Specialized Inpatient Pediatric Unit

The Specialized Inpatient Pediatric Unit (SIPU) at Harbor Oaks Hospital is dedicated to providing quality care for children and adolescents ages 4 to 17 who have both a psychiatric issue and a developmental disability. While not a requirement for admission, many children on this unit have an autism spectrum diagnosis, and we are the only psychiatric hospital in the state of Michigan that provides an inpatient environment and programming options that are specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of this population.

Different by Design

The SIPU at Harbor Oaks is set apart from other pediatric facilities because it has been specifically designed to provide a safe, healing environment for children whose emotional, behavioral, and developmental challenges require an intensive level of care.

With this special population in mind, we have created a 10-bed facility that allows staff to monitor patients effectively in the least restrictive setting possible. With no detail overlooked, our unit includes the following environmental aspects which promote safety and growth for all the youth in our care:

  • A 10-bed unit with single and double occupancy rooms
  • A large unit with only 10 beds allows for flexibility in the use of space
  • LED lighting rather than fluorescent lighting is used
  • As a safety precaution, all furniture in common areas is heavily weighted, making it difficult to move, and bedroom furniture is bolted to the floor, which reduces risk during explosive episodes
  • Outdoor space dedicated specifically to this unit
  • A sensory room
  • Our two consult rooms are divided with a one-way mirror which allows staff to work with a patient while families and outside providers can observe, gaining valuable insight and feedback about how the child is progressing in treatment

Individualized Programming

Our environmental design is not the only thing that makes the SIPU at Harbor Oaks Hospital an ideal place for children with both psychiatric disorders and developmental disabilities. While a safe setting is a paramount concern, we have also turned our attention to ensuring that our supports are appropriate for the unique needs of each patient’s specific challenges.

Rather than relying heavily on interventions with a cognitive focus, our programming is steeped in behavioral supports that are scientifically proven to encourage successful outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health concerns. And unlike the group-based supports that are seen on our regular pediatric unit, the SIPU at Harbor Oaks provides highly individualized treatments that reflect the unique needs of each patient in our care. Our tailored plans of care may be comprised of any of the following services and treatment modalities:

  • Trained staff provides Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for those receiving ABA services.
  • Treatment planning will include a child’s existing behavior plan, Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and other relevant assessments in order to tailor the treatment interventions used during his or her stay.
  • We work with the adolescent’s family, school, and outpatient providers to ensure continuity of treatment during hospitalization and continuation of care upon discharge.
  • Unlike our other units that have set visiting times, families and outpatient providers may schedule their visiting times with staff in our unit at times that are convenient for them, thus providing more flexibility for visitors and less stimulation on the unit at one time.

Compassionate, Experienced Staff

In the SIPU at Harbor Oaks, we are pleased to have recruited a highly trained staff that is skilled in serving children and families with acute developmental, behavioral, and emotional needs. We understand that this unique population requires high levels of supervision and intervention, so we provide, at a minimum, a 2:1 staff-to-patient ratio at all times. However, should a child require additional support, we are happy to accommodate by including one-on-one supervision at no additional charge.

Our multidisciplinary treatment team works together to help children and families navigate complex symptoms and difficult behaviors. Our individualized treatment plans help children and adolescents learn the developmentally-appropriate replacement skills that they need to encourage healthy relationships and to become more functional in social and learning settings.

During their stay with us, patients will have access to compassionate, experienced professionals from a broad spectrum of backgrounds who are highly trained in addressing the needs of children and adolescents with developmental and psychiatric concerns. We are pleased to have the following specialists on staff in the SIPU at Harbor Oaks:

  • A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
  • Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT)
  • A special education teacher who is certified in teaching children with developmental disabilities
  • A psychiatrist
  • A nurse practitioner
  • An internal medicine physician
  • A social worker
  • Registered nurses
  • Behavioral health associates
  • An activity therapist

When your child or patient has treatment needs that fall outside the scope of what a traditional pediatric unit can provide, it can be difficult to find an appropriate placement for him or her. The SIPU at Harbor Oaks was created with the needs of these children and their families in mind. To learn more about our comprehensive treatment program for a child or adolescent in your life, we hope you will reach out to us today.

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