Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)

Melmark Pennsylvania’s Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) is a neurobehavioral program specializing in the assessment and treatment of severe and treatment-resistant challenging behavior for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. The goal of the RTF is to help each child attain the highest level of personal growth, achievement, and independence by decreasing challenging behaviors and facilitating the reunification of the individual with his or her family in a less restrictive environment.


We offer:

  • Support to children and adolescents, ages five to 21, with behaviors that present risk of harm to self and others, and limit access to community participation
  • An evidence-based and outcome-driven service model
  • An intervention philosophy rooted in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
  • On-campus housing
  • Opportunities for children to participate in activities on and off-campus
  • Integration of behavior analytic services with psychiatric and rehabilitative care
  • Parent training based on a “one-to-one” observational / practical-learning model with the child, parent, and Melmark staff


Education Services

Melmark works with the local school district to determine an appropriate educational placement for the child. Children admitted to the RTF may attend a full-school day at The Melmark School, Melmark Pennsylvania’s approved private school in specially designed classrooms. Prior to attending The Melmark School, an IEP is developed to meet the educational needs of the child while focusing on stabilizing challenging behaviors that may be impeding educational progress. During the first 60 to 90 days, assessments are conducted which determine an updated IEP.


Family Involvement

Active family involvement is a required component of care. Parents, family members, and other caregivers identified as integral to the family reunification process are expected to visit and to participate in regular training sessions. Support from Melmark staff is slowly tapered until parents or other caregivers are able to effectively implement their child’s behavior support plan at Melmark, in the community, and at home.


Discharge Planning

Discharge planning is an essential part of treatment and begins during the admissions process. Melmark staff, inter-agency team members, and parents will work to identify an appropriate discharge site if one has not already been identified.