Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of neurological disorders that are formed during the course of brain development. Characteristics of ASD can include persistent deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication, deficits in social interaction, and participation in repetitive behaviors. The spectrum of autism disorders can vary greatly in severity from one person to the next, but all will elicit disturbances in some aspect of one’s ability to function. The severity of ASD can range from mild, where individuals are able to maintain high functioning and, in some cases, have above average IQs, to severe, where individuals are considered to be low functioning and struggle with intellectual disabilities. Regardless of where one falls on the spectrum, life can be challenging when not provided with the opportunity to receive proper therapeutic interventions to address one’s specific area of deficits. With proper interventions, however, people with autism spectrum disorders are able to live happy, healthy lives.
StoneCrest Center is a 133-bed acute psychiatric inpatient treatment center for adolescents, adults, and senior adults who are in need of specialized behavioral healthcare services. With a vision to remain an ever-improving care center, we strive to redefine the way that mental health treatment is delivered. By focusing on reintegrating patients back into the community by increasing problem-solving skills, communication skills, coping abilities, and enhancing their self-esteem, our compassionate staff is committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for those who entrust us with their care. With our state-of-the-art sensory room, we are the only treatment center in the state that is also able to provide specialized services for individuals with developmental disabilities. While there is no cure for autism, early detection and intervention can help those with ASD develop social skills, set and achieve goals, and lead a full and productive life.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Having a child who has autism can be challenging, especially if his or her functioning level is significantly impaired. You want to help your child, but you often find yourself feeling physically and emotionally drained. You may also be concerned about what the future holds for your son or daughter as you fear that you will not always be there to take care of him or her. While it can be a difficult and trying time for you and your family as you learn how to manage the symptoms of your child’s autism, here a few suggestions of things that you can do that may be of help:
- Educate yourself about autism spectrum disorders. The more knowledge you have, the more capable you will be of appropriately relaying your child’s symptoms to his or her doctors, allowing you to receive the best possible treatment advice.
- Openly discuss any and all concerns with your child’s doctor. Allow him or her to provide you with referrals for mental health professionals who will best be able to meet your child’s needs.
- Schedule an appointment with a mental health professional and explore any and all treatment options.
- Keep detailed records of any doctor visits so that you can monitor your child’s progress.
- Seek out support groups for families of people with autism.
- Take time for yourself.
Why Consider Treatment at StoneCrest Center
While autism spectrum disorders cannot be cured, the symptoms of these conditions can be appropriately managed through proper treatment. Due to the fact that the severity of ASD will affect everyone differently, the type of treatment that will most benefit each individual will vary as well. Inpatient treatment programs can be one of the most beneficial ways of receiving treatment for ASD because these programs are designed to be tailor made to fit each unique individual’s specific needs. When people take part in an inpatient program, they work with a treatment team who implements a detailed, individualized treatment plan based solely on the needs, abilities, and strengths of each patient. Through the use of various interventions and therapeutic methods, people in inpatient programs are able to learn about their disorder, develop coping skills to help manage their symptoms, follow a predictable schedule, engage in structured activities, and receive regular reinforcement for positive behaviors. The options for interventions that can be received in inpatient programs are vast and can include things such as speech therapy to reinforce proper communication techniques, occupational therapy to reduce overstimulation from sensory stimuli, and physical therapy to work through fine and gross motor delays and impairment.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At StoneCrest Center, we strive to set ourselves apart from other mental health treatment centers by offering superior individualized care that improves the quality of life for our patients, while also providing a reliable resource for the community. We believe that our values are what truly make us stand out. We treat each other like family and we empathize with and support the families who have a loved one who is struggling with mental illness. We diligently work at maintaining our position as a leader in creating distinct, effective mental health disease management through our partnerships with physicians and other clinical professionals, through the application of technology, and, most importantly, through the extension of services from our hospital to the home. At StoneCrest, we remain steadfast in preventing, supporting, and treating mental, emotional, and behavioral conditions, providing patients with a safe place to turn in their time of need.
Types of Treatment Offered at StoneCrest Center
The fully trained and qualified staff at StoneCrest uses a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, coordinating care amongst our in-house psychiatrists, nurses, socials workers, and activity therapists. By implementing a case management model that focuses on person-centered planning, each patient works with a therapist who serves as the patient’s coordinator and advocate during his or her stay. These therapists guide patients through the treatment process while establishing a therapeutic relationship as they help them work towards achieving their identified treatment goals. Our treatment programs are created to meet the needs of each patient as a whole in order to ensure that all needs are being addressed and coordinated while in our care. Some of the treatment methods used in our programs may include:
Medication management: The implementation of certain medication may be used when treating autism spectrum disorders if there are symptoms of a co-occurring disorder present. All patients meet with a psychiatrist daily and see a doctor regularly in order to ensure the effectiveness of any medication that is prescribed and to make any changes that may be necessary.
Group therapy: Group therapy plays a major role in the treatment process here at StoneCrest. Multiple groups are held on a daily basis. For our MIDD program, group therapy is more skills-training based, but also includes nursing groups and psychoeducational groups.
Family therapy: At StoneCrest, we believe that family involvement is crucial in helping our patients be successful in the treatment process, and family therapy is held at least once during a patient’s stay. In addition to ensuring that family members are an active part of the therapeutic process, we also educate our patients’ families in order to help them understand what their loved ones are experiencing and discover ways that will help them cope with emotional difficulties that may arise in the future.
Depending on the specific needs of each patient, additional methods of treatment may be used, including:
- Expressive arts
- Therapeutic recreation
- Sensory room interventions spent one-on-one with a therapist
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
When patients have completed the inpatient program at StoneCrest, they will meet with their social worker who will facilitate discharge planning. Our social workers will coordinate appropriate aftercare support, ensure placement or housing when necessary, and schedule any pertinent follow-up appointments with community agencies.