Frequently Asked Questions – Behavioral Intervention Unit

Frequently Asked Questions for the Behavior Intervention Unit

How long will my child be in the hospital?

The typical stay is about 14 days; however, each individual’s length of stay will be determined on an individual basis. The decision to discharge will be made by the psychiatrist and will be based on your child’s progress, medication stabilization, and the frequency and intensity of problem behaviors.

What do they need to have while they are hospitalized?

We recommend that you provide your child with 3 sets of clothing. SBHS will provide socks and hygienic supplies. We wash patient clothing every morning and every night. You can discuss with your child’s BCBA the need for additional supplies such as successful reinforcers and preferred items or activities.
How will my child’s medications be managed and modified?

Each individual is assigned a psychiatrist to monitor and modify medications. Your verbal consent will be required before medication changes are implemented. A nurse will be present on the unit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to monitor your child’s response to medications.

What type of treatment will my child receive? 

Each individual will be assigned a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a psychiatrist. We provide treatment based on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis. In addition, your child will be placed in a classroom with a special education teacher and will be offered supplemental therapies such as expressive therapy and pet therapy. The Behavior Intervention Unit provides individualized treatment, and the BCBA will develop a Behavior Intervention Plan specifically to meet your child’s needs.
What does my child do all day?

The Behavior Intervention Unit program is a school based program. Therefore, each individual is encouraged to participate in a structured daily schedule that includes academic programming from 9:30am until 2:00pm during weekdays. Evening and weekend schedules are comprised of social skill groups, art and music groups, skills groups, and recreational activities.
When can I visit?

On the Behavior Intervention Unit, we provide an individualized visitation schedule in order to meet the special needs of our patients and their families. You will discuss your individual visitation schedule with your child’s assigned BCBA on a weekly basis. Visitation frequency and duration will be based upon your child’s Behavior Intervention Plan as well as the need for parent and family training.
What items can I bring when I visit? 

Items that are permitted during visits include those that have been determined to be safe for your child to have on the unit. This may include games, stuffed animals, clothing, and books. However, you will discuss with your child’s BCBA any additional items that may be needed to facilitate effective implementation of behavior intervention plans.

Food, cameras, and cell phones are not permitted during visits. This is to protect your child as well as the other patients on the unit.
What does my child’s room look like?

The patient rooms include a bed, shelving, a desk, and a bathroom with a shower, sink, and toilet. The bathrooms are locked at all times and require a staff to enter in order to ensure your child’s safety. Some patients will share a room with another patient while others will have their own room. Whether your child has a roommate or not is determined based on availability and the individual needs of each patient.

When can I call and speak with my child?

We have designated phone call times each evening from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. However, depending on your child’s behavior program, phone calls may be permitted or scheduled more frequently. You will work with your child’s BCBA to determine individualized phone call programs if needed. Please feel free to call the unit at any time to request information about how your child is doing or with any questions or concerns.

What kind of outpatient support will I receive once my child is discharged?

You will work with your child’s BCBA to determine what types of services are available to you on an outpatient basis. Any materials utilized to implement your child’s program in the hospital can be modified and sent home with you in order to facilitate transition of effective interventions to home and school environments.