Children with autism spectrum disorder are psychiatrically hospitalized much more frequently than children in the general population. Hospitalization occurs primarily because of externalizing behaviors and is associated with behavioral disturbance, impaired emotion regulation, and psychiatric comorbidity. Additionally, a lack of practitioner and/or administrator training and experience with this population poses risks for denial of care by third-party payers or treatment facilities, inadequate treatment, extended lengths of stay, and poor outcomes. Evidence and best practices for the inpatient psychiatric care of this population are presented. Specialized treatment programs universally rely on multidisciplinary approaches, including behaviorally informed interventions.
Keywords: Autism; Hospitalization; Inpatient; Intellectual disability; Psychiatric.
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