, relying heavily on family and friends to help guide her through life’s challenges. Going to college or finding employment seemed like unobtainable goals. Then, in 2008, her parents turned to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.

  Devereux youth shares moving graduation speech

Justinee Rafter told the Devereux admissions team she was not interested in her education. But thanks to a team of compassionate and caring clinicians, teachers and staff at the Devereux Pennsylvania - Children’s Behavioral Health Services center, three years later - something changed. This summer, Justinee graduated from the Devereux Day School in Malvern, Pa.

  FCC selects Devereux Florida foster parents as its ‘Foster Parents of the Year’

During the Florida Coalition for Children’s (FCC) annual convention in July, the organization selected Devereux foster parents Bobby Sharp and Everett Kamuchey as its “Foster Parents of the Year.”

  Devereux N.Y. holds first ‘Self-Advocate Gala’ for adults with disabilities

This summer, Devereux New York held its first “Self-Advocate Gala” for adults served by the nonprofit behavioral healthcare provider. The gala was coordinated by the organization’s “Adult Self-Advocacy Group.”

  Devereux video: Listening to Our Families

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health has released a new video, in which Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical/Medical Officer Dr. Yolanda Graham interviews parent Andrea McArthur about her experience with our organization.

  Tips for a Successful Family Outing with Your Child with Autism or Developmental Disabilities

Coordinating family activities can be a challenging task for any parent. But when one or more of your children have autism or a developmental disability, a simple walk to the park can become overwhelming, or could even prevent families from enjoying much-needed quality time together.

  Devereux foster parents honored by the Adoptive & Foster Parent Association of Georgia

The Adoptive & Foster Parent Association of Georgia recently named Devereux Georgia foster parents Stacey and Shatee Cooks as its “Foster Parents of the Year.”

  Family members of Devereux PA youth raise $8,000 for the organization

Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, Devereux is able to continue the vision of its founder - Helena Devereux - to help build a life of resilience, self-fulfillment and happiness for people of all abilities. Recently, Cindy and Matt Puscar raised $8,000 for Devereux Pennsylvania to create a sensory room for youth with special needs.

  When a child asks you to become her adoptive parents …

Although they never fully shared their thoughts about adoption with one another until the opportunity was posed by a 14-year-old child facing foster care, Jason and Jill considered expanding their family.

  Devereux program sees positive outcome for individuals at N.J. group home

At Devereux, our employees work tirelessly, every day, to help the individuals we serve lead productive, positive and socially-connected lives. Recently, Devereux New Jersey team members witnessed extremely rewarding outcomes as a result of implementing the “Devereux Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports” (D-PBIS) methodology in one of its groups homes.

  Adoption completes family just in time for holidays

Learn more about Devereux Arizona foster parents Sydni and Emery Engle - and their adoption journey - in this Arizona Daily Star article.

  Giving thanks: Celebrating Thanksgiving with your Child with Autism

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, and to give thanks for the many gifts we experience in our lives.

  New York Magazine article features Devereux AZ parents’ foster care journey

According to Sharicka McHenry’s life plan, she’d be married with children by the time she was 30. But by the time she and her wife, Donna, both found out they were medically unable to have biological children, Sharicka was 37. Click here to read this New York Magazine article about Devereux Arizona parents Sharicka and Donna McHenry - and their foster care journey.

  Former Devereux student shares her high school experience

“Devereux taught me that I am appreciated and that I do matter,” said Shante Chapman, a former Devereux Day School student. When Shante was younger, she was labeled a “brawler” who was prone to bouts of anger and fighting. After her freshman year in high school, she and her family made the decision to continue her high school education at the Devereux Day School in Pennsylvania.

  Tips for Navigating the Special Needs World with Your Child’s Doctor

In a two-part series about fostering strong relationships between physicians and children with special needs, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Director of Family and Community Services Amy Kelly shares her experiences - Tips for Navigating the Special Needs World with Your Child’s Doctor - with Philly.com’s Healthy Kids Blog.

  Adoption brings the gift of family to four siblings in foster care

Donna and Sharicka McHenry were satisfied with their lives in Phoenix, Ariz., but something was missing. “We always wanted children,” said Donna. “We wanted one of our own, but we also knew we would go through the foster care process because there are nearly 18,000 children living in the child welfare system in Arizona.” The couple are now parents to four siblings who previously were in foster care.