Behavior Intervention Unit

The Behavior Intervention Unit is dedicated to providing evidenced based treatment to children and adolescents, ages 4 to 17, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other conditions affecting learning and behavior. This unit provides treatment based on the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis in order to increase socially significant behaviors and to reduce problem behaviors. Our treatment model includes educational services provided by special education teachers, psychiatric services, and expressive therapies. A psychologist, therapist, or Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) will work with the individual, the family, community resources, and outpatient services to provide a comprehensive treatment plan for each individual. The direct care staff have been trained to implement behavior intervention plans to address goals that include communication, social skills, academics, functional living skills as well as the reduction of problem behaviors. Our goal is to provide effective inpatient treatment and facilitate appropriate aftercare planning that supports the individual and the family in a successful transition back to the community and home environments.

With that being said your child/adolescent has been admitted for the purpose of inpatient stabilization. Although we endeavor to foster skills that will set a foundation for outpatient treatment, our primary objective is to help your child/adolescent reduce aggression, self-injury, suicidality, and/or homicidality so that they may safely return to your care.

While hospitalized your child will be receiving individual therapy, group therapy, special education services, expressive therapy, and psychiatric care. These treatment modalities are designed to work holistically together to help your child. Additionally, you will be provided the opportunity to elect to engage in working visits with the clinician assigned to your child.

On the Behavior Intervention unit, the type of treatment provided is called Applied Behavior Analysis. Board Certified Behavior Analysts are assigned to every child, and they are responsible for the development and implementation of Individualized Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPS). The purpose of this plan is to reduce problem behaviors and to increase functional replacement behaviors.
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the science in which procedures derived from the principles of behavior are systematically applied to improve socially significant behavior to a meaningful degree and to demonstrate experimentally that the procedures employed were responsible for the improvement in behavior.” Behavior analysis is a method in which the actions of the staff or teacher are determined by the behavior of the child, objective data collection, and the scientific principles of learning.

Working visits

A working visit is a term used to refer to the type of therapeutic work conducted with the families of patients on the BIU unit. Instead of traditional family therapy, clinician’s may work with the guardians and caretakers of patients to train them on programs that have been created to help positively shape patient’s behavior and help them be successful after discharge. Children and adolescents who are placed on the BIU unit, include children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, developmental and intellectual disabilities, medical disabilities, and/or have not responded to traditional therapeutic interventions. Due to the nature of their symptoms and presentation, the most effective involvement of families has been to engage in working visits rather than traditional “talk therapy”. The specific content, focus, and frequency of working visits will be individualized according to the needs of the patient. The first session will likely involve a visitation between you and your child where the family engages in some type of activity. Once a program has been developed, the patient’s parents/guardians will be educated on the program and taught how to implement the program within the home. If you are interested in engaging in a working visit, please notify the clinician working with your child of your interest.

On the Behavior Intervention Unit, we provide an individualized visitation schedule in order to meet the special needs of our patients and their families. We encourage families to visit 2-3 times a week for 1 hour. This visitation is not a working visit but rather time for you to spend with your child as a family. Visitation may occur from 9 AM- 6:30 PM, Monday-Sunday. You must schedule your visitation by calling the unit and speaking with a staff member, nurse, or BCBA. Please do not show-up without a scheduled visitation. Also, please have a total of no more than 3 people for visitations. If you have special requests or concerns regarding frequency or duration of visitation, please coordinate with your child’s assigned clinician and we will attempt to accommodate your needs.

Community Resources