This is archive page

Feeding Therapy

Feeding therapy focuses on helping a child learn how to eat and/or expand the variety of developmentally appropriate foods in their repertoire. A therapist will first evaluate your child’s feeding skills including chewing, drinking, and ability to self-feed, as well as food preferences. The therapist will collaborate with your family in order to provide feeding strategies that make mealtimes successful and positive for everyone.

Feeding Therapy for Children Boston Massachusetts
Parents have pre-approved the use of children’s images for this website. Sharing of this image is prohibited by law.

Would my child benefit from feeding therapy?

The more questions you answer yes to, the more likely your child is to benefit from feeding therapy.

Is your child…

  • Not eating a variety of foods from all food groups or avoiding entire food groups?
  • Not eating an appropriate volume within a reasonable timeframe?
  • Refusing foods and engaging in avoidance behaviors (e.g., tantruming, throwing food, screaming, won’t sit at the table)?
  • Not growing well?
  • Gagging or vomiting while eating?
  • Only eating certain textures of food (e.g., purees, crunchy solids, fluids)?
  • Eating less than 20 foods consistently?
  • Eliminating foods previously eaten consistently and not replacing them?
  • Not self-feeding (e.g. drinking from a cup, using utensils) as would be expected for his/her age?
  • Having difficulty transitioning from tube to oral feeding?
  • Aspirating, coughing or choking while eating or shortly after eating?
  • Having difficulty weaning from a bottle to solid foods?


Feeding therapy can address a variety of issues, including:

  • Improving sensory tolerance to various food textures
  • Developing chewing skills
  • Increasing variety and volume of nutritional intake to include all food groups and textures
  • Reducing avoidance behaviors during mealtimes
  • Teaching self-feeding skills including drinking from a cup and using utensils

Our feeding therapists work with families to promote home generalization of skills by including parents in therapy sessions, modeling strategies to use in the home environment, and making recommendations specific to each child’s skills and goals.

The earlier you begin working with a feeding therapist, the faster you will see changes.  It is much easier to change a 2-year old’s relationship to food than a 12-year old’s.  However, feeding therapy can make mealtime more enjoyable for people of all ages, even adults!

Methodology

The SOS (sequential-oral-sensory) Approach to Feeding developed by Dr. Kay Toomey uses play, steps to eating and research to guide therapy.  The SOS Approach focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level with food by exploring and learning about the different properties of food.  There are many steps to eating, it does not begin at the mouth, but starting with our eyes and being able to look at a food (or be in the same room).  Then we learn to interact with it without directly touching it, like using a utensil.  Next, we smell it, then we touch it with our fingers, hands, body and mouth.  Tasting involves touching food with the tip of our tongue, full tongue lick, biting and spitting out and finally biting and chewing.   The SOS Approach allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way that is comfortable for them.

Clinicians

Nicole Zwiep – Occupational Therapist, Feeding Specialist
Nicole Zwiep has completed extensive training in the SOS Approach including advanced workshops in reflux, infants and toddlers, children on the autism spectrum, food scientist for older children, and children with severe developmental impairments.  In addition, she has completed the advanced-level SOS Mentorship course.  With the SOS Approach, eating does not begin at the mouth, first a child must tolerate the physical presence of food, next interacting without touching the food, then managing the smell, touching with hands, body and mouth.  Finally, tasting and then chewing and swallowing.

For more information or to discuss your child, please complete the Feeding Questionnaire and email to  Caroline Brinkert – Director of Speech-Language and Occupational Therapies at cbrinkert@iccdpartners.org

 

This is archive page

Sports Concussion Services

Comprehensive Concussion Care

At ICCD, we believe concussion is a treatable injury. Our team of experts is well-equipped to help your child get back to school, sports, and the activities they enjoy as quickly and safely as possible.

The ICCD Concussion Clinic incorporates a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment of head injury, no matter what the mechanism of injury. Our team of specialists include neuropsychologists, physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and clinical psychologists working together to provide individualized, integrated care to students and athletes of all ages.

View ICCD YouTube Videos

What Sets Us Apart

The ICCD Concussion Clinic is led by Dr. Jill Henley, a Clinical Sports Neuropsychologist who specializes in the treatment of sport-related concussions. Dr. Henley completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Concussion Program where she treated concussions and learned the nuances of the ImPACT test directly from the professionals who developed it. Dr. Henley has worked with athletes across the developmental lifespan, ranging from young athletes to the pros (Steelers and Penguins). She is excited to return to her home state and bring her personalized, dynamic, evidence-based approach to athletes in her own community.

