Being a parent carries a lot of responsibility in the best of times. During the current COVID-19 crisis, things have become less clear and more challenging in what feels like a blink of an eye. Whether you are married or single, parenting teens or toddlers, comfortable in a teaching or full-time caregiver role or not, your daily experience is probably dramatically different on April 15 than it was on February 15.
We closed our office as COVID-19 news hit because we care about individual/personal welfare and felt a deep commitment to the larger wellness of our community. Our single biggest job right now is to respect the guidelines and try to be brave, smart, and compassionate both in our actions… and in our stillness.
After years of studying, evaluating, and treating the complexities of trauma and stress, we know that our current circumstances are triggering many of the same reactions. There can be physiological changes (fatigue, aches and pains, hyper-alertness); behavioral shifts (eating, sleeping); cognitive impact (difficulty concentrating, completing tasks, prioritizing "to do"), and a whole host of emotional fluctuations (worry, anger, frustration, fear, sadness). Right now COVID-19 effects are wide-ranging. There is tragic loss, sacrifice, and fear. However, there is also happiness to get to be home, relief not to have to travel far from loved ones, and pride in passionately taking up the fight as volunteers, first responders, supply chain workers, and medical personnel. There is no ONE right way to think, feel, or act.
How caring others RESPOND to distressing circumstances matters most for resilience and healthy recovery. This is especially true for children. Yet while we are forced to isolate ourselves from the outside world, teleworking demands may unwittingly bring further stress and strain into your household. For the next few weeks (and longer, if needed) we will be “checking in” with kids all over the DMV. All you need is a functioning video connection (audio if preferred), and we’ll take it from there.
We have also been in regular contact with leaders in the assessment field, test publishers, and related colleagues to make decisions about best testing practices during social isolation. We are offering a variety of options that are guided by client best interest, research data, and safety first! Some services can be offered successfully via telehealth.
How do I sign up for virtual support? We start with a brief parent meeting to determine needs and get a sense of your child and how check-ins might be most effective. We'll send and collect information in advance, keep our talk or video time short, and develop an action plan that makes sense for your family. Please call or email so that we can share some initial set-up requirements and next steps.
What does the check-in look like?
Parent consultation will guide how we can be most helpful. We can use our website platform, Zoom, and FaceTime to connect. We want to be able to fill in to provide developmentally-appropriate supports where they're needed. You may want help understanding how your kids are making sense of their new daily lives. You may need someone else to help them organize themselves for the day. You may just need someone who can chat and play when you can't. Kids often show us how they're doing before they tell us. We can help them reflect on how they're thinking, feeling, and acting. We can support them in finding and using their own tools for success in new and changing circumstances.
- We help kids organize themselves (i.e. immediate “to do”, daily plans, school requirements)
- We pay attention to how kids describe what is working well for them right now and what is not. This can be shared with parents and caregivers, but it is also a prime opportunity to practice structured problem-solving.
- We can provide scaffolding as kids do schoolwork or other activities
- We can suggest strategies for success (i.e. art, exercise, self-care, communication, adaptation of IEP and 504 strategies)
- We can bolster connectedness and help kids feel supported in these new circumstances
Will you follow up? Yes! We will email you a summary of how time was spent, offer resources, and make suggestions as needed.
What does it cost and How do I pay? All payment (fee of $210 for parent consultation; $75 per session thereafter) is run through a secure online billing program.
How do I pursue testing right now? Call or email us. We will collaborate to determine what is most feasible.
This is NOT therapy. It is not advised for children who may need more than a caring, attentive presence. However, we can offer therapy resources--just ask!