SERVICES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
We continue to provide a range of services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including telehealth via video and telephone, as well as outdoor sessions and limited in-office sessions. Location and modality are based on clinical needs and the current state of the pandemic in our respective locations. We know that families’ and individuals’ needs continue, and in many cases have magnified exponentially during this time of physical distancing, self-quarantining and distance learning. We use a HIPAA-compliant video platform for psychotherapy, consultation and some aspects of evaluations. Insurance companies have expanded reimbursement for telehealth services, including for out-of-network services, during this pandemic. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are seeking support and/or guidance at this time.
Evaluations are a multi-step process. Beginning with a parent interview, several sessions are scheduled for the assessment of the child/young adult, including formal assessment tools, observations of parents and children/young adults together, a school observation (during non-pandemic times), and often a home visit (via video during the current pandemic), concluding with a detailed parent feedback session. Feedback sessions for adolescents/young adults also may be included. Types of evaluations include:
- Diagnostic: The Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale-Second Edition (ADOS-2) as part of a battery of tests for individuals suspected of having an autism-spectrum disorder.
- Psychoeducational: Includes assessment of intellectual, academic, adaptive, and social-emotional/behavioral functioning.
- Developmental: Includes assessment of cognitive, speech-language, motor, adaptive and social-emotional functioning.
The nature of treatment depends on the individual’s level of functioning and can range from Floortime, play therapy, and more traditional talk therapy. Several initial intake sessions are used to determine an appropriate individualized treatment plan for each family. Parents are an integral part of treatment and participate in various ways. Sessions may include parents and children working together, as the we directly teach parents strategies . Individual parent sessions also are an integral part of treatment. We work closely with schools and other treatment providers in order to develop a cohesive team approach to treatment.
We provide consultations to schools in the form of screenings for children suspected of having developmental delays and/or social-emotional challenges, provides support and guidance for teachers, parents, and treatment providers, and makes referrals, as appropriate. Our strength-based approach results in a “non-pathologizing” approach to understanding children and their behaviors, as well as the development of supportive strategies.
Workshops for Parents and Professionals
We provide workshops for parents and school personnel. The following topics are often presented:
- Developing positive parent-teacher relationships
- Separation and transitioning
- Ensuring a positive transition to kindergarten
- Promoting play in young children; the importance of parent-child play
- Managing challenging behaviors
- Fears and anxieties
- Sleep challenges
Parent support group
Dr. Tobing-Puente provides a FREE monthly support group to parents of children diagnosed with ASD through the National Autism Association’s NY Metro Chapter. Please see NAA-NY Metro Parent Support for more details.