In addition, our sports psychology department knows that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. This is extremely salient with concussion work as we now know there are multiple subtypes of concussion, each responding to a different type of intervention and return-to-play protocol. We use a multifaceted evaluation, including a thorough clinical interview, neurocognitive testing, and a vestibular/ocular motor screening to create the most efficient and targeted treatment plan for our patients. We are sensitive to the unique needs and recovery goals of every patient, as well as the pressures that student-athletes and their families face during recovery. We will remain involved through each stage of recovery, which makes our services unique in the field.

When it comes to concussions, well-managed, comprehensive care is the best way to prevent future complications. We understand the impact of potential consequences that arise from a poorly managed head injury and the risks of returning to sport too soon or remaining out of play too long. We also understands that our patients are eager to return to normalcy. Our goal is to get our patients back to complete recovery so they can return to school, sports, and all of life’s excitement.

We are passionate about bringing our knowledge to athletes who want an accurate diagnosis from a specialist who can read the data, the patient, and craft an immediate action plan. Our team is ready to help you on your path to recovery.

Our Services

  • Multidisciplinary Evaluation of Concussion
  • ImPACT Baseline and Post-Injury Testing
  • Vestibular Physical Therapy Evaluations and Treatment
  • Comprehensive Return to Learn Plans
  • Return-to-Play Consultation and Clearance
  • Medication Management
  • Sports Therapy
  • Executive Coaching Services
  • Comprehensive Neuropsychological Testing
This is archive page

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Services

What is AAC?

AAC stands for augmentative and alternative communication. AAC is an acronym that includes all of the ways an individual may communicate without using verbal speech.

Clients with speech and language disorders, may need AAC to help them communicate effectively. Some clients may need to use AAC all the time and others may only use it during certain instances: communicating with a new person who cannot understand them, communicating in a stressful situation, in order to expand the length of their message etc.

AAC can be used across a variety of settings with a variety of communication partners in order to increase effective, functional communication for a child/person.

Types of AAC:

Most children/people who use AAC use a combination of AAC types to communicate.

Unaided Systems (do not require use of anything)

  • Gestures
  • Body language
  • Facial expressions
  • Sign language

Aided Systems (requires use of some sort of tool/device)

Includes both high and low tech

  • Low Tech: pictures, pen and paper, topic boards
  • High Tech: voice output speech-generating devices, applications on iPads

 

Services We Offer:

Evaluations:

  • Comprehensive evaluations are conducted by speech-language pathologists who has extensive AAC experience
  • Evaluations are conducted in order to examine the client’s communication profile across multiple environments
  • Includes parent/caregiver interview, communication with members of the client’s educational team, extensive device trials in order to assess which device or application may be the best fit for the client, exploring and explaining options for funding and providing thorough recommendations for AAC implementation across settings

 

Direct Speech-Language Therapy Services utilizing AAC:

  • Our qualified and knowledgeable speech-language pathologists utilize evidence-based practices during direct therapy sessions with clients in order to teach them skills in the four competencies of AAC while involving the parent/caregiver and familiar communication partners into the therapy experience for best practice
    • Operational Competence: the skills required to use the AAC device
    • Functional/Social Competence: social skills involved in communication: initiating, maintaining and terminating communication interactions in a socially, culturally and contextually appropriate manner
    • Linguistic Competence: the receptive and expressive language development and knowledge of language that is needed to use the AAC system
    • Strategic Competence: ability to gain listener’s attention before selecting a symbol on the device, checking for partner comprehension, repairing communication breakdowns
    • Emotional Competence: development of emotional vocabulary and utilizing that vocabulary to relay feelings, beliefs and thoughts

Consultation

  • training for families, caregivers and educational team members regarding programming and daily use of the client’s AAC device
  • promotes carryover of skills learned in therapy and generalizes learned skills across environments
  • consultation needs based on client and family’s familiarity with the AAC device
  • consultation includes information regarding: device operation, programming, technical support and suggestions for incorporating the device in the client’s day

Populations that may benefit from AAC:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Developmental Delay
  • Down Syndrome
  • Rhett Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Apraxia of Speech
  • Motor Speech Disorder
  • Severe Phonological Disorder
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

AAC Resources:

Contact Caroline Brinkert , Director of Speech and Language Services, at cbrinkert@iccdpartners.org to schedule a more comprehensive intake conversation and determine the appropriate next steps for your child.

