Neurobehavioral Treatment

At Cumberland Hospital, we understand children whose medical conditions and developmental status affect their emotional outlook and behavioral control. The team is expert in childhood development, diseases, injuries and emotional adaptation. Our experienced professionals help young people ages 2 to 22 heal physically and develop emotionally using the latest approaches in medical management and adaptive skills-building.

For more than 30 years, Cumberland Hospital has helped children and families throughout the United States. Our Neurobehavioral Program is designed specifically for youth whose neurological impairments acquired genetically or through injury, are compounded by a lack of behavior control. They may respond by being oppositional, verbally or physically aggressive, impulsive, frustrated or self-injurious.

Through structured programming, individual and group therapies and activities, children, families and their caretakers learn new ways to manage daily challenges and get the most out of life.

The Neurobehavioral Program includes individual and group activities interwoven into each child’s specific treatment goals. Physical, occupational, speech, recreational, psychological and special therapies, such as cognitive retraining and nutrition, are provided depending on the child’s needs. Patients also participate in groups and community activities, which provide opportunities for healthy interpersonal interaction and development. All children attend school on campus at Cumberland Academy.

Medical needs are directed by a board-certified pediatrician and administered by nurses and behavioral counselors. Most children who are admitted to the Neurobehavioral Program are medically stable, but still require medical services such as nursing, medication adjustment and nutrition education.

Throughout treatment, Cumberland’s program helps children learn socially adaptive behaviors and find the support required to maintain new skills after discharge. Sometimes children develop the skills required to manage the demands of daily living. Other times, children need continuing help to sustain success. At Cumberland, we blend skill development and positive behavioral support strategies to produce enduring outcomes for each child.

Treatment at Cumberland also incorporates structured teaching using facilitative skill models that emphasize each individual’s specific needs. These approaches build on intervention strategies that research has shown to be effective for patients with autism and other developmental disabilities. This includes optimizing the physical environment, developing realistic daily schedules, establishing clear and explicit expectations, using perceptually relevant cues and prompts and assuring that programming is relevant to each child’s needs and interests.

Consistent treatment is critical to each patient’s success. Staff members remain in constant communication regarding each patient’s status. Detailed data sheets, treatment team meetings and core scheduling are just a few of the ways that our professional staff keeps abreast of each patient’s ongoing needs and required care throughout treatment.

The goal of Cumberland Hospital’s Neurobehavioral Program is to help each child develop the skills and supports required to live in the least restrictive, most community-inclusive and culturally relevant environment possible.

Upon admission each child participates in a comprehensive multi-disciplinary team assessment. Medical assessment and treatment includes consultations from a pediatric neurologist, pediatric psychiatrist and/or neuropsychologist as necessary, in conjunction with daily management by a behavioral/developmental pediatrician.

Following this comprehensive evaluation, a Master Treatment Plan is developed that considers the child’s unique, specialized needs. Because of Cumberland’s small size and specialized staff, each child receives personalized treatment in a nurturing environment.

In most cases, initial treatment includes medication adjustment, school and behavioral programming. Additional therapies may also be provided as indicated by each child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP):

  • Speech/Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Specialized Education Services
  • Other services as needed

Individual levels of functioning and progress determine patient admission and treatment duration. Initial treatment to assess and stabilize problematic behaviors often lasts 60 – 120 days. Subsequent services, including long-term residence and community adaptation can last six months or longer, according to individual need.

Admission criteria include:

  • Limited intellectual function (IQ 75 or lower)
  • Pervasive impairment of adaptive functions in at least two of the following areas: communication, self-care, home living, social skills, leisure, health and safety, self-direction, functional academics, community use and work
  • Neurological diagnosis
  • Therapy needs in the areas of speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy or behavior management

One or more of the following situations exist:

  • acute change in child’s medical or behavioral status representing a danger to self or others, or to the child’s further developmental progress
  • service cannot be provided in a less structured or less intensive setting due to severity of illness and/or intensity of services required
  • multi-disciplinary evaluation required
  • medication adjustments required that may produce negative changes in health, neurological (Seizures) or behavioral status