NESCA - Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents
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Welcome to NESCA!

NESCA is a private pediatric neuropsychology group practice in Newton, Massachusetts established in 2007 by Dr. Ann Helmus, along with a core group of seasoned clinicians with decades of experience at the highest levels of professional practice. Client and family-centered, our group strives to create and refine innovative clinical protocols reflecting their accumulated collective knowledge, thereby setting new standards of care in the field.

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A comprehensive, understandable evaluation is the essential tool for parents and teachers to use in supporting the development and educational progress of children with special needs. Coming to a thorough understanding of the child's functioning is the first step in this process. Follow-up support in terms of consultation with parents, schools and other professionals is also critical.

Evaluations at NESCA are notable for diagnostic accuracy, evenóor especially--in the most complex cases. But by design, the element that truly sets them apart is the exceptional clarity and usefulness of the written reports they generate, which reveal a rich understanding of each child. Interpreting data, coming to grips with the practical implications of a childís diagnosis, formulating corrective strategies and presenting them in ways that can be both readily grasped and effectively implemented is a complex process. To produce reports of greatest benefit to clients and their families, our clinicians often go well beyond the expected, in time and effort.

Our staff is comprised of a seasoned group of senior neuropsychologists and other skilled practitioners who serve children and their families not only from the Boston metropolitan area and the rest of Massachusetts, but also from adjacent New England states and abroad. They have the training, experience, clinical judgment and professional standing not only to perform thorough evaluations, but also to make persuasive, useful recommendations and monitor their effective implementation.

We test, diagnose and treat children - pre-school through adolescence Ė confronted by developmental, learning or emotional challenges. Although many of the children we evaluate would traditionally have been seen in a hospital setting, parents choose us because they appreciate our friendliness and accessibility, the much higher degree of personal care we provide, and our eagerness and ability to follow-through, long-term. We strive to build long-term relationships with families so that we can provide ongoing support throughout the child's development.

Employing a battery of specialized diagnostic tests selected according to the individual presentation of each child, NESCA evaluates and treats:

  • Reading problems and academic issues;
  • Language-based, nonverbal and other learning disabilities;
  • Autism spectrum disorders including Asperger's Syndrome and PDD;
  • Executive functioning deficits;
  • Emotional issues including anxiety;
  • ADHD.

We address special education issues and school placements, and offer projective testing, special-needs tutoring and social skills development programs. Our center also provides families expertise with educational planning and management of children with special needs. We actively assist parents and teachers in drawing out the best in each child.

NESCA frequently provides assessments and consultation to human service agencies, public school systems and major universities. We receive referrals from pediatric neurologists, pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, attorneys, educational advocates, special education directors and private schools, as well as from our many client families.

Mind-Body Integration Therapy

NESCA is pleased to offer yoga-based, mind-body integration therapy, which by increasing their self-awareness, equips children to more effectively manage difficult emotions, modulate their physiological state and calm themselves when anxious or overwhelmed. Sessions are conducted by Hannah Gould, M.Ed., a certified special education teacher and yoga instructor extensively experienced in working with children with nonverbal learning disability and autism spectrum disorders, including Aspergerís Syndrome. Hannah uses stories, games and music to make yoga engaging and meaningful to children. Read more.

See the Latest News from NESCA Here

See What Others Say About NESCA Here

A Parentís Guide to Neuropsychological Evaluation

On behalf of the Aspergerís Association of New England (AANE), Newton Journalist Lucy Berrington recently wrote an informative article entitled "A Parentís Guide to Neuropsychological Evaluation" for the groupís website ( NESCA Director Dr. Ann Helmus contributed to it, as did several other neuropsychologists. Because we felt that Berringtonís piece might be very helpful to parentís considering evaluations for their children or navigating the shoal waters of the special education process, we asked for, and received from the AANE, permission to reprint it here. One key recommendation? "When choosing a neuropsychologist, find someone you can work with over the long term, preferably all the way through your childís schooling. The better (he or she) knows your child, the more helpful and persuasive their reports will be to parents, educators and, if your case ever becomes litigious, hearing officers."

Find the AANEís "A Parentís Guide to Neuropsychological Evaluation" Here

See Our Thoughts on Choosing the "Right" Neuropsychologist for Your Child Here

NESCA Awarded APA Accreditation to Grant Continuing Education Credits

The American Psychological Association recently accredited NESCA to award Continuing Education Credits to psychologists, both on staff and from outside our practice, who participate in our weekly training seminars and other special events. These credits are required by the State as a condition of ongoing professional licensure.

We are very pleased by the APAís acknowledgement of the quality of our programs, our commitment to best clinical practices and our dedication to advancement of knowledge within the field. In addition to our educational programs, we are currently training three post-doctoral fellows, and a pre-doctoral intern. We are also conducting research, funded by a grant from the National Academy of Neuropsychology, into the efficacy of pediatric neuropsychological evaluation. Through these endeavors, we maintain a dynamic workplace in which our clinicians thrive and you are assured that your child is being evaluated by a passionate, highly-trained, experienced professional whose findings are based on the latest and best information available.

The TDC Recommended Reading List Ė Autism Spectrum Disorders

This fall, we launched a new clinical division called TDC: The Developmental Collaborative at NESCA, specialized in the diagnosis of autism in children as young as two years old, and their subsequent treatment through adolescence and transition into adulthood. Many TDC client families have asked us to help them separate wheat from chaff, fact from the fiction that abounds, especially on the web, by directing them to reliable sources of information about these complex and challenging conditions. Accordingly, we have compiled an extensive list of books we recommend on topics ranging from early warning signs to educational program planning, the maintenance of healthy family relationships and first-person accounts of life on the autism spectrum.

Get TDCís Recommended Autism Reading List Here

Selected Autism Resources on the Internet

We have also very carefully screened dozens of websites containing material related to autism, in order to identify those that are easiest to navigate, broadest in scope, most accurate and of greatest utility to families grappling with the challenges of autism diagnoses. The web is an invaluable tool, but it can also be a minefield of misinformation and exploitation. Here is a list of sites that we feel are solidly grounded scientifically, offering evidence-based programs staffed professionally and services of interest and solid value to many families. By reading the books listed above and continuing your research online at these websites, you can expand your knowledge of autism safely and reliably.

Get TDCís List of Select Autism Resources Online Here

NESCA, p.c. | 55 Chapel Street, 2nd Floor | Newton, MA 02458 | (617) 658-9800

NESCA, p.c. | 55 Chapel Street, 2nd Floor | Newton, MA 02458 | (617) 658-9800
© 2007 NESCA, p.c. All Rights Reserved