References:
Light, J.C., Beukelman, D.R., & Reichle, J. (Eds.). (2003). Communicative competence for individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication. Baltimore: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co.

Blackstone, S.W. and Wilkins, E.P. (2009). Exploring the Importance of Emotional Competence in Children with Complex Communication Needs. In: Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 18, 78-87.

 

This is archive page

Consultative Division

ICCD is proud to announce our new consultative division. Given the nature of our multidisciplinary and collaborative team approach, ICCD is able to provide in depth and comprehensive services to children and systems facing a wide variety of challenges. We recognize the diverse needs of our students and seek to support children, educators, and their families in meeting these challenges. We are able to tailor and individualize our services based on the needs of each institution, including preschool centers, private and charter schools, and various settings while using evidence-based approaches.

ICCD’s consultation services include:

Assessment

  • Neuropsychological
  • Academic
  • Speech and Language
  • OT
  • Assistive Technology


Behavioral

  • Classroom Observations
  • FBA
  • ABA
  • School Wide PBIS


Medical

  • Psychopharmacology


Occupational Therapy

  • Self-Regulation
  • Keyboarding
  • Handwriting
  • Sensory Processing

Social-Emotional

  • Individual Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Social Skills
  • Bullying Prevention/Intervention

Executive Functioning Support

Community Presentations

Concussion

  • Pre-Concussion Baseline Assessment
  • Post-Concussion Evaluation|

Speech and Language

  • Direct Service targeting receptive and expressive language, speech production, fluency, and social


Educational

  • Program Development and Evaluation
  • Direct Service
  • Tutoring

Professional Development

This is archive page

Common Speech Disorders

Common Speech Disorders

  • Apraxia of Speech is a disorder of the sequencing of the motor movements for producing speech sounds.
  • Articulation (Speech) Disorder is difficulty with the production of speech sounds. Articulation disorders are due to incorrect placement of the articulators (tongue, lips, velum) within the oral cavity.
  • Oral Motor Disorder occurs when a child has difficulty controlling muscles of the articulators (lips, tongue, etc.). Therapy focuses on improving strength and functioning for the purposes of speech.
  • Phonological Disorder occurs when children continue to produce immature patterns of speech sounds. Therapy focuses on replacing these patterns with appropriate production of sounds.
  • Selective Mutism occurs when a child speaks easily with specific people, but struggles or may not speak at all with others. Therapy focuses on gradual exposure to increasingly difficult tasks.
  • Stuttering is a disruption in the fluency of speech, either by repetition, prolongation, or block on sounds, words, or phrases. Therapy focuses on both stuttering modification and fluency shaping strategies.
    Voice Disorders are characterized by the voice sounding breathy, strained, having an odd pitch, or other unusual qualities.

 

Common Language Disorders

  • Language Delays are when a child is otherwise developing typically (in play, non-verbal social skills, etc.), but is producing and understanding speech at a lower level than is to be expected for his or her given age.
  • Expressive Language Delays/Disorders occur when a child is developing typically in his or her understanding /comprehension of speech, but is producing speech at a lower level than is to be expected at his or her given age.
  • Receptive Language Delays/Disorders are characterized by difficulties specifically with comprehending language.
  • Social/Pragmatic Communication Disorders include trouble with a variety of skills such as eye contact, understanding facial expressions and body language, understanding conversational turn-taking, perseverating on topics, maintaining topics of conversation, and a range of other skills.
  • Written Expression Disorder involves struggling to express thoughts and ideas effectively through writing.

 

