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Patients with developmental disorders require a specialized approach to
psychiatric treatment. Our Behavorial Speciality Services provides intensive,
acute inpatient treatment of serious behavioral and psychiatric disorders in
children, adolescents, and young adults with developmental disorders such as
autism, mental retardation, pervasive developmental disorders, and other
severe developmental syndromes.
As part of our continuum of child and adolescent services, the hospital
has dedicated a 15 bed unit to serve children ages 4-18 who struggle with
severe behavioral dysregulation and/or have been diagnosed with an Autism
Spectrum Disorder or Developmental delays
The Hampstead Hospital Behavorial Speciality Services is the first specialized
psychiatric unit of its kind in New Hampshire. Additionally, it is one of the few
programs in the country that integrates best practice standards from both
psychiatry and behavioral psychology. Our DD Program provides direct care
service and programming that utilize the principles of Applied Behavior
Analysis. These approaches have the most empirical support for treating
severe presentations of patients with developmental disorders.
Behavorial Speciality Services
Why Hospitalization May Be Needed
Hospitalization may be needed to stabilize current acute behavioral or psychiatric problems. Some common reasons for hospitalization include:
Severe aggression, self-injury, destructive behavior, repetitive or stereotyped behaviors that interfere with daily functioning
Serious changes in mood, mental status, or other psychiatric symptoms
Medication concerns that require Comprehensive assessment
Management of complex regimens
Medication changes in a safe, controlled environment
Medication changes in a safe, controlled environment
About Our Program
Our treatment team includes board certified behavior analysts, clinical psychologist/trauma specialist, Board-certified child and adult psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioner,
social workers, nurses, special educators, behavior specialists, and therapeutic recreational specialist. Consultation by other medical specialties is also provided, as needed.
The primary goals of the program are to:
Establish an accurate diagnosis and behavioral treatment plan with medication management
Address the presenting difficulties through data-based and assessment-driven treatment intervention
Prepare the patient for re-entry into a less restrictive setting
Progress is evaluated daily for each patient, using individual treatment goals and standard psychiatric measures. Treatment is continuously adjusted to the patient's changing condition.
Our team works closely with the family and with pre-hospitalization treatment providers to identify aftercare needs early in hospitalization.
Specialized Program Components
Intensive Behavior Supports
Upon admission, behaviors of concern are identified and a treatment plan is developed based on functional components of problem behaviors. The
clinical team implement s behavior change interventions that include least restrictive approaches, positive behavior supports, and teaching alternative behaviors. The
clinical team continuously reviews each patient's progress and adjusts interventions as needed.
Unique Daily Programming Structure
Each patient participates in therapeutic activities that are specific for persons with developmental disorders. The activity structure focuses on life setting and community support needs
Our program utilizes tutorial services to provide an academic curriculum that is based on special education for youth with developmental disorders. The
principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) provide the foundation for our tutorial services. Patients work on individual goals that are in compliance with
each patient's Individual Education Plan (IEP). Our program also includes structured therapeutic activities that are designed to develop and maintain
adaptive behaviors, coping skills, and social skills.
Adolescent and Young Adult Program
The model for this unit is based on psychiatric day programming and life skills development. Patients participate in individual adaptive and life skills training and behavior therapy groups.
Patients under the age of 22 who attend school in the community also participate in school programming that relates to their community-based school goals.
Our Program provides higher numbers of staff than on traditional psychiatric units. Therapists on both units are specialists in behavioral intervention,
with additional training both in the population and in behavioral procedures.
Upon admission, our social worker will conduct a family assessment that includes an evaluation of the nature of the patient's difficulties, the impact on
the family, the family's pattern of responding and coping, and parenting skills.
Additional family support includes:
Ongoing consultation to the family for the duration of the admission
Behavioral skills training and other parent support services as needed
Identification and coordination of discharge services that include: transfer of care and opportunities for training in behavior support interventions
Transition Planning and Support
Beginning with pre-admission contacts, our Program staff work directly with community-based programs and providers such as schools, stabilization
teams, community support staff, and human service agencies.
Our staff will:
Develop goals for the patient's return to the care of the pre-hospitalization providers and family support systems that will improve the patient's long-term prognosis
Provide training in behavior management strategies prior to discharge
Behavorial Speciality Services Links
Consortium of Devlopmental Disabilities Councils
National Association of Developmental Disabilities Councils
Assists individuals and families to advocate for appropriate policies, programs and supports; Initiates activities and events that create positive, long-term change for how citizens with
disabilities participate in all aspects of community life, supports community initiatives that promote the full citizenship of people with disabilities.
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation
The Foundation's Mission is to aid financially disadvantaged families who need assistance in caring for their children with autism; to fund education and research into the causes
and consequences of childhood autism; and to serve as a clearing house and communications center for new programs and services developed for individuals with autism.
The Autism Society of America
Contains information about autism to parents and professionals