Devereux President and CEO, Robert Kreider, on the Vaccine Debate

In light of the measles outbreak, Devereux President and CEO, Robert Kreider has posted a statement regarding the vaccine debate. Please take a moment to read it on Devereux’s website.


Peer Support Group for Parents Living with a Mental Health Challenge

Free Support Group for Parents with Mental Illnesses


Official statement about vaccines from “Autism Speaks”

Autism Speaks has revised its official statement about vaccines. The new statement is shorter than the previous one.  See their  website for their official statement on vaccines and autism.


Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon: A Musical Panto

On Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 at 7pm the People’s Light & Theatre Company will be offering a sensory-friendly performance of Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon: A Musical Panto.

Sensory-friendly performances are designed to create a theatre experience that is welcoming to all families with members (children or adults) on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities.

For this special performance, the theatre environment at People’s Light will be adjusted to provide a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgment-free space. Adjustments include:

  • House lights will remain on at a low level in the theater during the performance;
  • Lower sound level, especially for startling or loud sounds;
  • A reduction of strobe lighting;
  • Patrons are free to talk and leave their seats during the performance;
  • Designated quiet areas within the theater;
  • Space throughout the theater for standing and movement;
  • Limited crowds and visitors through the theatre lobby during the day and timing of the performance;
  • A quiet area will be available where children and their families can relax in our theatre’s lobby;
  • Fidget and stress sensory toys will be available to borrow as needed; and
  • People’s Light staff trained to be inviting and accommodating to families’ needs.

October 5-11 is Mental Illness Awareness Week

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October 5-11 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. What we call “mental illness” really refers to BRAIN disorders. Depression is a very serious BRAIN disorder which can kill. Robin Williams’ recent suicide was a tragic example of the lethality of depression. The research shows that addiction problems are very highly linked to “mental illness.” Please join us on Saturday, October 18 for our third annual Family Resilience Conference, a free event where you will learn how to support your loved ones with BRAIN disorders and other special needs. Our keynote speaker, Andrew Solomon, has written about his own experience with depression. Learn more at www.devereux.org/resilientfamilies.


Registration for the 3rd Annual Family Resilience Conference is Open!

To learn more about the 3rd Annual Family Resilience Conference or to register visit our new website at: www.devereux.org/resilientfamilies


Peer Mentoring Helps Reduce Caregiver Stress

Caregivers of children with developmental disabilities often experience greater stress than parents of typically-developing kids. A new study published online last week in the journal Pediatrics demonstrates that more attention needs to be paid to the needs of parents of children with developmental disabilities.

The study randomly assigned 243 mothers of children with disabilities to one of two interventions led by well-trained, supervised peer mentors who received four months of training on the curriculums.  The peer mentors were other mothers of children with disabilities who led 6 weeks of group treatments in 1.5-hour weekly sessions.

For the two treatment groups some parents were assigned to a mindfulness based stress reduction program others to a positive psychology based program. Results showed that mothers in both groups benefitted from the peer-led treatment programs. The researchers conclude more attention ought to be paid to address the unmet mental health needs of parents of children with developmental disabilities.

To read more about this study see the article published by the New York Times, “When the Caregivers Need Healing”.


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