Common Disorders with Related Language Components

  • High-Functioning Autism Children with high-functioning autism may have trouble with pragmatic communication skills. They may have difficulties maintaining eye contact, understanding facial expressions and body language, and understanding figurative language.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is characterized by inattention, hyper- or hypo-activity, and impulsivity. Children with ADHD may benefit from therapy focusing on executive functioning skills such as impulse control and whole body listening techniques.
  • Auditory Processing Disorders occurs when there is a breakdown in the process of recognizing interpreting speech sounds, despite normal hearing. Children with APD may benefit from therapy focusing on auditory, visual, and context discrimination techniques ranging from the single-sound level to conversational speech.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders: Therapy varies greatly based on the needs of the child. For children with autism who have little to no language, therapy may include the introduction of a non-verbal form of communication (e.g. pictures, sign language) as well as strategies to encourage the child’s speech production.  Language therapy for autism often also targets pragmatic skills such as eye contact and understanding facial expressions.
  • Phonological Processing Disorders/Dyslexia Difficulties with decoding are often due to trouble matching the sounds of speech to the letters that represent them in written language. Improving phonological awareness skills can strengthen reading abilities.
  • Executive Function Difficulties occur when a child has trouble with planning, abstract thinking, flexibility, and self-regulation.  Difficulties with planning and organizing can often present in writing, initiation of work, and time management.
  • Language-based Learning Disabilities include weaknesses with reading comprehension, writing, and spoken language, which have a negative impact on success in the classroom.
  • Nonverbal Learning Disorder presents as difficulty interpreting nonverbal communication, such as body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions.  Children may be very literal, miss subtle cues, and have trouble understanding and relaying the most important information.

Red Flag Questions

Preschool: Does your child…

  • Have trouble comprehending concepts or vocabulary?
  • Have trouble describing feelings, ideas, and experiences?
  • Have trouble listening, following directions, or answering questions?
  • Have trouble interacting or playing with others?
  • Have trouble pronouncing words or being understood?

Speech-Language therapy for preschoolers often is play-based. Skilled therapists will work with your child in engaging activities and encourage understanding and production in a very natural way.

 

School-Age/Adolescent: Does your child…

  • Have difficulty with schoolwork or forget to turn in assignments?
  • Have trouble making or keeping friends or “fitting in” socially?
  • Have difficulty listening, following directions, or answering questions?
  • Have difficulty reading or understanding what he or she reads?
  • Have trouble with written expression?
  • Have trouble using vocabulary or expressing feelings, ideas, and experiences?
  • Have trouble producing language that is organized and intelligible?

Speech-language therapy for school age children focuses on individual needs within a broad range of areas to support academic and social growth. With school-age children, these skills are often directly taught and then reinforced while playing games or doing other activities.

Caroline Brinkert – Director of Speech and Language Therapy at cbrinkert@iccdpartners.org to schedule a more comprehensive intake conversation to determine the appropriate next steps for your child.

This is archive page

Sports Psychology Services

The ICCD is proud to offer a new line of performance and treatment options for the young athlete.  Led by Dr. Samantha O’Connell, a Clinical Psychologist with a specialty in Sports Psychology, we are able to provide unique services that are informed by the fields of performance psychology, clinical psychology, personality psychology, team dynamics, and neuropsychology.  With a comprehensive approach, Dr. O’Connell offers consultation services that are individualized in nature.

Whether you are seeking mental skills training for your child, are a high school athlete whose confidence has been shaken, or you are an elite athlete who is facing performance blocks, Dr. O’Connell has a breadth of experience working with individuals of all ages and levels.  From promising youth to professional or Olympic competitors, Dr. O’Connell has helped athletes and performers gain that essential mental edge. In addition, as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who has worked in a variety of settings, Dr. O’Connell is able to recognize and treat emotional issues that may be impacting performance or interfering with the joy of competition. Along with performance improvement, Dr. O’Connell is also an experienced clinician who has helped many individuals recover from post-injury experiences.

Many athletes feel uncomfortable seeking traditional treatment for performance or anxiety related issues, and research suggests that one’s pre-performance and personality style can impact the effectiveness of interventions. Dr. O’Connell offers services that begin with an initial consultation and evaluation that informs the work.  “One-size-fits-all” techniques simply do not work! Dr. O’Connell has presented her sports psychology research at local and national conferences, and has been invited to speak about her work on various media-based forums.

Along with her clinical experience, Dr. O’Connell brings athletic experience to inform her practice.  She was a 4-sport athlete in high school, has competed at national levels, was a member of a Big East Championship Team in College, and worked as a professional sports performer prior to earning her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.  She is also partnered with the Professional Sports Psychology Group in Boston, MA to offer APA-approved CE trainings for psychologists who wish to expand their practice to include Sports Psychology Services.

