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Devereux Pennsylvania - Children’s Services Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

APPIC Match Number: 154814

Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Services provides assessment, treatment and consultation services to approximately 100 children and adolescents diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in campus-based and community-based residential treatment settings, as well as in approved private school special education settings. Individuals are referred for services as a result of an intellectual or developmental disability, autism spectrum disorder, and/or co-occurring behavioral and psychiatric challenges. The primary age range for individuals served is 5 to 21. Health psychology doctoral interns matched to our site will have the opportunity to provide assessment, treatment and consultation services for individuals with a wide range of clinical presentations and in a variety of treatment settings.

With a growing need for more specialized services for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities, Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Services offers an I/DD specialty program within its network of clinical services.

  • Autism Intensive Residential Services: Campus-based treatment residence and classroom model designed to offer clinically intensive applied behavior analytic services to individuals with autism and severe challenging behaviors

Because of the abundance of potential training opportunities for health psychology doctoral interns, supervising psychology staff will work with each intern to create an individualized training experience to maximize professional growth and align with personal specialization objectives.

Successful Applicants:

  • Prior work with children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders/intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • ABA/CBT experience
  • Prior work with families and community agency resources
  • Affinity for working with a multidisciplinary team

Intervention:

Interns have the opportunity to work across multiple settings, which can include Autism Intensive Residential Services, campus- and community-based residences, classrooms, the local community and family homes. Clinical interventions can take an individual, group or family focus. Interventions may include: functional communication training using PECS and visual support systems, positive behavior support planning, cognitive behavior therapy, trauma-focused CBT and parent training and therapy. Interns will learn how to design systems to measure client progress and track and analyze that data. Typical caseloads are seven to 12 clients. Supervision is provided in intervention delivery, clinical formulation, treatment planning and progress monitoring. Interns also will have opportunities to observe supervisors or senior clinical staff as they conduct interventions, and to experience live supervision when conducting his/her own interventions.

Assessment:

Functional behavior assessment is a key component of understanding why challenging behaviors occur. Interns are provided with treatment method seminars to introduce them to different functional behavioral assessment tools and interpretation of assessment results. Supervision also is provided for functional behavioral assessments, development of functional hypotheses and development of positive behavior support plans, which link to the results of the functional behavioral assessments.

Interns will receive training and supervision in psychological and neuropsychological assessments designed to answer specific diagnostic questions. Interns also can receive training in the ADOS-2 administration, scoring and interpretation, with limited opportunities to participate in ADOS evaluations as needed on campus. Additionally, interns at Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Services can gain experience administering a wide array of cognitive assessments, adaptive behavior assessments, social-emotional assessments and neuropsychological assessments. Assessment supervision and training focuses on learning how to administer new assessment instruments, the integration of assessment data, differential diagnosis, clinical formulation and the provision of meaningful recommendations and feedback.

Consultation:

Given the various treatment settings that comprise Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Services, a significant part of the role of all of our clinicians, including interns, is providing staff consultation. Interns have the opportunity to consult with school, medical, psychiatric and residential staff regarding successes or challenges that an assigned client might experience. Consultation may involve assessment, observation and/or interviews to formulate hypotheses. From the hypotheses, interns will formulate both informal and formal recommendations. In cases where a specific training or a behavior support plan may be recommended, interns will provide training and follow-up to ensure treatment integrity. Interns will become familiar with our Devereux Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (D-PBIS) models, and will serve as D-PBIS coaches to teams and direct care staff assisting with performance feedback, data collection and analysis.

Sample Weekly Schedule Hours:

Activity

Hours

Intervention (individual, group, family therapy)

12-14

Assessment

3-4

Consultation

5-6

Supervision

4-5

Case Management/Report Writing

9-11

Administration/Staff Meetings

4-5

Educational Seminars

2-3

Research

1-2

Hours Weekly

40+

Supervisors:

Jenny Nielsen, Ph.D., BCBA-D (Primary Supervisor)
John Malikowski, M.S.Ed., BCBA
Beth White, Psy.D.