March 18, 2020
To our NESCA community,
While we have very carefully been trying to accommodate clients safely these past few days, in order to do our part in slowing the spread of COVID-19, we have made the decision to close all physical NESCA office locations on Friday, March 20 at 5:00PM for a two-week time period. We do not take this decision lightly, as we know many parents, caregivers and ultimately children and teens are in need and will want to make the most of limited school time during this period of physical distancing.
We feel it is the responsible thing to do for our clients, staff and the population as a whole; however, we recognize that many families will still need support during the period of time when schools are closed. As such, NESCA as a clinical practice will remain open and we will offer many of our current services remotely and add new remote services relative to navigating learning and skill development at home for students with learning and developmental differences. If you have any questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coaching and Consultation from the Couch
During this time, we will increase our offerings and make available the following coaching and consultation services, provided by our occupational therapists, transition specialists, neuropsychologists and consultants. By intended audience, NESCA’s remote services include:
For Parents and Caregivers
- Support for managing behavior and learning at home
- Information on how to be your child’s teacher, aide and parent all at once
- Help planning and organizing home life to meet your whole family’s needs
- Social-emotional support for families and parents
- Transition planning, college planning and career planning during COVID-19
- Regular parent coaching
For Teens and Young Adults
- Individual instruction and support related to life skills, career planning, college planning, IEP self-determination, maintaining community engagement, etc.
- Processing COVID-19 and physical distancing with neurodiverse individuals, including those with autism
- Building self-awareness, social competence and coping skills, and improving overall functioning
- Psychoeducational counseling for those who experience emotional and attentional challenges, anxiety, autism or other neurodiverse profiles
- Modifying instructional practices now that services are being delivered remotely
- Developing transition services and occupational therapy services that can be provided to students at this time so that they will continue to make progress toward their diplomas
- Work in conjunction with school/district staff to creatively develop programs, services and ways to meet missed learning opportunities/IEP goals
- Conduct remote lessons for parents of students in your district to help them utilize the educational materials you’ve provided them
- Assist parents in determining which educational materials, online programs are best suited for their child
- Provide webinars for parents of a specific disability type to give them specific tools/techniques to match the disability/age/grade of their child
- Continuing to deliver direct and indirect contracted services as consultants, transition specialists, occupational therapists, psychologists and rehabilitation counselors
Neuropsychological Evaluations and Consultations
While we will not be evaluating children and teens in person over the next two weeks, parent intakes can be held by phone or web conference, and feedback sessions for evaluations that have already taken place will be done remotely. We are also available to speak directly to children and teens to help them process the “new normal” they are experiencing.
While NESCA has always offered neuropsychological consultation, this is a service that is less often utilized in comparison to our testing services. However, we encourage families to reach out for consultation through our neuropsychologists or consultants if they are seeking guidance in prioritizing learning activities at home, identifying which available educational materials will work for their child, managing behavior, recognizing how materials need to be modified, etc. NESCA’s professionals are here to help you along. Given that time this school year will be limited, families who have been wondering if neurodevelopmental or neuropsychological evaluation is needed for their child or what testing to request from their school program upon school reopening are welcome to continue scheduling remote consultations with our expert neuropsychologists as well.
Transition and Occupational Therapy (OT) Services
In addition to all of the described coaching and consultation services, we will continue to conduct consultations regarding transition planning, service delivery and assessment by phone or web conference. We are also able to conduct intake sessions for future evaluations remotely and carry out some informal testing remotely.
Outlet for Factual Information
During this time of misinformation and too much information, we will continue to provide a host of useful, practical and factual information to keep our families healthy in body and mind and keep our children engaged in both our blog series and Facebook page.
Families and schools may complete our online intake form to
schedule consultations, coaching and evaluations.
We wish you all continued health and safety and will keep you all in our thoughts during this difficult time.
Warm and healthy regards,
Ann Helmus, Ph.D., Pediatric Neuropsychologist
Founder and Director of NESCA