CAMHS - low secure for boys


A low secure unit for boys aged 13-18 with learning disabilities and/or neurodevelopmental disability who present with autism and mental health difficulties and/or challenging behaviour.

The ward philosophy is based on the several models found to be effective for young people with autism including SPELL, TEACCH and we will be introducing SCERTS shortly. 

Admission criteria

Boys aged 13 -18 with a learning disability who:

  • have co-morbid conditions such as autistic spectrum disorder and/or attention deficit 
  • have mental health problems, showing history of developmental trauma
  • pose a significant risk of harming themselves or others
  • require care within a low secure environment.

Treatment and care

Upon admission each young person is comprehensively assessed by the multi-disciplinary team to ensure that we have holistically ascertained their level of ability, strengths and challenges.

Our full time, on-site multi-disciplinary team use a formulation based approach to inform person centered, holistic treatment plans, designed to meet the needs of each individual.

  • Helping them understand how the diagnosis relates to them, building on their strengths and helping them develop strategies to manage areas they find challenging
  • We develop positive behaviour support plans based on applied behaviour analysis principles to support the young people to develop alternative behaviours that fulfil the same functions as the challenging behaviours they display
  • Improve their environment and management plans to reduce the need for them to display challenging behaviours
  • Young people on the unit are offered individual or group therapy dependent on their needs. This can include; emotional awareness, social skills, psychoeducation relating to autism and adolescence/puberty, anxiety management, psychosis, offence specific therapy, trauma etc.
  • Self-care groups to promote cleanliness and confidence.
  • Weight management
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Education - the service bases its model of care on the TEACCH approach using the principles of structure, predictability, routines and the use of visual information we support young people with ASD to develop new skills and empower them to develop their independence
  • Sensory integration

Next steps

Discharge is considered at admission and our clinical and social work teams work with appropriate case managers to support a transition.

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