At Southwood Psychiatric Hospital, we take great pride in being able to provide excellent care for children and adolescents who are afflicted by various behavioral, emotional, and cognitive concerns. Our highly-skilled staff has abundant experience in providing optimal care for youth who are faced with the challenges that accompany such concerns, including those that arise as the result of intellectual disability. Intellectual disability, previously known as mental retardation, is a term used when an individual has impaired intellectual and adaptive functioning, as well as impairment in using skills of daily living. Those with intellectual disability may have a hard time taking care of themselves and may learn and develop slower than other children of the same age. Southwood Psychiatric Hospital has developed specialized treatment options that are designed to help the unique needs of youth who are facing the difficulties brought on by intellectual disability.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
It is no easy task to raise a child with intellectual disability. Each day is often met with a new set of challenges and many individuals find themselves feeling overwhelmed as they try to give their child the best possible life. As a parent of a child or adolescent with intellectual disability, it is important that you take your child to see a qualified mental health professional who will be able to provide him with the proper services and support that will enable him to thrive throughout his lifetime. In addition to getting your child the support he needs, it is also important to remember to be patient as the development of new skills can take time. You can further the development of specific skill sets by keeping your child engaged in tasks that he enjoys and providing him with continued encouragement. It may also be a good idea to look into community support groups for yourself and your family so that you can connect with others who are facing similar challenges.
Why Consider Treatment at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital
The challenges faced by a child or adolescent with intellectual disability should not prevent him from obtaining the high quality of life that he deserves. Due to the developmental delays faced with this disorder, it is important that children or adolescents with intellectual disability receive the treatment and support they need as soon as possible. Without these services, young people with intellectual disability are typically not able to learn the skills required to lead satisfying lives. Many children and adolescents with intellectual disability do not fully develop skills of daily living and often require help with things such as dressing, bathing, and eating. These young people also may need more guidance when it comes to learning, requiring more time and structure to develop new skills. Additionally, it is not uncommon for those with intellectual disability to have more physical health problems or associated disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, which may also exacerbate some of the symptoms associated with IDD.
Types of Treatment Offered at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital
At Southwood Psychiatric Hospital, we offer an Intellectual Disability Disorders / Autism Spectrum Disorder (IDD/ASD) Program through a specialized residential treatment center where all programming is designed specifically to meet the needs of this population of young people. With the firm belief that the psychiatric treatment of children and adolescents who have severe emotional, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental disabilities, including intellectual disability, is best accomplished within a comprehensive treatment program that is specifically tailored to meet the individualized needs of each patient, this program provides treatment for male children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 21. Furthermore, we believe that the treatment of these young people is most effective through a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that follows the Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP) principles. These principles include child-centered services, family-focused services, community-based services, multi-system services, culturally competent services, and least restrictive / least intrusive services.
Following the CASSP principles, a comprehensive treatment plan is developed for each individual patient in collaboration with the child, his family members, and other child-serving systems that are already identified in the patient’s life. Each child’s interdisciplinary team of professions meets regularly in order to review the progress that the patient is making towards attaining the long-term goals and short-term objectives that are identified in his treatment plan. The approach to the patient will be strengths-based, therapeutic, and developmentally appropriate in regards to meeting each child where he is at emotionally and cognitively. Our staff-to-child ratio is 1:4, ensuring that all patients have the thorough support needed to be successful during their treatment process.
The following treatment methods are those that are featured within the programming options offered as part of Southwood’s IDD/ASD Program; options that may be included as part of each child’s individualized treatment plan:
Medication management: In circumstances where a child is suffering from a co-existing mental health condition in addition to intellectual disability, it is possible that the implementation of psychotropic medications may be necessary in order to fully alleviate his or her distressing symptoms. A patient’s need for medication, however, is determined on a case-by-case basis. Such medication needs are assessed by a psychiatrist who can then prescribe, monitor, and adjust medications if it is deemed necessary for appropriately benefiting a youth’s overall care.
Doctor visits: Each patient in the IDD/ASD Program has access to medical physicians whenever a need arises for such interventions. Children and adolescents taking part in this program will see a doctor at a minimum of once every month, but additional appointments can be made whenever necessary.
Onsite schooling: Keeping in mind the extreme importance of a youth’s education, Southwood’s IDD/ASD Program offers onsite schooling for patients that is held Monday through Friday from 8:00am until 2:30pm. All classes are led by certified special education teachers, and occupational therapists are on hand to offer additional support services for children when needed.
Individual therapy: Individual therapy sessions are held once each week for patients in the IDD/ASD Program, but additional sessions can be added when deemed necessary or beneficial to a child’s treatment progression. These sessions are meant to be a time for patients to meet on a one-to-one basis with a mental health professional where they can process emotions and monitor treatment goals in a confidential setting.
Group therapy: Group therapy sessions are held on a daily basis and are led by Master’s level therapists five days each week and serve as a time to reinforce behaviors that have been learned. Additionally, psychoeducation groups occur once or twice each day.
Family therapy: At Southwood Psychiatric Hospital, we strongly encourage the participation of our patients’ family members in all aspects of the treatment process. Understanding that the family is the primary support system for the child, we treat the family members of all children and adolescents who are entrusted into our care with the utmost dignity and respect. Adhering to this belief, the IDD/ASD Program is committed to building strong family relationships and encouraging healthy family commitment through the implementation of family therapy sessions. Furthermore, our caring and compassionate staff provide training and education to the family members of our patients so that they can learn how to best help and support their child.
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
While the programming offered within Southwood Psychiatric Hospital is focused on patients being able to achieve their treatment goals, we remain dedicated to helping those who come to our hospital for care in succeeding once they have completed their residential care for intellectual disability. From the moment a youth is admitted into the IDD/ASD Program, our staff begins formulating aftercare recommendations that will meet the child or adolescent’s needs. Residential treatment is designed to help stabilize a youth and spend the least amount of time possible learning the skills needed to remain successful once treatment has ended so that the therapeutic process can continue at a lower level of care. Therefore, we conduct an ongoing assessment of needs in order to ensure that referrals to another treatment provider will help a patient continue his success long after leaving Southwood Psychiatric Hospital.
Our staff of compassionate and caring professionals will work in collaboration with each youth and his family to establish how the youth will retain skills learned and which services in the community will refine and build upon those skills.
Whatever your child or adolescent’s mental health needs may be, let Southwood Psychiatric Hospital be your treatment provider of choice when trying to help your child achieve the life that he deserves.