Southeastern Neurodevelopmental Consulting Services (SENC)

by Kay Ness, ICAN Certified Neurodevelopmentalist, © 1999

SENC offers consulting services to families with children or adults who may experience difficulties with learning, attention, hyperactivity or educational achievement. The clients we serve have come to us with many labels including: Learning Disabled, Dyslexic, Distractible, ADD, ADHD, Autism, PDD, Brain injury, Down syndrome, Hyperactive, Normal, Accelerated, and Gifted.

An overview of the process:

Consulting services are based on four month time periods, or trimesters. Each trimester begins with an evaluation. Evaluations are conducted by Kay Ness, ICAN certified Neurodevelopmentalist. This evaluation is based on neurodevelopmental models developed by several outstanding researchers and organizations in the emerging science of neurodevelopment. A home neurodevelopmental and educational plan is specifically designed for the client based on the information gathered in the evaluation. The client or the client's family is trained in methods of program implementation. The family is supported in the utilization of their program by SENC. The family and consultant maintain close communication for the four month period to ensure that program is implemented properly and to help the family maintain their motivation.

The client’s success on the program is based upon several factors. Ongoing communication and input between SENC and the client or the client's family is important because, to be most effective, program needs to be dynamically implemented. Progress is obtained when the program activities are implemented consistently and properly. It is our experience that program is implemented more consistently when the family is in close communication with the consultant. Therefore, the family is urged to maintain regular communication with SENC.

SENC’s role is to provide evaluations, design programs, train families in the implementation of the program activities and provide ongoing support and expertise for our clients and their families. The family’s role is to provide information on the client history and evaluation forms and additional information as requested from time to time, receive training in program implementation, communicate frequently with SENC, consistently implement the program activities, and schedule revisit appointments each trimester. The family is urged to remain on program for at least one year in order to maintain the skills the client has learned on the program.

The evaluation:

The client’s developmental, medical, educational and social/behavioral history is reviewed.

The client’s function is evaluated. This includes assessment of how the client receives, processes, stores and utilizes information, and the client’s tactile function, auditory and visual perceptual function, receptive and expressive language, fine and gross motor skills, auditory and visual processing skills, short and long term memory, learning style, cognitive function and thinking skills, and behavioral and social function. Where indicated, academic function is also assessed utilizing standardized achievement tests.

Following the assessment of the client, the client’s parents and consultant discuss the results of the evaluation, and together devise a plan for implementing the program which will be generated.

The family is urged to bring a recording device, notebook, and if possible a video camera to the parent/consultant interview in order to retain the maximum amount of this information.

A specific program is designed:

A program is designed specifically for the client based on the results of the evaluation and parental input. The total amount of program is based on the family’s available time and circumstances.

The program activities are listed by frequency (number of times per day) and duration (in minutes). Generally, program activities are short in duration and implemented several times per day.

The program is designed to specifically address inefficiencies in neurological development, visual and auditory perception, tactile sensitivity and perception, mobility, manual function, speech and language, social development, behavior, and academics. Program activities are designed to influence dominance, increase processing, encourage development and teach academic subjects.

Since many of our families prefer to home educate their children, parents can request a complete home school program. Program can also be designed to supplement the activities of a private or public school.

Many of SENC’s families are Christians who have chosen to education their children at home. As such, the goal of these families is to rear godly sons and daughters. Thus, consistent with their faith, they reject educational philosophies and activities which may incorporate pagan or New Age ideas or practices. Kay Ness is also a Christian and is in agreement with and sensitive to these concerns.

The program is taught to the family:

The parents or individuals who will be carrying out the program activities will be trained in the specific methods of program implementation.

Beginning at the parent interview following the evaluation, certain program activities and equipment which will be needed will be described to the family. The program will be delivered to the family at the time of the evaluation. The person who will implement the program will be trained to implement program at this time.

Since implementing program is a new experience for many families, the person who is implementing program is urged to call the consultant as needed to fully understand how to do specific activities. In order to facilitate this communication, e-mail and telephone are used. Specific telephone appointments are suggested especially during the beginning of program implementation as needed by the family.

The family implements the program:

Neurodevelopmental programs are generally implemented five days per week for most activities and seven days per week for several additional activities. During the four months between evaluations SENC will be available to you through phone and e-mail to help you carry out the program activities properly.

Program activities are recommendations only and are not medical, therapeutic, or psychological prescriptions. They are based on the experience of neurodevelopmentalists and represent our suggestions to the family. The parents needs to assume the responsibility for their own child and make their own decisions as to which specific techniques and methodologies they wish to utilize with their child. Neither Kay Ness, nor SENC are licensed to practice medicine, psychology or any specific therapy. Kay Ness is a neurodevelopmentalist with experience in the evaluation of neurodevelopmental function and in the implementation of neurodevelopmental and educational programs. If the family wishes or needs medical or other licensed professional advice, the family is urged to consult with a licensed physician or other licensed professional.

The family is provided with support:

SENC is available to help you with your program questions by phone or e-mail. We encourage you to call us for advice within two weeks after starting your new program. Thereafter you should call in every two weeks or as you need advice or support so we can advise you as your child progresses. Occasionally mid-term consultations are recommended by the consultant. These consultations are conducted by videotape and telephone approximately two months after an evaluation. Midterm consultations can help provide additional feedback to the family on correct program implementation.

Monthly reports should be sent in at the end of each month and you may occasionally receive a call or e-mail to give you important information or feedback. If at any time, you have questions about the program you should contact the consultant as soon as possible.

The family returns for a revisit evaluation in four months:

The revisit evaluation is usually scheduled with the family at the end of each evaluation. It is important that your family maintains regular revisit evaluations in order to keep the program and instructional level appropriate to your child’s progressing neurodevelopment. After the revisit you will receive a program based on that re-evaluation. This program may be modified for your child’s and your family’s current needs and will be based on the functional changes observed in the evaluation. Thereafter the process of parent instruction, implementation and support continues once again.