Institute of Clinical and Professional Training and Research

(800) 338-3738

Devereux National

  • Carl E. Clark II
  • Carl E. Clark II
  • Yolanda Graham
  • Leah Yaw

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Devereux Pennsylvania - Autism Services Training

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health supports youth and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through a variety of campus- and community-based programs. Our services, which are offered throughout the lifespan, utilize evidence-based strategies, including Positive Behavior Support (PBS) and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The goal of our autism programs is to help individuals develop the skills needed to grow and thrive.

Interns in the autism services training track will have the unique opportunity to work with both youth and adults, through the following primary placements:

  • Devereux Center for Autism Research and Education Services (CARES) is an educational program licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education that provides services for students, ages 5 to 21, diagnosed with ASD and other developmental disabilities. The Devereux CARES school environment focuses on teaching each student based on his or her unique strengths and needs. These services help youth develop critical skills needed to increase independence.
  • Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP) provides individualized and innovative community-based support services for adults with ASD and other disabilities. The primary goal is to provide instruction and support across community, home and work environments that will help individuals become productive, socially connected and personally fulfilled members of their local communities.

The autism services training track emphasizes a scientist-practitioner model, and provides interns with the opportunity to design both systems-wide and individual interventions. Interns will gain experience creating data collection systems, analyzing data, and making contextually appropriate recommendations across programs, and for individual cases. Interns will learn how to develop case conceptualizations grounded in a behavioral framework. They will be responsible for consulting with teams to implement systems designed to improve outcomes related to staff performance, reducing problem behavior, and improving quality of life indicators for the individuals served.

Successful Applicants :

  • Commitment to working with individuals with autism, and developing interventions to improve quality of life outcomes
  • Strong foundational knowledge of and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA); BCBA supervision hours are available
  • Prior experience conducting Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) and developing interventions to reduce problem behaviors
  • Desire to work as part of a team with teachers, staff, family members and other professionals

Intervention:

Interns will be involved in developing and evaluating interventions across systems and for individual clients. Interns will be assigned projects related to the implementation of Devereux Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (D-PBIS) Autism, Devereux’s multi-tiered model of staff training and support designed to increase the use of evidence-based practices for individuals with autism. Interns will be thoroughly trained on this model, and will work with sites to improve outcomes and achieve fidelity with implementation. Interns also will be included in projects to design frameworks to enhance the use of evidence-based practices in community-based settings, as well as via telehealth.

In addition to systems-wide interventions, interns will work with clinical teams to develop intervention plans for individual cases. These cases will include youth and adults with dual autism and psychiatric diagnoses, as well as individuals with intellectual disabilities. Cases will involve referrals to reduce problem behaviors or improve critical skills in the areas of communication, social skills, daily living skills and independence. Intervention strategies will be based on the behavioral literature, and will incorporate cognitive behavior therapy interventions where appropriate. There will be an emphasis on selecting interventions that are an appropriate contextual fit for the individual, his/her team and family. Interns will receive training on how to develop systems to assess fidelity and monitor effectiveness of intervention strategies.

Assessment:

Interns will complete a minimum of two Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) during their training year. They will receive supervision on how to tailor the assessment process to individuals with complex behavioral and diagnostic profiles, including using a variety of assessment methods and data analysis strategies. Interns also will have the opportunity to conduct skills assessments in the areas of communication, social skills and daily living skills. They will receive training on how to select appropriate assessments and synthesize information from multiple indirect and direct assessment methods to develop effective intervention plans.
Over the past two years, Devereux has been developing a Quality of Life Assessment for use in autism programs. Interns will be actively involved in the use and ongoing development of this tool. Involvement may include using the tool with individual cases to inform goal development, summarizing data across programs to identify areas for growth, and participating in research to validate the measure.

Consultation:

Interns will obtain significant experience providing consultation to diverse teams, including teachers, staff, other professionals and families. Consultation will involve participating in team meetings, as well as training and coaching staff on the implementation of evidence-based practices and individualized intervention strategies. This will include working with teams to improve program outcomes, and training staff to effectively implement teaching strategies and behavior support plans. Training and coaching will follow a behavioral skills training approach, using data to inform performance feedback and coaching.

It is estimated that 40 percent of the time will be devoted to working with youth at CARES and 60 percent of the time will be devoted to working with adults at CAAPP. The following is an approximate breakdown of clinical hours.

Hours:

Activity

Hours

Consultation and Intervention

20

Assessment and report writing

5

Project meetings/management

6

Research

2

Supervision

4

Didactic Seminars

3

Supervisors:

Megan Robinson Joy, Ph.D., BCBA (Primary Supervisor)
Kara Constantine, Ph.D., NCSP
Kate Langston Rooney, M.Ed., BCBA, LBS