[Skip to Content]

Intellectual Disabilities

Intellectual Disabilities

Intellectual Disabilities

The Intellectual Disabilities Inpatient Unit at Fuller Hospital has served adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities for more than 25 years. The program provides behaviorists and occupational therapists to support patients. The unit is the only inpatient adult intellectual disabilities unit in Massachusetts.

The program provides diagnosis and treatment to persons with intellectual disabilities who are experiencing acute, co-occurring behavioral or psychiatric disorders. The goal of the program is to enable patients to return to community living after a short-term hospital stay.

The program provides a respectful and therapeutic environment in which an individual can be understood and treated. Individual treatment planning is conducted with input from the patient, family and their community-based team.

The success of the program has in large part related to the ability of the hospital and private and public agencies to successfully collaborate and coordinate treatment and aftercare.


Patients with intellectual disabilities undergo specialized assessments by program staff including psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers, nurses and a medical physician where needed. The behavioral evaluation uses both standardized assessments as well as individually designed functional analysis procedures.

Treatment Philosophy

The goal of treatment is to strengthen social and adaptive behaviors, increase patients’ ability to participate and enjoy their daily lives and be active members of their family and community. This is accomplished by teaching appropriate daily living skills, engaging patients with assistance on behaviors they and their families/caregivers want to change and addressing medication management.

The program philosophy incorporates a model that emphasizes the development of specific behavioral skills. Length of stay in the program varies and depends on patient needs.

Program Components

Treatment is conducted through a multidisciplinary team that may include psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, mental health specialists, behavioral specialists and occupational therapists. The program includes behavior therapy, occupational health assessment and psychosocial evaluation. Each patient’s presenting problems are monitored on an ongoing basis with team meetings to review progress.

Program features include:

  • Community involvement in intake and discharge planning
  • Coordination with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) as appropriate
  • Individualized behavior assessment and treatment planning
  • 24-hour data collection on presenting problems
  • Daily graphs of patient progress including grids to monitor and document each patient’s behaviors including aggression, medication non-compliance, medication response and changes

To make a referral to Fuller Hospital, please call 508-761-8500 or 833-3FULLER.