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New Decade; New Director’s Update

By January 6, 2020NESCA Notes 2019

By: Ann Helmus, Ph.D.
NESCA Founder/Director

Welcome to the new year and a new decade! It’s a perfect time to take a look in the mirror and determine who we are. We reflect on what’s taken place in our lives and ask questions about what’s next. What do we want to keep in our lives or discard? What motivates us? What drives us to accomplish the plans we make?

At NESCA, we started this reflection early in the fall by dedicating a full day to a company-wide workshop to define who we are as a group practice and what our core values are. The main question to ourselves was, “What makes NESCA different?”.

Throughout the exercise, we outlined our mission and—as a values-driven organization—what our core values are. It’s not that we didn’t regularly follow them before our workshop, but we now had them down on paper to help guide us on a daily basis and as we forge ahead in the new decade. We shared our views on being so much more than evaluators who write neuropsychological reports and came to a consensus on what our bigger purpose is. We create the game plan, the roadmap that helps people rewrite the script of their lives, tell a new story and create a new path forward.

Throughout the workshop day, one unanimous theme emerged from NESCA’s team of clinicians, consultants, transition specialists, wellness providers and administrative staff is that we are a community of lifetime learners who are dedicated to collaboratively helping the families we work with, both now and as they develop throughout their life.

While each one of us at NESCA is smart, we know we are smarter together. NESCA clinicians are experienced professionals, veterans of their respective domains, who truly enjoy what they do and seek opportunities to collaborate, all so we can deliver the best possible recommendations for the individuals and families we work with. Many of us have worked together for decades. We understand SPED laws and the myriad of available services from preschool to adulthood. We work in a supportive environment where the perspectives and experiences of all employees are valued, respected and counted—whether that experience comes from our formal education, decades of work with families, conversations with our colleagues, being parents of children with special needs or other areas. This knowledge allows us to create plans that accommodate the services that are appropriate now as well as create a window for what an individual may need in the future.

As a team, we continually and proactively seek the expertise of each other as well as external professionals to enhance and strengthen our perspectives and consequently shape our individualized recommendations to those we work with. We don’t just do this on an ad hoc basis. We dedicate untouchable time on a weekly basis to our case conferences where we meet as a team, share resources and new evidence-based research and discuss challenging cases, with each clinician or practitioner offering insight and expertise from their vast past experience and body of connections to provide stronger and more worthwhile guidance and recommendations to families and schools.

Because of this group collaboration, we are highly equipped to take on complex cases. As the largest group of neuropsychologists and complementary clinicians in Greater Boston/New Hampshire, we bring a broad range of skills, perspectives and unique tools and approaches to the complex issues that are often presented to us.

During our workshop, we stated our core values—what motivates us every day to do what we do. We created them together and re-examine them regularly to ensure they reflect our mission, our commitment to children, young people and families, and our overall vision. Collaboration is just one of the core values that drives us. Throughout the year, we will bring you more of the outputs from our workshop, sharing what makes NESCA different.

About the Author: 

NESCA Founder/Director Ann Helmus, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist who has been practicing for almost 20 years. In 1996, she jointly founded the  Children’s Evaluation Center (CEC) in Newton, Massachusetts, serving as co-director there for almost ten years. During that time, CEC emerged as a leading regional center for the diagnosis and remediation of both learning disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

In September of 2007, Dr. Helmus established NESCA (Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents), a client and family-centered group of seasoned neuropsychologists and allied staff, many of whom she trained, striving to create and refine innovative clinical protocols and dedicated to setting new standards of care in the field.

Dr. Helmus specializes in the evaluation of children with learning disabilities, attention and executive function deficits and primary neurological disorders. In addition to assessing children, she also provides consultation and training to both public and private school systems. She frequently makes presentations to groups of parents, particularly on the topics of non-verbal learning disability and executive functioning.

To book an evaluation with Dr. Helmus, NESCA Founder and Director, or one of our many other expert neuropsychologists, complete NESCA’s online intake form

Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents (NESCA) is a pediatric neuropsychology practice and integrative treatment center with offices in Newton and Plainville, Massachusetts, as well as Londonderry, New Hampshire. NESCA serves clients from preschool through young adulthood and their families. For more information, please email info@nesca-newton.com or call 617-658-9800.