The Autism Inpatient Unit (AIU) at HSC is a specialized interdisciplinary program for children and adolescents with an established diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The 8-bed unit is geared toward self-injurious and aggressive individuals who display severe and highly treatment-resistant behavioral disorders, or who have experienced a decline in their self-care abilities.

The AIU is designed to provide specialized pharmacologic and behavioral assessment and treatment at an inpatient level of care. As the highest level of care, inpatient treatment is most appropriate for individuals who have exhausted multiple levels of care in the community. The anticipated length of stay is 30-45 days.

Upon admission the patient is evaluated by an interdisciplinary team. Goals for treatment and target behaviors are identified and an individualized treatment plan is created in collaboration with the family and caregivers. Treatment is tailored to the individual’s specific behavioral, medical and communication needs, utilizing principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. Data is collected throughout each day, and reviewed by the interdisciplinary team to update treatment plans.

Family involvement in the treatment is expected and essential for successful outcomes. Caregivers will participate in intensive training to be able to implement the behavior plan at home. We will collaborate with schools and community providers to ensure the patient has appropriate supports in the community after discharge.

Our interdisciplinary team members include:


Discharge Planning

Discharge planning is an important part of the inpatient program and will begin at admission. It is important that behavioral programs started in the inpatient unit are continued after discharge. Our inpatient team will collaborate with our outpatient autism services team and community providers to follow up on behavior plans after discharge. Continued behavior management training for caregivers with the greatest need will be offered on an outpatient basis

Referral forms

To begin the admission process, please download and complete the appropriate form:



Appropriateness of referrals will be evaluated by the inpatient team. Alternative referrals will be offered as needed. Priority is determined by multiple factors, including severity of challenging behaviors, maintaining safety in the community, and current milieu on the unit.

Admission Criteria

To be considered for admission to the Autism Inpatient Unit children must:

  • be ages 10 to 21;
  • have an established diagnosis of ASD;
  • display self-injury, aggression threatening the safety of others, or behaviors that severely impair functioning;
  • have an established discharge plan; and
  • be medically stable.

Younger children will be considered on a case by case basis.

Patients will be admitted to the AIU Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.

To refer a child for admission process, please contact Jackie Chasse, HSC Admitting Counselor, at:
Office 860.827.4841
Fax: 860.832.6273