NESCA’s real-life skills and executive function coaching services focus on developing essential adaptive and practical independent living skills in real-world environments. Specific, individualized goals are established for continued learning, vocation and community life. Real-life skills coaching is provided by NESCA OTs as well as NESCA Transition Specialists (who have backgrounds in vocational and college counseling).

What is Real-life Skills Coaching?

Real-life Skills Coaching (RSC) is an intensive service for teens and young adults aged 13-26 focused on developing essential adaptive and practical independent living skills in real-life environments. Development and repeated practice of skills in natural environments is a critical step for individuals needing to generalize skills taught in the classroom and/or who learn best experientially.

During Covid-19, NESCA began offering RSC via telehealth and has found the model to be extremely effective for targeting a subset of life skills, including executive functioning for remote learning.

Who would benefit from coaching?

This is a highly personal decision. In general, the service is suitable for any student or young adult who benefits from one-to-one learning opportunities and is seeking experience outside the walls of a school or clinic environment. It may be an important component for an individual taking part in a fifth year of high school, postgraduate or gap year experience. RSC is also supportive for individuals transitioning from college to other life experiences.

How are RSC services delivered at NESCA?

While coaching can occur over the course of one or more school years, many individuals choose to participate in a set number of hours per week for a short-term period of time (e.g., 2 hours per week for 8 weeks or 12 weeks). After an initial intake/evaluation period, coaching focuses on specific short-term individualized goals in key areas of transition: continued learning, vocation, and daily living (self-care, domestic, and community life).

Do students/adults ever participate in long-term coaching?

When a young person is interested in learning a range of skills, they may engage in a long-term coaching process, moving through acquisition of many real-life skills. Based on student interest, learning style, and schedule some students may want to participate in coaching throughout an entire school year while other students may take a break and return for additional coaching in a different season or year (e.g., summer and winter breaks).

What kinds of skills do students or young adults work on with coaching?

Skill development may include executive functioning, interpersonal skills, self-advocacy, self-care/hygiene, meal planning and preparation, money management, shopping, travel training, engaging in volunteer and community service work, professional skills, establishing healthy fitness routines, nutrition, and other skill areas critical for successful independent adult life. Specific short-term goals are set by the client and coach in collaboration with family members prior to the first coaching session. Overall well-being and familiarity with community resources are a focus for every participant.

Do coaches work with schools and/or adult human service providers?

Our coaches will work collaboratively with schools and agency representatives and accompany clients to meetings as appropriate. This is particularly useful for eligible individuals who will be receiving ongoing support from adult human service agencies such as the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), Department of Mental Health (DMH) and/or the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), as well as disability resources on a college campus.

Where does coaching occur?

Coaching sessions may begin in or near the client’s home, but generally take place in local community settings. NESCA coaches do not transport clients in their personal vehicles, however travel training during coaching sessions may include pedestrian skills, local fixed-route or taxi ride programs, the MBTA, Uber cars, etc.

While many of NESCA’s coaching clients are local to our Newton office, coaches are able to work with clients throughout central and eastern Massachusetts as well as surrounding states. In these
cases, there may be a fee for added travel time.

How can I learn more about NESCA or request an appointment?

On this website, you will find much more information about our practice. To request an appointment, complete the brief, time-saving intake form, which will be sent to us securely.

Once we receive your information, a clinician will reach out for a 30-minute complementary phone intake to determine the appropriateness of the service and the most appropriate coaching match. In cases where an individual is not a fit for the desired service, referrals to appropriate community providers will be provided.

We also encourage you to read and subscribe to our new, award-winning blog, NESCA Notes, which updated weekly. Delivering updates on significant developments in science, education and the law as they affect families of children with special needs, along with practical parenting advice and links to carefully-screened and reliable sources of additional information.

What is the Cost?

The cost per coaching session ranges from $200-225/hr depending on the coaching match. This hourly rate applies to direct service to the student as well as careful preparation for each individualized coaching session. For community coaching sessions, hours and fee are prearranged with the coach and the fee must be paid in full to NESCA by cash, check, or credit card
24 hours prior to the start of the coaching session. Most often, clients leave a credit card on file to pay for ongoing services.

While many of NESCA’s coaching clients are local to our Newton office or able to engage in telehealth services, coaches are able to work with clients throughout central and eastern Massachusetts as well as surrounding states. In these cases, there may be a fee for added travel time.

Will I get a report of the coaching?

Weekly overview emails are provided to the client and family. Progress is monitored closely and continually throughout participation and written program summaries and assessments are available for an additional fee.

Does NESCA provide other transition services?

Yes. NESCA provides transition planning, consultation, college selection, pre-college coaching, career coaching, transition assessment, vocational assessment, school consultation, gap year coordination, and training services. Please speak with your coach if you are interested in additional transition services through NESCA.