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Autism

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health supports children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders in the development of communication, social and independent living skills to help them achieve fulfilling, productive and socially-connected lives. Our programs and services utilize evidence-based strategies, including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and Applied Behavior Analysis.

We offer services throughout the lifespan including: initial assessments, residential treatment, community-based group homes, approved private schools, therapeutic foster care, wraparound services, respite, school and family consultation and training, transition services for young adults, and adult day programs.

Key principles of our autism programs: 

  • Person-centered: Services are individualized and flexible to meet the unique needs of each student/individual.
  • Collaborative: All programs work closely with each individual/family/caregiver, and related community members to maximize each individual's potential.
  • Community-focused: Services/supports are delivered in school, community, home and employment settings.
  • Emphasize skill building: Skill building that will lead directly to greater independence and success.
  • Enhance self-determination: Services and supports that promote each individual’s ability to participate in processes and make decisions that impact their lives.
  • Emphasize quality of life: Quality of life indicators are identified to assist in determining program success, such as satisfaction with school and employment, community integration, social connectedness, and personal autonomy.
  • Accountable and effective: Objective data and social validity measures are used to evaluate the effectiveness of evidence-based practices; data-based decision models are used to modify programs when needed.
 

Autism Services for Children and Adolescents

Residential and Day Schools

Devereux schools for children and adolescents are state-licensed, approved private schools, serving children with autism spectrum disorders and other intellectual/developmental disabilities or emotional/behavioral disorders.

What is an Approved Private School?
Approved Private Schools (APS) are state-licensed schools operated by private agencies that provide special education day and/or residential programs for students with disabilities.

In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, all children with disabilities are entitled to receive a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. 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 the educational needs of the child cannot be met in a general education environment. In addition, parents 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 offers the following approved private day and residential programs for children and adolescents in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania:

School Program Overview:
Educational focus is placed on communication, social and independent living skills to help each child maximize their full potential in the least restrictive environment. Skill development, reflecting the needs of each child, may include:

  • Receptive, expressive and written communication
  • Self-care, domestic and community daily living
  • Social, play/leisure and coping skills
  • Age-appropriate academics and functional academics
  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Vocational skills

We offer instructional methods consistent with the science of Applied Behavior Analysis, and designed to reflect the needs of each child, including:

  • Individual and small group instruction
  • Skills taught in context during natural and preferred activities
  • Functional communication training (Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) or other augmentative communication systems)
  • A variety of lesson formats (e.g., chaining, incidental teaching, shaping and discrete trial)
  • Visual mediation for schedules, reward systems, communication and social skills
  • Use of specialized prompting procedures
  • Data-based decision-making
  • Positive behavior support planning

Our transition programs for adolescents and young adults focus on achieving independence in the following: self-care routines; domestic, employment, community-based and recreational skills; human sexuality; mobility training; and self-determination skills. We use person-centered future planning and community-based instruction to support our students as they prepare for adulthood.

Families and caregivers play an integral role at Devereux. Collaboration is facilitated through frequent, informal communication among teachers and families, as well as through scheduled meetings (e.g., IEP, future planning, parent-teacher organization and quality improvement meetings).

Assessment Services

We provide families with assessment services using the ADOS-2 – the gold standard of assessment – as well as guidance on appropriate services and interventions, if an autism diagnosis is confirmed.

Autism Intensive Residential Services Neurobehavioral Unit

Our Autism Intensive Residential Services Neurobehavioral Unit provides intensive, autism-specific treatment for children, ages 6 to 21, with severe behavioral challenges and skills deficits who have not responded to treatment in traditional community-based or residential settings.

The program employs evidence-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 of care 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 our Devereux Pennsylvania Children's Services' West Chester, Pennsylvania, campus. The continuum of care concludes with discharge and after care-service planning in partnership with Devereux CARES consultants and Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS). The Autism Intensive Residential Services 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, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and individualized positive behavior support. For more information, please call (866) 532-2212.

High School Youth Preparation for Higher Education (HYPE) Program

The High School Youth Preparation for Higher Education (HYPE) Program is a two-year, after-school program – fully funded by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation – at Devereux SPARC in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and includes a two-week summer program at West Chester University.

The Devereux SPARC and Devereux Pennsylvania Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP) programs, in partnership with West Chester University, provide transition-age students with autism spectrum disorder an opportunity to prepare for university life, community integration and future careers/employment. For more information, please call (610) 430-5678.

Wraparound Services

Devereux Pocono Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services
Newfoundland, PA (570) 839-6147    
Wraparound services assist children and adolescents up to age 21 who meet medical necessity requirements resulting from a mental health diagnosis. Services are available to children who present with social, emotional or behavioral issues, providing opportunities to receive treatment within their natural families, schools and community settings. This program includes a behavioral specialist consultant, mobile therapy and therapeutic staff support.

