Specialized Treatment for Autism and Related Disorders

With the appropriate resources and skills, children who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other neurodevelopmental disorders can thrive at home, in school, and within their communities.

At Belmont Behavioral Health Systems, we provide psychiatric crisis stabilization services for children who have ASD or other neurodevelopmental disorders through the Specialized Treatment for Autism and Related disorders (STAR) Program.

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About the STAR Program

Children who have autism spectrum disorder are more likely than neurotypical children to have psychiatric crises that may lead to challenges with communication and functioning in their daily lives. At Belmont Behavioral Health System, we have developed innovative inpatient hospital programming to help children who have ASD learn coping techniques to manage severe mental health symptoms and function optimally within their home, school, and community environments.

The Specialized Treatment for Autism and Related Disorders (STAR) Program provides acute inpatient treatment for children ages 9-13 and is intended to be a short-term experience with a focus on a speedy return to the community.

Each child’s experience with ASD is unique. During their time at our facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, your child will receive personalized care form a team of experts, which includes a child and adolescent psychiatrist and multiple allied health professionals, to help them achieve stabilization and gain the skills they need to experience greater success in everyday situations.

Autism Program Treatment Experience

Understanding your child’s unique needs is vital to their success, which is why treatment within the STAR Program begins with a comprehensive assessment of your child’s presenting concerns, medical history, behavioral health history, strengths, and goals. The STAR Program team will collaborate with you and your child on their treatment plan, taking into consideration your child’s specific challenges and strengths. The STAR Program team will also work with your child’s current supports, including their school, behavioral team, and medical professionals, to coordinate their care.

The expert team at our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, facility utilizes evidence-based principles of applied behavioral analysis, therapy, education, and psychiatric management. Depending on your child’s specific needs, their care team may recommend individual therapy or medication management, or they may refer your child for further medical assessment by their primary physician or a pediatric specialist if needed.

Our skilled occupational therapists designed a specialized multisensory environment with designated sensory rooms to create safe therapeutic spaces for your child to participate with greater independence. Group therapy is foundational to the care provided in the STAR Program. Skills-based groups are led daily by a variety of allied health professionals, including a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA), creative arts therapists, case managers, child and adolescent psychologists, occupational therapists, and speech and language pathologists. All treatment team members provide care that is informed by an understanding of the effects of trauma and principles of applied behavioral analysis.

Families play a significant role in helping their child make behavioral changes and achieve functioning that is optimal for them. When clinically appropriate, the STAR Program team helps families actively take part in their child’s therapeutic process through parent training and family therapy sessions.

Autism Program Admissions Process

As with all the high-quality, clinically excellent programs at Belmont Behavioral Health System, admissions decisions for the STAR Program are made on a case-by-case basis depending on each child’s individual circumstances. Please reach out to us at your convenience, and a knowledgeable member of our team will conduct an initial evaluation to determine whether the STAR Program is the right fit for your child.

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