Devereux’s Early Childhood Assessment Program turns everyday interactions into lifelong skills
Early childhood professionals know how
important social and emotional health is for young children, but they don’t
always know how to teach critical social and emotional skills children need to
thrive and succeed.
Devereux Center for Resilient Children’s “Devereux Early Childhood Assessment” (DECA)
Program provides teachers and families with a strength-based assessment and
planning system designed to promote resilience in children ages four weeks to
is the DECA?
As an important component of the overall
program, the DECA
is a nationally standardized assessment tool that helps teachers understand how
students are progressing with respect to three, key social and emotional skills:
- Developing healthy relationships
- Learning to regulate emotions
- Showing initiative
Completing the assessment tool (print or online
version) takes about five minutes and a separate version is available for
infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
the assessment is complete, teachers can select appropriate strategies based on
the results for immediate use. In addition, parents can complete the same tool,
allowing teachers and parents to work together - ensuring similar strategies
are implemented at both home and school.
“The beauty of DECA is that it takes the best
of what research tells us children need,
and puts it into a practical framework teachers can use in the course of their
lesson plans and daily activities,” said Devereux Center for Resilient Children Director
Susan Damico. “And the results are
clear. Children with specific social and emotional skills are better prepared
to wait their turn, listen to the teacher during academic lessons, share with
others, and try new and challenging tasks - in or outside of the classroom.”
Focusing on child
DECA assessments not only provide
psychometrically-sound measurements, but they reflect “child
protective factors” in individuals and/or groups of children, which offset or
diminish the effects of risk and adversity. Children with protective factors,
such as positive relationships, self-regulation and initiative, tend to be more
positive, productive and resilient.
assessments also are used to monitor progress. For instance: DECA can be
administered several times within a school year to examine how children respond
to particular strategies and the overall program. By understanding children’s
response levels, the program can be adjusted to maximize potential and successful
DECA takes teaching to the next level
an easy and simplified method, DECA shows teachers how to use ordinary
opportunities throughout the day - such as drop-off, meal time, or small group
activities - as skill-building or “teachable” moments.
“When teachers learn
they don’t need to do ‘more’ but, rather, learn how to think differently about
their routines and lessons, they feel empowered,” Susan added. “They
see implementing the DECA Program is possible, that it makes their day to day
teaching experience better, that children can learn social and emotional
skills, and that they truly can make a difference in the life of every child in
To learn more about DECA, watch a video, or watch here
for a one-hour recorded webinar on the DECA Program for Infants Toddlers and
Preschoolers. Questions? Contact Susan
About Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is one of the largest
and most advanced behavioral healthcare organizations in the country. We serve
as a national nonprofit partner for individuals, families, schools and
communities, serving many of the most vulnerable members of our society in
areas of autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, specialty mental
health, and child welfare.
Learn about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.
||Matilda Jane Clothing donates more than 5,000 face masks to Devereux’s essential staff
Matilda Jane Clothing is showing support for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s front-line staff by donating colorful and beautifully-crafted face masks. The Indiana-based clothing company recently donated 5,000 fabric face masks to the nonprofit to help team members stay safe and healthy.
||Yvette Jackson discusses Devereux Arizona’s programs and services on Hubbard Radio’s Valley Focus show
Listen as Devereux Arizona Executive Director Yvette Jackson, LMSW, DBH, discusses the center’s programs and services on Hubbard Radio’s Valley Focus show. Jackson shares valuable information about Devereux Arizona’s therapeutic foster care program and outpatient services, and explains how the organization is supporting individuals and families during COVID-19.
||Like, follow and share Devereux’s new national Facebook page
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s Facebook Careers Page has transitioned into our new national Facebook page. In addition to accessing the latest Devereux career opportunities, followers will learn more about what’s happening across all of our centers, programs and services.
||Georgia robotics team creates 3-D printed face shields for Devereux’s front-line staff
Students from a Georgia robotics team, Checkmate Robotics #12961, are leading by example, and using their 3-D printing skills to create face shields for Devereux’s front-line staff.
||Article features Dr. Yolanda Graham: “Talking to individuals with autism about COVID-19”
For families and caregivers of children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the COVID-19 pandemic brings new challenges, such as confusion and disruptions to daily routines and schedules. Read this Autism Spectrum News article featuring Devereux Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical/Medical Officer Yolanda Graham, M.D., as she offers tips for talking to individuals with ASD about COVID-19.
||Human Rights Campaign donates more than 7,000 face masks to Devereux
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) donated more than 7,000 face masks to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health to help protect the individuals in its care, along with its outstanding and dedicated team members, as part of the “HRC Gives Back” campaign.
||Devereux honors nurses and teachers during observances in May
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is paying tribute to the selfless and inspiring nurses and teachers who continue to provide the best possible care and support for children, adolescents and adults through the COVID-19 pandemic - and all year long.
||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 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.
||Devereux Center for Effective Schools releases free, online training modules for educators
With schools across the U.S. shifting to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Devereux Center for Effective Schools (CES) recently developed a series of free, online training modules to help educators successfully adapt to this new reality and engage students through remote instruction.
||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 New York spreads joy and hope through rainbow initiative
Children, adolescents and adults at Devereux New York are bringing bright colors - and smiles - to the Red Hook, N.Y., community, and across the Hudson Valley, to lift spirits amid the COVID-19 pandemic.