For more information on NESCA’s Covid-19 protocols, please visit NESCA’s Coronavirus COVID-19 Information Page

Neuropsychological Evaluation

Comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations provide a highly-detailed description of a child’s developmental status or learning style based upon a very careful integration of findings from developmental history, observations by parents, teachers and clinician(s), and data from NESCA’s own testing. These evaluations, which seek to paint a recognizable portrait of the whole child, assess the underlying reasons he/she may be struggling academically, socially or emotionally, and offer parents and teachers a set of tools for supporting his or her development.

  • Comprehensive Assessments
  • School Observations
  • Attendance at IEP Meetings
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Psychological (Projective) Testing

Focused on social-emotional development and functioning and involving additional, specialized testing by trained clinicians, these evaluations are helpful in understanding why a child may be experiencing emotional distress or exhibiting significant changes in behavior or social functioning.

International Evaluations

For the last three years, Dr. Ann Helmus has traveled quarterly to Asia and is happy to provide consultation to families there.

NESCA has now welcomed clients from 20+ countries, and our clinicians have performed evaluations on-site in several. For international clients and others who have traveled great distances, we can provide the following special services, as appropriate:

  • Expedited appointments
  • Assistance with local accommodations and transportation
  • Evaluations completed quickly—often in a single day or two—by clinical teams, for qualified clients with limited time
  • Arrangement of interpreter services available
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Transition Assessment, Consultation and Planning

Transition is the process, initiated at an early age and extending through high school and beyond, by which an adolescent or young adult develops the necessary skills to function independently in postsecondary school, the workplace, community and at home. NESCA offers an array of transition services including:

  • Assessment (including testing, functional evaluations and observations)
  • Consultation, case coordination, training and support
  • Planning support including college, transition/postgraduate program and career/vocational counseling
  • Real-life Skills Coaching and Transition Consultation (jointly offered as a transition service and occupational therapy service at NESCA)
  • Virtual Coaching Services for Teens and Young Adults (and Their Parents)
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Consultation Services

NESCA’s consultation services are under the direction of Dot Lucci. Dot was the program director of MGH Aspire for many years. While at MGH Aspire she developed the 3S model (i.e. self -awareness, social competency and stress management). Dot has been an educational consultant for many years and she weaves the 3 S model into her consultation practice. She brings decades of experience and the ASD Needs Assessment Protocol (which she developed) to NESCA to lead its consultation and psychoeducational services.

NESCA’s consultants bring decades of clinical, business and educational expertise and experiences to inform our dynamic consultation practices. We have worked with public and private schools (PK – 22), colleges and universities, and agencies and businesses, to improve outcomes for neurodiverse students and employees.  Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological differences are recognized, valued, respected and considered part of any human variation.  Diagnoses such as: ADHD, ASD, Dyslexia, and others could be identified as neurodiversity.  NESCA Consultation have included these as well as many other diagnostic categories. Through consultation we have designed more inclusive school and work environments that support neurodiversity as well as all students and employees.

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Occupational Therapy Services

NESCA is pleased to be offering occupational therapy services specifically designed to help infants, children, adolescents, and young adults have success in any environment or activity where they want to perform better—at home, in school, during leisure, in the community, and especially during the transition to adulthood. Through evaluation, observation and assessment, skills that are lacking and negatively impacting an individual’s ability to function successfully and navigate through everyday life are identified and goals and recommendations for remediating and accommodating those skill deficits are developed. Intervention and consultation are also provided as needed and appropriate.

NESCA offers a variety of Educational OT services including:

  • Educational OT Assessment and Consultation (Primarily for students K-21)
  • Functional Assessment of Home- and Community-Based Skills (Primarily for 6th grade students and older)
  • Real-Life Skills Coaching and Transition Consultation (This is jointly offered as a transition service and occupational therapy service at NESCA)

NESCA additionally offers Sensory-/Motor-based OT services which may support:

  • better self-regulation, sleep, behavioral control and frustration tolerance
  • increased comfort with sports and playground equipment
  • improved confidence with social interactions and peer interaction
  • improved physical strength and coordination
  • better legibility of handwriting and improved ocular motor and visual perceptual skills
  • increased food intake as well as food repertoire and tolerance
  • improved tolerance for sensory stimuli and ability to function in group settings
  • improved independence with self-care and daily living skills
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Speech and Language Therapy Services

Most children develop speech and language within a specific timeframe. A child who takes longer or struggles to learn these skills may benefit from speech-language therapy. Speech-language therapy also helps children who have difficulty with reading, writing and social communication. NESCA’s speech-language pathologists assess and treat difficulties with communication and feeding/swallowing. Speech and Language Therapy may be supportive for students with speech disorders, language disorders, medical and developmental conditions, feeding/swallowing disorder and more.

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Feeding Therapy Services

Feeding therapy begins with an evaluation of feeding skills, in which the therapist gathers background information, history of eating difficulties and medical history. The therapist will evaluate a child’s feeding skills and profile, including progression from purees to solids, chewing skills, food preferences, avoidance and refusal behaviors, sensory profile, drinking skills, and variety and volume of food intake. The therapists will collaborate with your family to provide recommendations to make mealtimes successful and positive for everyone.

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School Observations and Team Meetings

It is said that it takes a village to support a child, especially one who often struggles, despite best efforts to help them. With in-depth experience working in public and private schools, our clinicians collaborate with teachers and school staff to identify how and why commonplace school factors, along with a student’s underdeveloped skills, contribute to academic challenges or problematic behaviors. In addition our clinicians provide in-the-moment coaching to teachers and school staff for how to manage challenging behaviors and help reduce anxiety. In-the-moment demonstrations show best practices for intervening practicably and effectively. This service is offered to existing NESCA clients who are receiving neuropyschological, therapeutic and/or transition services.

  • Classroom and Community Observations
  • Attendance at IEP Meetings

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Workshops and Trainings

NESCA’s clinical team provides workshops and trainings to mental health, medical, and school professionals. We also provide workshops for parents, religious educators, after-school teachers and camp staff, coaches, and youth organizations.  We often speak at SEPAC, PTOs and other parent organizations on a wide range of topics. Our workshops and trainings range in length and time depending upon the needs of the client.  Workshops and trainings range from an hour to an all-day presentation.  We also provide seminars and trainings that are multiple days in a row or a series of presentations over the course of a year.  Workshops and trainings may include a variety of presentation means: power point presentation/handouts, lecture, discussion, group work, video presentation, demonstrations and more.  A partial list of available trainings with descriptions is available here.

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Integrative and Therapeutic Services

Many parents wish to explore alternative treatments for their children’s social and emotional needs. At NESCA, we offer the following services as an alternative or complementary approach to traditional therapy and medication inventions.

  • Psychoeducational Counseling (Virtual Services Available)
  • Personal and Social Coaching (PSC)
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ASD Diagnostic Clinic

NESCA’s ASD Diagnostic Clinic is comprised of neuropsychologists and psychologists with expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorder. NESCA’S ASD specialists provide ASD Diagnostic Testing, a service for early detection of ASD in children ages 2 to 5.

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(This) is one of the best, most well-written neuropsych reports I have ever read. It is very accessible not just to other professionals, but to parents and teachers as well. I think you captured (the child) perfectly, and beautifully. And I'm glad you could validate how much progress he's made, while still advocating for the continued supports he needs. Thank you so much!

Speech-Language Pathologist, Needham, MA