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Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month: Thriving in the community with support from Devereux PA

 

Patricia Armellini, who works at a JOANN Fabric and Craft store, says Devereux Pennsylvania’s CAAPP program has taught her essential job, life and social skills, and helped her secure and maintain meaningful employment.

Patricia Armellini, who receives services through Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania, wears many hats in her day-to-day life. She is a dog owner, artist and retail employee.

Patricia says Devereux Pennsylvania’s Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP), which provides individualized and innovative community-based support services for adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other disabilities, has taught her essential job, life and social skills, and helped her secure and maintain meaningful employment.

“I had shopped at JOANN Fabric and Craft for art supplies, and then, one of my job coaches helped me apply for a position at a store,” said Patricia. “I’ve worked there since 2021. I’m responsible for stocking shelves – I get assigned to stock jewelry a lot. I have multiple job coaches who support me at work, and help me if I have any questions.”

Devereux Pennsylvania CAAPP Program Director Kate Langston shared, “We are extremely proud of Patricia and all she has accomplished – she is a loving dog mom, talented artist and dedicated employee. Our goal is to help all of the adults we serve thrive in their local communities and lead productive and socially-connected lives. Patricia has grown so much over the years, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds.”

Leading a fulfilling life

Patricia works four to 12 hours per week at JOANN’s, and notes there are numerous things she appreciates about her job.

“I like my co-workers because they are nice, and JOANN’s is pet-friendly, so my dog can stop in and see me,” Patricia explained. “I also like getting paid. Working at JOANN’s, I get an employee discount, and I can shop for all of my art supplies.”

When she is not working, Patricia enjoys drawing and spending time with her dog, Teddy.

“I like to draw my favorite animated characters and rodents, foxes and other animals. Sometimes, I draw my own characters, like Dixon the squirrel. I’ve been taking commissions for my artwork for the past several years,” Patricia said. “I also like hanging out with my dog, Teddy. He’s 8 years old and very friendly and cuddly. He gets excited when I walk into the room. I just want to give him all of the belly rubs, pets and biscuits.”

Devereux’s autism services

In addition to Devereux Pennsylvania’s CAAPP program, the organization offers a wide range of autism services to help individuals like Patricia achieve success in their homes, schools and communities.

“From educational and consultation programs, as well as community-based adult and clinic-based programs, our autism services are individualized and flexible to meet the unique needs of each child, adolescent or adult across all stages of life,” noted Devereux Executive Director of Autism Services Todd Harris, Ph.D. “We want to support those with autism in building skills that can lead to greater independence and self-determination, and to a higher quality of life.”

Our programs include:

Children and adolescents

Transition-age young adults

Adults

Learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s autism programs and services.

  

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