Seeking information on partial hospit... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

CHADD's ADHD Parents Together

14,230 members4,506 posts

Seeking information on partial hospitalization programs for children in the Washington, DC area

slnf1488 profile image

Hi, I'm new. I'm considering a partial hospitalization program for my 10-year-old son, who has ADHD, ODD and DMDD. I would be grateful to hear about experiences and to receive suggestions of what is most important to know in selecting a program. I am in Washington, DC, and welcome any information about the PHP at Dominion Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia. Thanks!

6 Replies

Hi. Hopefully your psychologist or psychiatrist can give you some detailed information about Dominion’s day program. I didn’t use this service but have met some parents who have. Here is what I know/suggest:

1. From the parents I met here in DC (in a small group during parent management training with a psychologist) what I learned is that many use the day program at Dominion for their kids who suffer from school refusal or couldn't currently handle themselves in a school environment. Most seemed to use it on a temporary basis while their kids were going through especially rough patches. I didn’t get the impression that the program “fixed” their kids as much as it was a place for them to go during the day and experience success and be safe while their parents were at work. Majority of parents in DC work as I’m sure you are well aware.

2. To lean more from local parents try posting your question in the special needs thread of This is a local DC anonymous board which is good for polling others.

Good luck!

slnf1488 profile image
slnf1488 in reply to Redpanda5

Thank you; I appreciate the information.

I don't live in the DC area, but my son did participate in a partial hospitalization program when he was 6 years old. The program was the only one in the area targeting his issues and age group, and it took us the greater part of a year to get in. Once there, my son did very well (he does not have ODD and loves school, so I suspect this transition was easier for us than for other families). The staff was attentive and knowledgeable, and the socio-emotional education would be helpful for any child of that age. There were kids with ODD and DMDD in his group, and progress for those children seemed to vary widely, which is understandable given that these children are all on individual journeys. The program didn't "fix" us, but it got us on a better track. The staff was able to work closely with us all on behavior modification, and they could tell very quickly what was working and not and make on-the-spot adjustments. Pedi Partial is also where my son started meds and worked into an ideal dosage/med plan. My son still has some significant challenges, but now I feel like we have a better foundation and understanding. Also, I have an extra advocate - can still call on the Pedi Partial team if I need more help navigating red tape/504/IEP, etc.My son missed out on months of traditional school for this program, but the trade-off was worth it, for us. It trained us to be better caregivers as well as providing support for our son. I hope you have a similar experience. Good luck!

Thank you so much!

We did intensive outpatient treatment when my son was first diagnosed at age 11 (Dmdd, school refusal, possible bipolar). It was a good start to getting some understanding of his feelings and behaviors, and led to him going to school. Still a long road that we are on, especially since there are many changes in adolescence. I’ve heard good things about Dominion, although we are in Maryland, and chose a program that was closer to home. (We have 2 other kids and both work full time). Our biggest issue with partial hospital is communication with our child’s school. It’s like you need a full-time advocate to carry over skills and strategies to other settings. That has fallen upon me and seriously challenges my mental health at times. If you can get started in personal and family therapy now, I’d recommend it. It’s made a positive difference for my marriage snd family life .

slnf1488 profile image
slnf1488 in reply to Maryca1974

Thank you, so much! We have just started family therapy and I am trying to find someone for myself. It is exhausting and takes a toll on everyone . . . Good luck to you and thanks again!

You may also like...