Psychiatric Treatment Network

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Autism Care & Support

The Stables at Smoky Mountain Lodge


Located in the Great Smoky Mountains on 20-sprawling acres, Autism Care & Support at Smoky Mountain Lodge offers a tranquil environment that is ideal for reconnecting with nature, the outdoors, and animals while experiencing healthy social engagement. Our program accepts adult males (age 18 and older), who are living on the spectrum and have not achieved or sustained the level of social, academic, occupational, employment and family functioning desired.

Autism Treatment

Designed to prepare individuals for a life of independence through social integration and practical skill development, Autism Care & Support at Smoky Mountain Lodge offers multi-sensory elements and experiences. The treatment process helps residents explore vulnerabilities that interfere with self-awareness, acceptance, and growth, ultimately creating the opportunity to develop life strategies and inner-strength necessary for sustained success.

Moving at their own pace, they explore their unique challenges and nuances through four levels that focus on goal setting, executive functioning skills, emotion regulation skills, and social skills.

  • Level 1: Assessment, Stabilization & Orientation
  • Level 2: Assimilation & Application Phase
  • Level 3: Action & Integration Phase
  • Level 4: Maintenance and Modeling Phase

Built on a solution-focused and family systems model, our multidisciplinary team utilizes individualized therapeutic strategies including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Experiential Therapy
  • Social integration
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Collaborative Problem Solving
  • Mindfulness Activities

Nature-Based & Animal-Assisted Therapy

A foundational element of Autism Care & Support at Smoky Mountain Lodge is the interaction with animals and nature, naturally bringing people together. Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) helps improve trust, communication, confidence, boundaries, impulse control, management of emotions, focus and attention, relationship-building, empathy, and self-control. All animal activities are conducted by PATH Accredited professionals who have incorporated animals as part of their specialty or by another staff member under their supervision.

Family Therapy & Support

Additionally, family work is an integral part of an individual’s success in our program. Therapists arrange family sessions twice monthly, offering daytime, evening, and some weekend hours. Family members can access resources and support through monthly psycho-education groups and training. Additional education and support opportunities include monthly parent training opportunities, an annual family retreat, and networking with the National Autism Center.

Admissions at the Autism Care & Support at Smoky Mountain Lodge

We understand how challenging it can be to find the right treatment facility to meet your unique needs. Autism Care & Support at Smoky Mountain Lodge offers individuals with autism a therapeutic, evidence-based foundation built on a solution-focused and family systems model.

Admission to the program depends on the needs of each individual and their family. Following a comprehensive assessment process, that includes admission to Pasadena Villa Smoky Mountain Lodge, clients must meet the following criteria.

  1. Prior diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  2. Recent deterioration of functioning in real-world social functioning, work, school, social interactions with others, or self-care.
  3. Restorative potential exists that could reasonably be expected to enable the individual to return to a baseline level of functioning and or improve.
  4. The individual’s condition is such that he can participate in the program and accomplish program objectives.

Upon admittance, the treatment team will work with the individual, family, and referent when appropriate to create an individualized plan for care and determine the transition date to the program.

What Makes Us Different?

Unlike other programs, we use a natural environment to engage individuals in evidence-based therapeutic services and activities that increase social functioning. Pasadena Villa’s Social Integration Model is a well-tested, research-based model that draws from Social Learning Theory, Social Skills Training and field-tested models for eldercare. We have adapted it for use with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and the seriously and persistently mentally ill, and it has proven to be a differentiating factor of our program.

If you would like more information on Autism Care & Support at Smoky Mountain Lodge, call us today at 877.845.5235. Our goal is to provide a supportive environment that helps individuals achieve maximum social functioning so they can enjoy a life worth living following treatment.