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How long do residents typically receive treatment in residential care?  At Norris Academy, we conceptualize our program as an intensive treatment program where children can have their comprehensive needs met 24/7 in a safe, healthy environment.  Since we are so intensive, most of our residents typically stay for between 3-6 months depending on their response to treatment, based on active caregiver involvement, and based on continued medical necessity for duration of stay.  While each student’s situation is unique, we work hard to support healthy transition back into the community as soon as it is safe and therapeutic.

Does Norris Academy accept my insurance? By clicking on the link [here], you can review our admissions criteria, including a partial list of insurances with whom we work.  We work with both commercial insurance plans and Medicaid services.  Norris Academy is fortunate to be able to provide care to a variety of different insurances; however, you should always contact your specific insurance to confirm residential benefits as not all insurances include that level of care.

Does Norris Academy work with residents who are non-verbal or have limited verbal expression skills? Yes, Norris Academy works with residents from a wide range of developmental trajectories, including residents who have little to no expressive language skills.  The staff at Norris Academy work hard to develop techniques specific to the child’s developmental level and provide families with effective techniques for how to more easily communicate with their children.

At admission, what items can I bring for my child to Norris Academy?  You can download a list of our recommended personal items [here].

Will my child be safe in residential care? At Norris Academy, all staff who interact with children receive intensive training at the time of hire and regularly receive booster trainings to keep staff at the forefront of providing effective intervention to residents with special needs.  Trainings include specific intervention training around working with residents with histories of trauma and intellectual/developmental delays.  In addition, all staff also receive specialized training to support safe and therapeutic intervention if a student becomes unsafe to themselves or other residents.

How often can I see or speak to my child? Norris Academy offers a variety of different therapeutic ways in which to engage your child while they are in residential care.  Each child receives family therapy at least once per week and therapeutic passes are planned events arranged through each child’s family therapist.  Each child will be given a regular phone time to contact family members on the approved contact list.  In addition, each child receives regular treatment team involvement, which parents/caregivers are encouraged to attend.

If I have questions about my child’s treatment, who do I contact?  Typically, the child’s therapist is the primary point of contact and our therapists will provide the best methods of contact at the time of admission.  If other points of contact with the program are important, please discuss that with your therapist to arrange how to include those professionals.

Who will be in charge of my child’s treatment?  At Norris Academy, we take a team-based approach to the care and treatment of our residents.  Our treatment team includes our Board-Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Primary Therapist, Clinical Director, Case Management, Group Living Director, Special Education-Certified Teachers, Registered Nurses and other relevant staff who are involved in the child’s treatment.  Team members interact with one another daily to formulate the most effective strategies for providing interventions for our residents and meet at least once per month formally for a treatment team, which is a great opportunity for caregivers to give and receive feedback to the entire treatment team.

What type of educational programming does Norris Academy provide?  Norris Academy is staffed by Special Education-certified teachers who receive additional specialized training to provide educational interventions consistent with our residents’ needs.  Our teachers are able to work with Individualized Educational Plans (IEP) that include a variety of services and work to ensure that residents are receiving the full set of services that are required for their needs.  In addition to more traditional education opportunities, Norris Academy also has a vocational training track that focuses on advanced learners who may have future opportunities to work in the community.  Click [here] for more information about our educational services.

What additional programming does Norris Academy offer?  In addition to more traditional psychiatric and clinical interventions, Norris Academy offers several additional levels of programming to help support the diversity of needs of our residents.  Norris Academy partners with our friends at Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR) and the Human Animal Bond in Tennessee (HABIT) to provide additional therapeutic interventions based around developing relationships with therapeutic animals.  In addition, Norris Academy provides a comprehensive Sensory Integration room that allows children to work on facilitating their various sensory needs and to assist with mitigating a sensory-related crisis event.  For residents who are more advanced learners, residents may also be eligible to live in our Independent Living apartments, which focus on developing self-sufficiency and independent living skills that support a more effective transition back into the community.