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Devereux National

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Devereux Pennsylvania - Autism Services Training

APPIC Match Number: 154812

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health supports youth and adults with autism through a variety of center 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:

  • Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center (SPARC) is a center-based program providing behavioral consultation, diagnostic evaluations, and skills-based intervention to individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Consultation also is available with public schools on best practices for supporting students with autism. Center-based behavioral intervention is provided in individual and group formats, targeting skill development in the areas of social behavior, executive functioning, advocacy, dating/healthy relationships and independent living.
  • Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP) provides individualized and innovative community-based support services for adults with autism and other disabilities. The primary goal is to provide instruction and support across community, home and work environments to 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 opportunities to enhance their skills in the areas of assessment and intervention. Interns will work in center-based and community settings, designing systems-wide and individual interventions. They also will be able to participate in diagnostic evaluations for toddlers through adults. Interns will conduct assessments, make contextually appropriate recommendations, design intervention plans, and create data collection systems to evaluate effectiveness. 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 programs to improve quality of life outcomes
  • Strong foundational knowledge of 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
  • Ability to be flexible and work in multiple settings with a variety of stakeholders

Intervention:

Interns will be involved in developing and evaluating interventions across systems and for individual clients. Interns will be integral in developing staff training models for Devereux staff, as well as educators in community settings. Training and consultation will involve identifying systems for evaluating staff needs and delivering training and coaching.

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, daily living 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, interpersonal 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.

Interns also will have the opportunity to participate in diagnostic evaluations. Individuals referred for diagnostic evaluations include toddlers and children who are not meeting developmental milestones, as well as adolescents and adults experiencing difficulties in their current educational and work environments.

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 50% of the time will be devoted to working with programs and individuals through SPARC and 50% 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

18

Assessment and report writing

8

Project meetings/management

6

Research

1

Supervision

4

Didactic seminars

3

Supervisors:

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