ICCD is now offering the following Sports Psychology services:

  • Evaluation of an athlete’s strengths, challenge areas, pre-performance and performance styles, and impact of neuropsychological  and personality factors that influence athletic potential.
  • Individual Consultation Sessions to help athletes achieve peak performance states or to manage anxiety/tension, performance blocks/slumps, choking, concentration, media pressure, regulation of arousal, recovery after injury, retirement/replacement issues, post-concussive issues, dealing with loss, intrusive thoughts/images while performing, bouncing back after sports trauma, etc.
  • Addressing General Mental Health Problems in Athletes including: anxiety, depression, suicidal or para-suicidal behaviors, disordered eating, aggression or anger, substance use, etc.
  • Coach and Team Consultations, Presentations, or Workshops to reduce conflict, promote team cohesion, develop leadership among captains, etc.

Individual sessions or see sample package below:

  • Session 1: Personal Development Plans & Goal Setting
  • Session 2: Communication/Individual Differences Approach
  • Session 3: Arousal/Anxiety Control
  • Session 4: Achieving Peak Performance States
  • Goal Setting Workshops/ Executive Functions Coaching for Young Adults

** Dr. O’Connell is also currently accepting group therapy referrals for teenagers with a diagnosis of post-concussive syndrome. Please contact Dr. O’Connell directly for details**

For all other services, please contact our intake coordinator at 781-619-1580 or contact Dr. O’Connell directly at soconnell@iccdpartners.org

This is archive page

Developmental Education & Transition Services

ICCD is excited to announce the launch of a new service to assist families navigate what can be a long, confusing and often emotional process of transitioning a child from Special Education to Adult Services. While often characterized as “dropping off a cliff,” a successful transition can happen with advance knowledge and individualized planning. Liz Fahey joins ICCD as a Transition Coach, who will work with families at all points of the transition process. With a full team of clinicians and a long history of understanding developmental needs, we at ICCD are eager for our families to tap into her wealth of knowledge.For families preparing to enter Transition (age 12-14): Learn what Transition really means and what the beginning of the process should look like. Prepare for the realities when Special Education ends and about the difference between an Educational Entitlement and Adult Eligibility. Know the laws defining the Transition process under IDEA, what a Chapter 688 referral is, and when it should happen. Review what a good Transition Planning Form (TPF) looks like and know that it’s not a copy and paste from the IEP. Discover the types of assessments your child should have and ensure they are ongoing as they play a crucial role in advocating for appropriate services.

For those already in the Transition Process (age 14-18): Together we will break down what adult services really means. DDS, MRC, and DMH are some of the State agencies that provide services when school ends, and it is important to know what agency may make sense (or, that you can work with more than 1), as well as how the referral process works and what it really looks like after school ends. Learn about other resources and public benefits such as AFC, PCA, SSI, Guardianship, Food Assistance, and Housing programs, just to name a few, that are all available to help fund your child’s adult life once school ends (and many that can begin now). Take time to think forward — will your child work, attend a day program, live at home, or are there other options available.  Determine what your child’s vision is and what strengths and challenges will allow your child to achieve their/your vision. Along with your child’s Team, host a Future’s Planning Party to gather and brainstorm on these short and long term goals.  Examine if your child’s school placement is appropriate based on that vision. For all this and much more, we want to help prepare you for what lies ahead and be a trusted resource during the process.

For students in the final phase of Transition (age 18-22): We work quickly to ensure families are up to speed on the many topics mentioned above. We then coach parents and prioritize the process. Knowing time is ticking, having an idea (or at the very least, discussions) about what’s next, both short and long term, becomes imperative at this phase. It is then crucial to maximize the final years of your child’s education, teaching skills to align with their goals. Parents play a key role by working with the Team to ensure compliance with transition laws that aim to ensure students will live, work and attend post-secondary education as independently as possible when they leave school. During the final two years of special education the school system makes a Chapter 688 Referral. This process sets in motion the creation of an ITP (Individualized Transition Plan) and alerts the adult service agencies about your child’s needs once school services end.  Although your child’s team may agree and make a 688 Referral to an agency, there is no guarantee that eligibility will be granted for adult services, or that funding and/or space will be available. While appeals are an option, preparing for uncertainty presents challenges we can guide you through.  We work closely with families to explore traditional and non-traditional adult service options, included but not limited to: Community Based Day Programs, Employment Agencies, Group Homes, Social and Recreation Programs, and Transportation options.