Devereux Massachusetts Consultants
Rutland, MA (508) 886-4746
Home-based services are provided through the Autism Waiver Program of the Department of Developmental Services, for children under the age of 9. Services focus on skill building in the following areas: community, home, social, communication, coping and activities of daily living, while managing interfering or stigmatizing behavior. Parent training is also offered.

School and Family Consultation

Devereux CARES Consultants
Downingtown, PA (610) 873-4930

Since 2004, CARES consultants have partnered with school districts, intermediate units and families across the region by providing workshop trainings, conferences, ongoing consultation and program development. Workshops include:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis instructional techniques
  • Assessment of skills
  • IEP development
  • Setting up classrooms
  • Developing functional classroom schedules
  • Functional communication training
  • Social skills training
  • Visual enhancement strategies
  • Evaluating student progress

CARES consultants have extensive experience training school districts with students who have traditionally been placed in Approved Private Schools. We have a well-developed model, which uses implementation effectiveness measures, such as performance checklists and team supervision meetings to ensure a more consistent application of instructional techniques and long-term positive staff and student performance.

Devereux New York CARES
Mt. Kisco, NY (914) 941-1991

The Devereux New York Center for Autism Research and Education Services (CARES) provides year-round, full-day, intensive educational and behavioral interventions for students, ages 5 to 21, with autism spectrum disorder and other cognitive differences. Our program is guided by the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis; educational goals/activities are customized to match each student’s unique strengths and needs. Students receive a variety of educational, vocational and behavior intervention programs to support individual growth and development. We also provide expert consultation services to parents, teachers, school districts and other agencies.

Autism Services for Transition-Age Young Adults

Devereux offers innovative, stand-alone transition programs that provide instruction and support across work, community and home environments for students ages 18 and older to assist them with the transition to adulthood.

School-Age Programs

Devereux ASCENT program
Downingtown, PA and Strafford, PA (610) 710-4026

This program assists school districts in meeting the unique needs of transition-aged students 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 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.

Devereux Pocono School-to-Work Transition
Newfoundland, PA (570) 839-6147

The school-to-work transition program serves older students, ages 18 to 21, who attend a local school district, and need additional skill development and training to gain competitive employment. Devereux, in partnership with the student’s school, develops a transition plan as part of the IEP process. These plans include skill development, and hands-on training/pre-vocational experience.

Post-Secondary Programs  

Devereux Connecticut – The Glenholme School’s E3 Transition Program
Torrington, CT (860) 868-7377

Devereux Connecticut – The Glenholme School’s E3 Transition Program, which stands for Emerge, Expand and Evolve, helps young adults learn essential life skills, achieve greater independence and lead productive lives. The program offers classes on a variety of topics, including daily living skills, social interactions, money management and culinary arts.

Autism Services for Adults

Adult Day Programs

Devereux New York Day Habilitation Program
Mt. Kisco, NY (845) 758-1899
Devereux New York’s day habilitation program serves adults, ages 18 and older, with behavioral differences, such as autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and/or borderline personality disorder in a safe, supportive community setting. This program offers customized and supported work-training experiences through community volunteer work for nonprofit organizations. Additional skills-based training includes: travel training; recreation and community awareness/integration; regular contact with family and friends; social interaction; awareness of others; relaxation exercises; and the development and support of hobbies and other special interest/leisure time activities.

The Devereux Pennsylvania Adult Services Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP)
Downingtown, PA and Strafford, PA (610) 710-4026
CAAPP provides innovative services, including community-based support and skill development in the following areas: communications, social skills, self-care, work-readiness, vocational training, community-based employment experiences and instruction, service learning, and volunteer activities.

Community Group Homes and Campus Living  

Devereux offers group homes and campus-based living for adults with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. We provide a comprehensive life enrichment program that promotes self-improvement, decision-making, task completion, community involvement, recreation and family collaboration. Our programs emphasize skill development in self-care, functional communication, social skills, anger management, problem-solving, independent living, self-esteem, recreation and community safety using intensive, highly-structured positive behavior support techniques that focus on developing and teaching age-appropriate behaviors.

Lifesharing

Through lifesharing, individuals with autism and other disabilities live with "host" families. Lifesharing enriches the quality of life for these individuals as they become part of a family and the community. Lifesharing offers opportunities for people to have:

  • Individualized, flexible programming
  • Stable, long-term relationships
  • Integration into the community
  • Increased access to social events
  • Support to reach their goals and dreams

Devereux Pocono Lifesharing Program: Newfoundland, PA (570) 839-6140