Autism Programs and Therapies for Children and Adolescents
What makes Springbrook different from other residential behavioral and psychiatric autism programs in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and throughout the southeast? We work with the entire spectrum of children, adolescents, and teens with autism, including patients across the spectrum, and we begin work with children at younger ages, using advanced, evidence-based autism therapy programs. More importantly, our dedicated staff is committed to autism programs and therapies that address the needs of the whole child rather than just the diagnosis.
Everything we do is geared toward improving the lives of children with autism and their families, specifically addressing the treatment of severe behaviors and psychiatric related issues related to the autism spectrum. The Springbrook staff doesn’t merely attempt to control children with autism—we attempt to reach them by every available means.
Productive Treatment Of Autism Takes A Team
There are a lot of incorrect assumptions and misunderstandings when it comes to the treatment of autism in children. In truth, mental and behavioral health care for autism is similar to health care for other kinds of chronic conditions - learning to manage and even thrive, through therapy, medication, diet, exercise, and routine.
Since all aspects of health are interconnected, we can’t improve acute behavioral problems associated with autism without also addressing the mental, emotional, environmental, and physical needs of the child. Likewise, any improvement we make in the overall health and wellbeing of a child with autism will have a positive effect on behavior. Below are some of the practical, physical, medicinal, and behavioral autism therapy programs that our dedicated, experienced staff rely on to connect with your child.
Behavioral Analysis for Autism and related disorders
We find that many autism programs are unsuccessful because they emphasize managing and correcting specific disruptive behaviors without truly seeking to understand the underlying cause of the behavior. In other words, they focus on the “what” rather than the “why”. Applied Behavior Analysis is the foundation of The Autism Program at Springbrook. We have two full-time Board-Certified Behavioral Analysts (BCBAs) on staff. Identifying the root problem behind the behavioral symptom informs every choice we make.
Pharmaceutical Management for Behaviors and Psychiatric Issues Related To Autism
Our staff also includes a fellowship-trained psychiatrist with specialties in early child development, child and adolescent psychiatry, and the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. Prescribing the correct medications to a child with autism is an important piece of the puzzle that, ideally, works together with applied behavioral analysis. Most children with autism have severe anxiety, which has to attend to, through both medicine and therapy, before we can begin to make progress in other areas. In addition, many children with autism have other conditions that affect their behavior. Often, treating an unrelated condition, like physical pain, has remarkable effects on destructive behavior.
Occupational Therapy for Autism
Our team has pioneered many innovative occupational therapy programs for children and adolescents with autism. Occupational therapy is a broad term that encompasses anything that helps our patients with their motor skills, speech, social interactions, independent living skills, aggression, and willingness to try new things. In addition to daily routines and exercises that promote independent living skills, we encourage fun therapies including gardening, aquatic exercise, tasting groups, and more. Our autism treatment center is large, including several classrooms, a sensory room, a gym, an indoor pool, a pond, and acres of land for exploring—and our occupational therapist makes use of all of it!
Recreational Therapy for Autism and related disorders
Going hand-in-hand with occupational therapy, every day at Springbrook incorporates some kind of recreational therapy programs for the treatment of autism. We have a large campus that we use for focused, purposeful activity—recreational outings are always goal-oriented, whether the goal is something as simple as more sustained interest in an activity or as complicated as improved social interactions and teamwork. Our center is located in the beautiful community of Traveler’s Rest, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to on-campus recreational activities, we frequently plan recreational field trips to nearby attractions like water parks, Table Rock State Park, and Falls Park in downtown Greenville, SC.
Special Education for Autism and related disorders
Beneficial therapy programs for children and adolescents with autism must also consider education. We work in partnership with The Einstein Academy, a private school in Greenville, SC that focuses on education for children with ADHD. While enrolled in our behavioral health program, we use the Einstein system to create a classroom experience tailored to each child’s needs. When students enter our residential behavioral program we assess ability so that we can record progress and also meet them where they are, customizing a curriculum for them. We find that many of our students are advanced in some subjects and below grade level in others—which is why our program is based entirely on ability rather than age.
The Sunrise Room for Lower-Functioning Children With Autism
In the Sunrise Room we work one-on-one with these children, using autism therapy programs that focus on joining and vocalizing needs, always with the goal of understanding the why behind the behavior. Many of the patients in this unit struggle with antisocial and aggressive behaviors, and we see them make tremendous strides, especially in vocalizing their needs, thanks to individual attention. We also take practical steps, such as required daily naptime, to help address destructive behaviors.
Sensory Integration for Autism and related disorders
Sensory integration therapy is one of the most beneficial tools for the treatment of autism in children and adolescents. At Springbrook, we use a variety of sensory therapies, like pressure vests and pressure sleeves that decrease anxiety. We also have a sensory room equipped with cooler lighting, white noise machines, aromatherapy centers, and even a padded tantrum area for students who need to act out in a safe, controlled environment. We find that occasionally allowing students to act out in a non-harmful, prescribed way reduces overall anxiety and decreases the behavior over time. Finally, we use full-spectrum lights throughout our center, which are proven to increase attention in children with autism.
Rewards-Based Program for Autism and related disorders
Our rewards-based behavioral program is specialized with autism programs that are built into everything else we do. While corrections are sometimes necessary, punishment doesn’t change behaviors long-term for anyone, but especially; not for children with autism. Positive reinforcement works much better—we “catch kids doing right” and reward them for it, using incentives that match their interests. For example, we often find that students have individual interests, such as a favorite activity or game, we reward them with extra time with their game when they exhibit desired behaviors, such as positive social interactions, teamwork, and self-control.
Meet Jesse: Our Therapy Dog for Autism
This is one of our favorite therapy programs for the treatment of autism. A few of our employees volunteer with a local organization to train autism service dogs – and we reap the benefits. Recently, one of our trainees, Jesse, has been placed with our physician permanently. Jesse is a gentle Golden Lab who is a wonderful support for children experiencing anxiety, panic, or meltdowns. Aside from being a reward for our children and adolescents, Jesse’s extensive training helps him be cool under pressure and calm in the face of anxiety - he even knows to hold back if he senses a child is afraid of him!
Refer a child or adolescent to The Autism Program at Springbook
Due to these and many other innovative therapies, we believe we’ve developed one of the best autism programs in South Carolina, and the entire southeast, for treating children, adolescents, and teens with behavioral and psychiatric needs. We are glad to accept referrals from neighboring states, including North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia, as we have many partner programs with states in our region.
Contact us at (864) 834-8013 to make a referral to our child and adolescent behavioral health program or our inpatient autism programs for children and adolescents.