781-619-1500
lfahey@iccdpartners.org

This is archive page

Speech & Language

ICCD offers expert speech-language assessment and therapy for children from pre-school through adolescence in a variety of disorder areas. A speech and language evaluation entails formal and informal assessment of skills and areas of particular concern. Following an evaluation, the speech-language pathologist will determine areas of weakness as well as a plan for intervention. Speech-language therapy is offered to children with fundamental communication difficulties as well as children with more subtle language challenges that may undermine verbal expression or the development of written language. Speech and language therapy occurs weekly and is tailored to the individual, focusing on targeting specific goals and improving below average skills.

Speech & Language Therapy Massachusetts
Parents have pre-approved the use of children’s images for this website. Sharing of this image is prohibited by law.

Speech Disorders: A speech disorder is when a person is unable to produce sounds correctly or fluently or has trouble with his or her voice. Examples include stuttering or difficulties producing certain sounds (articulation disorders).

Language Disorders: A language disorder is when a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language) or has difficulties sharing wants/needs, thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language). This also can include weaknesses with social communication (pragmatic language).

Augmentative & Alternative Communication Support: Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can be described as a multi-modal communication system that promotes understanding and use of language by means of personalized tools. An AAC device is recommended and customized to fully support the communicator’s needs. AAC includes both low tech (e.g. picture symbol communication, communication books) and high tech (e.g. tablets or devices that are dynamic and generate speech) to promote functional communication in everyday life.

Feeding Therapy: Feeding therapy performed by a speech-language pathologist addresses a variety of issues, including increasing oral feeding to wean from reliance on gastrostomy and nasogastric tubes, improving sensory tolerance, developing chewing skills, increasing variety and volume of nutritional intake, and reducing avoidance behaviors during mealtimes. Feeding therapy begins with an evaluation of feeding skills, in which the therapist gathers background information, history of feeding difficulties, and medical history. The diagnostic evaluation is used to assess whether your child presents with a feeding disorder (dysphagia) by looking at your 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.

Speech-language therapy can also improve the skills of those diagnosed with:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Language-based Learning Disabilities
  • Non-verbal Learning Disorder
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders
  • Developmental Delays
  • Executive Functioning weaknesses, particularly as related to poor written expression
  • Auditory Processing Disorders
  • Dyslexia, phonological processing impairments, and poor reading comprehension

An abbreviated speech-language evaluation is used to assess a specific area of communication, typically to establish a starting point to set goals and measure progress for weekly therapy. A score report is provided with an outline of scores and highlighted areas of strength and weakness. If applicable, broad recommendations for speech-language therapy are given.

A pragmatic (social) language evaluation focuses specifically on social communication skills including perspective taking, identifying and interpreting nonverbal cues, initiating and maintaining conversations, figurative language, and problem solving. The assessment utilizes the Social Thinking Dynamic Assessment Protocol developed by Michelle Garcia Winner, as well as standardized measures. Many children who achieve average scores on language tests still present with social language deficits, and would benefit from a more targeted evaluation.

A comprehensive speech-language evaluation assesses many aspects of communication to determine if a speech-language disorder is impacting functioning in the home, school, or community. It provides detailed information on students who are having difficulty with language-based tasks. Testing is highly individualized based on parent and professional report of current concerns, as well as review of completed testing to date. Areas of focus may include:

  • Receptive language (phonological awareness, listening skills, reading comprehension)
  • Expressive language (grammar and syntax, formulation and organization, narrative language, and writing)
  • Speech production (articulation and oral motor skills)
  • Fluency (stuttering)
  • Social communication (perspective taking, conversation skills, problem solving, flexible understanding/use of language)

The report accompanying a comprehensive evaluation will include a thorough review of previous testing, overview of current test results, summary and analysis of findings, functional goals and speech-language treatment plan, recommendations for related services, and suggested educational accommodations (all as appropriate). Reports can be shared at team meetings and used for implementing appropriate goals and related services in the school setting or privately.

Contact Caroline Brinkert, M.S. CCC-SLP at cbrinkert@iccdpartners.org with interest or questions regarding comprehensive evaluations.

Are you unsure if speech-language therapy is right for your child? An evaluation with a qualified speech-language pathologist is always the best place to start. See the linked list of developmental milestones and our list of red flag questions to determine if your child might benefit.

To schedule a more comprehensive intake conversation contact Caroline Brinkert – Director of Speech and Language Therapy at cbrinkert@iccdpartners.org to determine the appropriate next steps for your child.
This is archive page

Neuropsychological Assessment

What is a neuropsychological evaluation?

