Coaching Services

Executive Function (EF) Coaching

NESCA offers executive function coaching for students from elementary school through adulthood who are looking to bolster their organization, scheduling, time management, goal setting, and routine building skills. Students work one-on-one with occupational therapists and education specialists to identify specific skills that will help them be more organized and in control of their academic and general life tasks.

Skills that are frequently targeted include:

  • managing a personal calendar
  • building out weekly to-do lists
  • setting up a medication management system
  • calling in prescriptions
  • keeping up with an email account
  • setting weekly goals across different areas, such as self-care, academic work, and self-advocacy
  • digital literacy and everyday technology skills

Many of these students are just starting to take responsibility for these tasks and learning about the tasks they will need to learn for increased independence in adulthood. Other students may have been successful earlier in their academic careers, getting by on strong cognitive skills and good memory, but find that their previous “systems” are no longer effective when faced with rigorous high school, college, or even graduate school work.

Real-life Skills Coaching

For students with social, emotional, organizational and/or learning differences, hands-on instruction in real world environments is a critical means of developing skills for postsecondary living, learning and working. NESCA is pleased to offer individualized home-, community-, and office-based coaching services delivered by a team of seasoned Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Transition Specialists to support the needs of transition-age youth.

Real-life skills coaching may be a time-limited or ongoing intensive service focused on developing practical independent living skills in real-life environments. Specific, individualized goals are established for continued learning and success in one’s vocation, home or community life. Our OTs help clients build skills to assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)—everyday, basic tasks that allow a person to both function and thrive—and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)—more complex tasks that allow a person to live and thrive independently. Our Transition Specialists help build skills to address transitions specifically to employment or postsecondary learning environments.

Examples of ADLs NESCA addresses are:

  • Self-care/hygiene
  • Dressing
  • Development of morning/evening routines

Examples of IADLs NESCA addresses are:

  • Executive functioning (organization and planning techniques)
  • Travel training/community navigation*
  • Grocery shopping
  • Managing finances
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Fitness and nutrition

Real-life Skills Coaching often also addresses:

  • Self-advocacy
  • Self-Determination and Goal-Setting
  • Communication
  • Social skills
  • Leisure Skills
  • Community participation
  • Consumer Skills
  • Securing Volunteer or Part-time Work

*OTs are uniquely positioned to serve as travel trainers, helping individuals successfully and safely get from point A to point B. In this role, OTs assess, advise and train individuals to use transportation systems and services to get from home to work, school, stores or other destinations within the community and back home again safely.

Pre- and College Coaching

College coaching at NESCA is a highly individualized process that meets a student where they are at and provides a practical road map for managing their transition from high school to a two- or four-year college program. NESCA offers an individualized and real-world approach to the processes of identifying and exploring college options. The goals of each student who participates in this one-on-one coaching service are unique—students may participate in short-term coaching lasting as few as 6-8 coaching sessions or an ongoing model of coaching that can extend up to or beyond the first semester of college. Ongoing coaching often ends when the student outgrows the service or has transitioned to receiving effective support through campus and community resources.

Finding the college that will afford a student the best opportunity for success often starts with a thorough evaluation of the student’s career and academic interests, natural aptitudes, personality, preferences, learning style and support needs. NESCA Transition Specialists are then able to support students (and their families) in developing a college planning timeline, building a college list, learning how to explore a college online, understanding differences between high school and college, planning and preparing for college visits, researching support services, maximizing summertime, resume development, managing the application process, and more. When students work with NESCA for college selection or application, we offer a flexible coaching model, providing as little or as much support as desired. Moreover, when questions about a student’s readiness for a two- or four-year college experience are raised, NESCA transition specialists are uniquely qualified to assess readiness and provide appropriate referrals to alternative transition, gap year and age 18-22 programs.

Importantly, NESCA coaches (Occupational Therapists or Transition Specialists) are able to provide coaching services in the community. When exploring college options, coaches can visit colleges with students to help them get the most from their experience, reality test the “fit,” and investigate beyond the official presentation offered by the college. For students who have selected a future college, coaching services can be critical for enabling students to learn to navigate specific college campuses, practice hands-on skill development, and familiarize themselves with resources found on the college campus and in the surrounding community.

Employment Coaching

Employment coaching is an opportunity for students (or recent graduates) to develop workplace skills and explore possible careers. Through an individualized approach, students are explicitly taught about their own personal strengths, interests and abilities and how they apply to the world of work. NESCA offers coaching opportunities designed to meet students at their stage of career development and help them progress through multiple phases of career planning:

  • Career Interest & Aptitude Testing – Clients have the opportunity to learn about the world of work including how the language and expectations are different than school. They will learn about themselves and how their strengths, interests and abilities carve out a path to employment. Students will gain familiarity with skills and behaviors required for work, including social communication, as well as the range of options related to their unique interests and abilities.
  • Potential Career Paths – Clients learn about the differences between jobs and careers. They will be able to identify short-term goals leading to future employment. They will identify careers related to their strengths and interests to research further. They may be exposed to real-world job exploration such as job shadows, informational interviews, and/or volunteer work. Students will become more familiar with their own self-determination skills, enhancing their abilities to identify strengths, aptitudes, learning styles, transferable work skills and behaviors as well as work preferences.
  • Job Preparation – Students will create a step-by-step action plan for achieving realistic career goals. This may include educational planning for attendance at technical schools, increased job training and/or higher education. Students will be taught explicitly how to remain flexible with respect to potential career choices, develop independent coping skills and to make a well thought-through decision. Students will further reduce dependence on school support by identifying and developing personal networks. Students will learn about and follow through on job seeking tasks with supportive or competitive employment as the ultimate goal.
  • Job Maintenance – Clients will have a job and/or internship. They will receive job site-specific coaching to maintain employment. They will improve on their communication skills as they apply to the world of work. They will learn how and with whom to problem-solve on the job. They will be able to describe to future employers what their transferable employment skills are and how they learn best on the job. Clients will increase their independent living skills and self-advocacy skills as they relate to the world of work.