Managing Back-to-School Jitters: Tips to Help Children With Special Needs Ensure a Smooth Transition

Remember how it felt as a child before your first day of school? Perhaps you experienced butterflies in your stomach or loss of sleep the night before. You were excited to see your friends, but also nervous about what the new school year would bring. That is exactly how I am feeling about sending...

Taking a Person-Centered Approach to Teaching Meaningful Employment Skills

A person-centered approach is vital for providing effective employment training for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In an effort to capture the experiences of those who have received employment training, we conducted interviews with three members of the Devereux Pennsylvania...

Use of a Specialized PBIS Framework to Organize and Deliver Evidence-Based Practices to Children with Autism

A significant challenge facing autism service providers is the effective and consistent delivery of evidence-based practices to the children they serve. A number of research reviews, including the National Standards Project (Rue, Knox, Welchons, Murzycki, Pollack, & Class, 2015) and the...

Autism Through a Different Lens: A Sibling’s Perspective

In my profession, I often write articles from a parent’s perspective about having an 18-year-old daughter (Annie) with severe autism, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. My overarching goal with these stories is to provide compassion, understanding and hope to families, caregivers...

Using Telehealth to Create a Virtual Community for Adults with Autism

During March 2020, many community-based programs for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) needed to make the difficult decision to suspend in-person services for the safety of all stakeholders. The unexpected interruption in daily operations led to an immediate concern for the overall quality...

COVID-19: Tips for Working From Home (And Finding Relief) With Your Children Out of School

For many parents and caregivers, working from home during COVID-19 (while your children are out of school or day care) can present unique challenges, especially if you are caring for a child with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. [caption id="attachment_4816" align="aligncenter"...

Talking to Individuals with Autism About COVID-19

“If you are caring for a child or loved one with autism, it is important to speak with him or her about COVID-19 to ensure they have the information and resources they need – without causing unnecessary worry and anxiety.” - Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Senior Vice President and...

Assembling an Emergency Toolkit for Children with Disabilities

In the journey of parenthood, one of the most challenging things caregivers of children can encounter are the inevitable injuries and emergencies. Last year, I had to take my daughter, Annie – who has autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities – to the emergency room (ER). Going...

COVID-19: Helping Families With Special Needs During a Public Health Crisis

As a mother of a daughter with autism and intellectual disabilities, as well as a professional in the human services field, I am all too familiar with the unique challenges facing families of individuals with special needs. The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic brings additional worry. In these...

The Importance of Community-Based Instruction for Individuals with Autism Across the Lifespan

When looking toward the future, most parents hope their children will be happy, healthy, and enjoy a satisfying quality of life. For families with a child with autism, this desire is no different. The Autism Society of America identified nine key indicators to consider for assessing and improving...