A neuropsychological evaluation uses the assessment techniques of clinical psychology and neuropsychology to assess learning and developmental challenges; to identify their underpinnings; to offer a diagnosis; and to make recommendations for treatment and for management.

What is the focus of this evaluation?

A neuropsychological evaluation will take a holistic focus and will assess multiple aspects of a child’s or an adult’s functioning. It will include intellectual assessment, academic testing, emotional assessment, and assessment of a broad range of neurological domains (such as memory, language, visual-spatial skills, and executive functioning).

What can you expect at the conclusion of the evaluation?

At the conclusion of the neuropsychological evaluation, parents need to be given more than a label. Parents should gain a better understanding of their child’s developmental profile: their strengths and challenges, and how their child experiences the world. Parents should also expect to be supported in translating this understanding into a plan for helping their child with whatever challenges have prompted the evaluation. The same results can be expected of our adult clients.

What happens next?

In addition to direct assessment, neuropsychologists at ICCD are available to collaborate with families in the long term. A family may choose to bring the clinician into the special education process by inviting them to observe the child in school or to participate in a team meeting. They may also wish for the clinician to consult with other professionals involved in the care of the child: teachers, therapists, and health care professionals. Again, our adult clients can expect the same level of long term collaboration.

This is archive page

Occupational Therapy

What is Pediatric OT?

Occupational therapists build skills at each stage of development to promote participation in play, learning, and activities of daily living. Occupational Therapist’s engage in play-based therapy, providing “just right challenges” to encourage development towards goals established by the family and occupational therapist.

Who do we serve?

ICCD offers occupational therapist assessment and therapy for children from birth through adolescence. Although not all children have a formal medical diagnosis, ICCD occupational therapists have expertise in evaluating and treating:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Developmental Delays
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Learning Disabilities
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Fine and Gross Motor Coordination Disorder
  • Genetic Disorders
  • Other Psychological and Neurological conditions

How do we serve?

Every child receives a screening evaluation and then an individualized treatment plan is created in conjunction with the therapist and family. Examples of skills that occupational therapists can address include:

  • Fine and Gross Motor Skills
  • Sensory Processing/Integration
  • Self-Care Skills
  • Handwriting
  • Feeding Therapy
  • Visual-Motor/Visual Perception
  • Self-regulation/coping skills
  • Play Skills
  • Executive Functioning

Unsure if occupational therapy is right for your child? View a list of red flags that might indicate your child would benefit from occupational therapy. If you have any questions about occupational therapy or our services, please contact Caroline Brinkert, Director, at cbrinkert@iccdpartners.org

Red Flags

If you indicate yes to any of these areas, your child may benefit from an occupational therapy evaluation and intervention.

  • Delayed fine motor skills (skills using small muscles of the hand): For example, has difficulty playing with age appropriate toys with small pieces, poor handwriting, difficulty with self-feeding, poor hand-eye coordination.
  • Delayed Gross Motor Skills (skills using large muscles): delayed or skipped developmental milestones such as rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, jumping or climbing stairs, decreased balance, difficulty catching or kicking a ball, difficulty with riding a bike.
  • Lack of Attention/organization: has difficulty maintaining attention in class or a conversation, difficulty remembering things, poor organization skills
  • Hyperactivity: impulsive, difficulty keeping hands off people and things
  • Visual Scanning Problems: difficulty reading without skipping to another line, difficulty copying information from a board at school, slow to find hidden objects in a picture or word search
  • Visual-Perception Problems: difficulty with puzzles or copying shape designs
  • Sensory Concerns: responds too much or too little to sounds, movement, heights, touching and being touched, types of clothing. Becomes distressed with self-care tasks like hair washing, teeth brushing or nail cutting.
  • Poor Body Awareness: may be seen as “clumsy”, fall frequently, bumps into furniture and people, may have trouble judging position of body in relation to others and space, uses inappropriate amount of force with siblings or pets.
  • Feeding Problems: picky eater, difficulty chewing or swallowing, sloppy or clumsy eater
  • Delayed Self-Care Skills: difficulty with age appropriate dressing, feeding, personal hygiene, or toileting.
  • Transitions: difficulty with transitions or change of plans. Prefers routines and can be rigid or controlling.
  • Motor Planning: has difficulty learning new motor tasks; needs more practice time to master new tasks, difficulty imitating actions or movements.