Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatric Unit – Towson

Medical Director: Meena Vimalananda, M.D.

Service Chief: Desmond Kaplan, M.D.

Unit Manager: Nicole Stuckey, R.N.

Admission Information: 410-938-3800

Our Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatric Unit is an extremely specialized inpatient unit for the psychiatric evaluation, stabilization, and treatment of children and adolescents with co-occurring developmental and psychiatric disorders. This 14-bed unit is the only one of its kind in Maryland, and offers a behavioral approach to care for these dually diagnosed children and adolescents.

Patients most appropriate for care on this unit are between the ages of six and 18, and have acute psychiatric and behavioral needs, along with a neurological, developmental, and/or genetic condition. Diagnoses represented by our patient population include, among others:

  • Autism spectrum disorder 
  • Cerebral palsy 
  • Down syndrome 
  • Fragile X syndrome 
  • Mental retardation 
  • Pervasive developmental disorder 
  • Rett’s disorder 
  • Spina bifida 
  • Turner’s syndrome

We have a higher staff to patient ratio on this unit than on a traditional child or adolescent inpatient unit. Our goal is to provide care safely, in the least restrictive environment, stressing documentable clinical effectiveness, and multi-disciplinary teamwork with the patient and family. We encourage positive change in the young patient’s life, by focusing on the development of increased independence and self help skills, working to reintegrate him or her into the community as effectively and efficiently as possible.

The average length of stay on this specialized unit is two weeks. Our higher staffing ratio, behavioral treatment philosophy, and longer length of stay are all designed to result in extended periods of stability and a lessening of repeated psychiatric hospitalizations for this population.