Providing High Quality Psychiatric Care

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101 First Quality Drive
Andersonville, TN  37705Phone: 865-494-5554 Fax: 865-205-7287

Notice of Privacy Practices

Norris Academy was established in January 2009 as a Psychiatric Residential Treatment program (PRTF) for children and youth ranging from 6 to 17 years old. The programming at Norris Academy is designed to serve residents who have a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder or other Neurodevelopmental Diagnoses. Norris Academy is currently licensed for 63 total beds and is a Joint Commission accredited program serving youth from Tennessee as well as several other states.

Norris Academy is supervised by a Licensed, Board-Certified Psychiatrist, who serves as Medical Director, as well as professional staff from clinical services, group living, and education who cater care to the needs of each individual resident. Registered Nurses are available 24-hours a day to provide for the medical oversight and medication administration for the residents. Daily activities are designed to provide supportive, therapeutic care and evidence-based treatments that require a highly structured environment to minimize unsafe behaviors and provide healthy behavioral alternatives for our residents.

Most of our residents are experiencing emotional, behavioral and/or psychological difficulties that have been unsuccessfully treated in traditional outpatient treatment options and the focus of treatment at Norris Academy is on psychiatric stabilization, skill-building by the resident and their families and developing effective structural interventions to most effectively meet the individual needs of our residents. The program is also able to consider care for residents with complex medical needs on a case-by-case basis. The program provides 24 hours a day, 7 days per week therapeutic care for all of our residents and takes a team approach to treatment that provides the greatest opportunity for successful outcomes.

Programs Offered

  • The Autism Spectrum/Neurodevelopmental Disorders Psychiatric Residential Treatment Program is divided into two distinct clinical and educational programs:
    • Early Learners - Provides programming for individuals with limited expressive language capabilities that serves residents between 6-17 years old
    • Advanced Learners - Provides programming for individuals that present with expressive language or intellectual capabilities and pervasive social functioning deficits that serves residents between 6-17 years old

Student Profile

  • Serves Females and Males, ages 6-17 years old
  • Requires a formalized diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder or other Neurodevelopmental Disorder
    • Intellectual Disability
    • Fetal-Alcohol Syndrome
    • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
  • Presents with a Co-Occurring Psychiatric or Mental Health diagnosis based on DSM 5 criteria
  • Demonstrates the need for a highly structured environment and is unable to maintain stability in a community setting requiring 24-hour care to maintain safety and security
  • Consent for placement provided by parent/guardian and agreement that the family will participate in treatment as determined to be clinically necessary.

How do we serve our residents?

Norris Academy strives to provide intensive treatment to children and youth who are experiencing challenges associated with Autism Spectrum and Neurodevelopmental disorders. Our trained professional staff work directly with our residents, their families and involved stakeholders in a compassionate, evidence-based manner with a focus on meaningfully engaging and diminishing problems behaviors. Through intensive skill-building efforts on a daily basis, our residents develop strategies in order to provide the opportunity for transition of the individual back into the community and into the home. The level of treatment is appropriate for individuals currently presenting significant to acute problem behaviors, which are prohibiting them from participating in the community and in their family.

Treatment at Norris Academy is grounded in a variety of evidence-based and practical models of behavioral interventions. Strategies with individual residents can include aspects of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH), Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS), and Behavior Modification/Treatment depending on the needs of the individual resident.

Services provided at the program include:

  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Family Psychoeducation
  • Behavioral Modification Plans
  • Activites of Daily Living
  • Individualized Educational Planning

At the time of admission, an initial treatment plan is developed to begin to provide care for residents immediately. The focus of this treatment revolves around reducing and/or eliminating unsafe or problem behaviors, development of positive skill-building to engage in relationships and support for residents to engage in more healthy behaviors. Families and caregivers are included in treatment throughout a resident's stay at Norris Academy to facilitate an effective reintegration back into the home, school and community. Norris staff work with community providers to assist with coordination of care and predictability for residents and their families at the time of step-down back into less restrictive settings.

For additional information or to make a referral, please contact:

Kaleigh Peavler
Admissions Coordinator Phone: 865-494-5554 ext. 340 Fax: 865-205-7287 Referral Email:
Donna E. Kirk, LCSW
Executive Director Phone: 865-494-5554 ext. 306 Fax:865-205-7287 Email: