Personal and Social Coaching (PSC)

Exercise is one of the most effective instant happiness boosters of all time. Personal and Social Coaching (PSC) involves combining individualized personal training and autism fit techniques to create an individualized exercise program for a young person who has previously struggled to be fit. PSC clients work with trainer and instructor Billy Demiri on a weekly basis and begin taking part in fitness programming while also building social competence and confidence through the one-on-one training relationship. Billy’s Autism Fit Certification uniquely qualifies him to work with clients who have autism and related learning and attention difficulties.

How PSC Works

For kids who often struggle with low muscle tone, poor motor planning, and proprioception difficulties, fitness activities help to increase strength, stability, and motor planning for all daily activities, not just working out. More importantly, participating in regular fitness through PSC provides an opportunity for young people to have repetitive successful physical and social experiences. As kids gain more confidence in their physical abilities, they will want to participate and socialize more in additional environments and activities. Moreover, regular physical movement decreases anxiety and depression symptoms. It can also decrease off-task behavior because as the child or teen learns to focus on one exercise at a time.

Who Leads PSC at NESCA?

Billy Demiri, a Personal Trainer in Boston for more thant 5 years, has joined NESCA to offer Personal and Social Coaching (PSC) for clients. Billy is a native of Malden, Massachusetts. He attended Merrimack College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine with a concentration in Physical Therapy. Billy has several fitness certifications including: NSCA-CPT (National Strength Condition Association – Certified Personal Trainer) Certified, Autism Fit Certified, TRX Certified, Kettle Bell Athletics Level One Certified, and also Pre- and Post-natal Certified.

FAQs

Who is it for?

Boys ages 8-18 with autism, ADHD, or related social, emotional and learning challenges. Billy will be initially working with clients who are part of the NESCA family and have already participated in testing, consultation, or therapy at one of our Massachusetts or New Hampshire offices.

When does it happen?

Clients meet with Billy for 1 hour per week. This is usually after school hours or on Saturdays.

How can I find out if PSC is right for my child?

To learn more about his services, please email bdemiri@nesca-newton.com. Or, to book an intake with Billy, please complete NESCA’s Intake Form and select “Personal and Social Coaching (PSC)” as your reason for referral.

Therapeutic Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a safe and effective healing modality that aims to restore balance to the body, mind, and spirit. When a person is perfectly in balance, there are no adverse symptoms causing pain or discomfort anywhere in the body. Signs of imbalance can show up differently in everyone. Some common clues that things aren’t functioning quite right are when people begin to develop symptoms of anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, digestive difficulties, mood changes, fatigue, common colds, allergies, and headaches.

Acupuncture dates back thousands of years and is part of a comprehensive system of medicine that developed in China. It works to clear imbalances or blockages in the body, therefore allowing the body to develop the means to heal itself. It is a powerful technique that gets to the root of the issue. By doing this, it not only clears current symptoms, but also helps to prevent future symptoms and illness from arising.

The way that acupuncture works to create health and wellness makes it particularly beneficial for children and adolescents. Acupuncture is most effective when symptoms are caught early or before they even begin; it is a wonderful preventative medicine and because children are still in the processes of developing, they are fantastic candidates for acupuncture.

Who Conducts Acupuncture at NESCA?

Holly Pelletier, licensed acupuncturist, has been working with children, adolescents, and young adults, in many different capacities since 2004. Prior to treating youth with acupuncture, she worked as a teacher, coach, and mentor. She especially enjoys working with young people and acupuncture because of their speedy response time and genuine excitement about this form of medicine. Holly has a very gentle technique and has specific training in non-insertive acupuncture styles, which does not require needling directly into the skin. More about Holly.

FAQs

Who is it for?

Acupuncture is appropriate for a wide range of children and adolescents. Common imbalances kids seek treatment for include stress, anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, OCD, hormone regulation, insomnia, tics, digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, lack of appetite, & eating disorders, headaches & migraines, low energy/motivation, any kind of pain and/or injury, and fluctuations in mood. Acupuncture works to restore balance to the body, so in that regard, it can work for almost anything. If you are curious about treatment for something and your symptom/pathology is not listed here, please don’t hesitate to inquire further.

What does a typical session look like?

Sessions can vary based on the age of the child. Typically, older children are better able to talk about how they are feeling, and if their symptoms have changed or stayed the same between appointments. For younger kids, Holly relies mainly on direct body feedback from the child such as pulse taking, palpation, or tongue diagnosis which is done simply by sticking out the tongue (usually one of the favorite parts of a treatment).

The timing of treatments can range from 15-60 minutes, depending on age and sensitivity of the child, generally speaking, the younger the child the less time needed per treatment. In regards to the actual treatment, again this can look drastically different depending on age. For younger kids, the acupuncture tools used are all non-insertive (no needles)  vs. with older kids, some opt to try very fine needles inserted gently into the skin.

After the initial intake is complete and Holly has met with you and your child, she will be able to provide a detailed description of what your child’s treatment protocol will look like.

Meet Holly in her studio and see the tools she uses! 

How can I find out if acupuncture is right for my child? How can I schedule a session?

To learn more about acupuncture at NESCA or to book a session, please contact Holly Pelletier at hpelletier@nesca-newton.com. Acupuncture is available in our Newton office Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and one Saturday a month.

Therapeutic Yoga

Therapeutic yoga at NESCA combines movement and verbal processing in a meditative way that helps take children out of their mind and thoughts and into their body. Each private session is uniquely tailored to ensure the child feels supported and engaged. Movement, breathing techniques, and mindfulness tools are interwoven through multisensory mediums of art, music, stories and creative play to encourage a child’s compassionate and positive relationship with himself or herself. With this foundation of self-acceptance, courage and strength are nourished to begin the practice of developing positive new coping skills and healthy habits.

Therapeutic yoga is a wonderful compliment or alternative to traditional psychotherapy. Numerous scientific studies have shown that yoga and mindfulness positively impact fitness, emotional regulation, focus and happiness. There are many benefits of yoga for children, particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, and Anxiety. Mind-body approaches are becoming increasingly popular as a means to directly address self-regulation, attention, and emotional reactivity.

Who Leads Yoga at NESCA?

Ann-Noelle McCowan, Yoga Specialist and Middle School Guidance Counselor, skillfully incorporates communication with families, educators and outside providers, while maintaining an approachable and advocacy role for her child/adolescent client. She has particular experience in working with anxious and depressed children as well as those who may be questioning their gender/sexuality, or who feel they don’t have their own cohort due to race, gender or learning abilities. Ann-Noelle’s continuing experience in both the school system and private practice at NESCA enhances her awareness of what children encounter during the day, and her focus on the practical application of how yoga and mindfulness skills can transition into their real world. Mindfulness, yoga and psycho-education are woven within her student individual and group work as a way to offset the stress and anxiety of day-to-day life and to build youth social, self and academic competencies.

Learn more about Ann-Noelle.

FAQs

Who is it for?

Therapeutic yoga sessions are appropriate for a wide range of children and adolescents including those with anxiety, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities.

How is it scheduled?

Sessions are conducted 1:1 or in small peer groups of 2-4 children for a minimum of 6 weeks. In many cases participants attend for much longer and yoga becomes an important and ever-evolving part of their lives.

How can I find out if therapeutic yoga is right for my child?

For more information about therapeutic yoga at NESCA or to sign up, please contact Ann-Noelle McCowan at (617) 901-7321 or amccowan@nesca-newton.com.

Additional Reading