Intellectual disability, once known as mental retardation, is characterized by deficits in general mental abilities such as reasoning, problem solving, planning, abstract thinking, judgment, academic learning, and learning from experience. Children and teens who have intellectual disabilities have deficits in two areas: adaptive and intellectual functioning. Adaptive behaviors, skills needed for daily life, including the ability to communicate with others, take care of his or herself, or interact with others appropriately. Intellectual functioning refers to a person’s ability to learn, reason, make decisions and solve problems. In order to have an intellectual disability, deficits in these areas must be noted before a child turns 18 and occur on a spectrum from mild to profound. While it can be tremendously challenging as a parent to watch your child struggle, there is help available.
Millcreek Behavioral Health offers a long-term residential program for those who have intellectual disabilities. Our ICF/IID program provides specialized training, therapies, and developmental programs for children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 21 years of age who have intellectual disabilities and/or related developmental disabilities. Millcreek’s ICF/IID program is located in community-based group homes which provides a normal, therapeutic living environment that increases the opportunities for our clients to become – and remain – successful.
How to Help a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If your child has been diagnosed with an intellectual disability, you may be crushed by the news. It can be devastating to learn that your child has challenges you can’t even understand. You may feel isolated from other people who don’t have the same struggles in their lives and can’t understand what you’re going through. If you’re concerned that your child may have an intellectual disability, here are some of the signs and symptoms you should be watching for:
- Trouble recalling things
- Reaches developmental milestones (such as walking, speaking, rolling over, crawling) later than same-age peers
- Challenges or delays in learning to talk
- Difficulties comprehending social rules
- Trouble with problem-solving and logical thinking
- Behavioral problems such as extreme temper tantrums
- Challenges understanding the relationship between cause and effect
If you notice any of these signs in your child, it’s time to make an appointment with the pediatrician as soon as possible. The sooner you determine what is going on with your child the sooner you can get them the help that they need.
Why Consider Treatment at Millcreek Behavioral Health
If you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been diagnosed with intellectual disability (formerly known as mental retardation), you probably face a number of fears about the future. You may wonder who will care for your child when you’re gone. You may wonder if he or she will be able to function in the world, have a job, get married, and have kids. You may be facing a future full of fear and doubts about how profoundly your child will continue to be affected by intellectual disability. Tired of “waiting and seeing” how things will turn out, it’s time for you to take action.
A long-term residential program that specializes in the care and treatment of children and teens who have intellectual disability may be the best course of action for you and your child. By working each day with professionals who have experience helping teach children and teens with intellectual disability, your child can learn to grow and master skills needed to lead a productive, happy life. Your child will be continually monitored and his or her progress toward goals will be met and exceeded as he or she continues to learn to lead a more independent life. Professionals will help work with you and your loved ones to develop a plan of care that meets all of your child’s needs after he leaves the program.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
Millcreek Behavioral Health strives to help children and teens lead healthier and more productive lives. Millcreek is a leading provider of specially designed mental healthcare services for both children and adolescents ages 6 to 18. We are a progressive organization with a specialized, unique emphasis upon excellence in both treatment and education. Our outstanding, multidisciplinary team instills family and community values, always meeting the needs of a changing world. The rewards of our work are reflected in the lives of the children we treat and the hearts of the people we touch.
Types of Treatment Offered at Millcreek Behavioral Health
When each child or adolescent is admitted to our program, they will undergo a thorough diagnostic assessment and psychiatric evaluation to identify presenting diagnoses and assess needs of the child or teen throughout treatment. Based upon the findings of the evaluation process, an interdisciplinary team of professionals, your child, and your family will work together to develop a master treatment plan which is then reviewed by one of our psychiatrists. This master treatment plan identifies specific goals and objects within each problem area, including detailed components of the therapeutic interventions that will be used throughout your child’s stay.
Each program model is divided into four phases, each of which must be completed before the child or teen may advance to the next level of care. During each treatment phase, our residents participate in a number of activities designed to address the emotional and behavioral problems that led to the placement and work on building core competencies. Treatment options may include:
Medication/nursing care: Residents in our ICF/IID program will receive medical and nursing care to meet physical and/or emotional health needs. Residents will be seen by a physician for any comorbid medical disorders and any healthcare needs will be overseen by the medical staff and addressed in the master treatment plan. We offer a FAMS program that is run by a nurse to help each client fully understand the importance of medication compliance. Any mental health medications will be overseen and assessed by the psychiatrist and adjusted as needed.
Group therapy is held on a daily basis and topics will vary based upon the day and the needs of the community. These groups may include ADLs, social skills training, independent living, behavior management, coping skills, and self-soothing.
Education: at Millcreek Behavioral Health, we believe that education is highly important for our residents, so each of our residents are enrolled through Millcreek Schools, Inc. which is staffed by qualified teachers. We expect each resident to attend school through our accredited school program held Monday through Friday. Credits earned will transfer back to the resident’s public school the goal of helping each resident graduate or earn their GED.
Recreational therapy includes social outings, going to the park, attending church, and other activities designed to help each resident in our ICF/IID program learn needed social skills.
Depending upon the treatment program that your child or teen is enrolled in as well as unique treatment needs, residents may also participate in the following interventions:
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Physical therapy
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
As the time approaches for your child to leave our ICF/IID long-term residential program, you and your child or teen will work with a case manager to determine next steps of care. Many children leave us as they age out of our program, we can help you enter a waiver program – an environment with in-home services to provide daily skills care. In addition, our children and teens will receive a follow-up after one year to make sure you and your child have access to appropriate resources and that your child is continuing to make progress toward his or her goals.