55 Chapel Street, Suite 202, Newton, Ma 02458
www.nesca-newton.com
617-658-9800

75 Gilcreast Road, Suite 305, Londonderry, NH 03053
603-818-8526

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Monday, November 7, 2011

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Autism Subgroups

From the highly-recommended Blog Talk Radio show The Coffee Klatch: George Washington University Professor Dr. Valerie Hu, whose son Matthew has autism, on her search for elusive biomarkers and biologically-based therapeutics for ASD.


Listen to internet radio with The Coffee Klatch on Blog Talk Radio


You can read her recent article, Decoding The Spectrum, here: http://www.gwu.edu/~magazine/archive/2010_summer/feature_pdf/Autism_Sum10.pdf  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

International Evaluations at NESCA

In recent weeks, NESCA has been privileged to see clients from China, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Dubai and the Philippines. In some of those nations, neuropsychological evaluation and related services are unavailable, undeveloped or inaccessible.

Many of them were referred by educational consultants assisting families in finding appropriate American private or secondary school placements for their children, according to their individual learning styles.

Recognizing that these families, so far from home, cannot invest the several weeks it might ordinarily take to complete an evaluation, we have developed a special, international testing protocol that greatly condenses the process without compromise, sometimes into a single day or two.

It's fairly intensive on our end, requiring a team of clinicians, one testing and the other recording behavioral observations and impressions contemporaneously, as a psychometrician scores tests already completed. Analyzed and summarized overnight, the results are presented verbally at a feedback session the next morning, with a full report following in 3-4 weeks. In several cases, we have actually arranged the services of an interpreter.

We welcome and truly value our international clientele, for the cultural perspectives they bring, the consciousness-raising they do and for generally keeping us on our toes!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Yoga and Autism: A Rewarding and Challenging Assignment

That's the title of an article in the December, 2010 issue of the journal Yoga Therapy Today, by our own Hannah Gould, M.Ed., RYT. You can read it here: http://tinyurl.com/4s64u93

Featured in the piece is her work with Billy, a non-verbal adolescent with severe autism who is both a natural athlete and gifted painter. You can see--and buy--some of his work here: http://voicecolors.org/artgallery.html

Now a young adult, Bill has many more paintings available. Contact his family for details!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Even BPA-Free Plastic Food Containers Release Estrogenic Chemicals

In January, 2010, we reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was poised to reconsider its neutral stance on BPA (Bisphenol-A), a plasticizer commonly used in the manufacture of hard plastic products, including toys and food containers. The agency expressed "some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate glands of fetuses, infants and children."

Numerous studies had previously linked BPA, a known endocrine disruptor characterized as estrogenic (that is, in its reactions and effects, resembling the female sex hormone estrogen) , to a variety of health problems, including chromosomal damage, increased cancer risk and, in young children, the development of brain and behavioral abnormalities, including ADHD.

Pending additional federal regulatory action, Massachusetts has already moved independently to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups manufactured or sold in the state.

Manufacturers responded by introducing new, nominally safer product lines, including water and other bottles, made of alternative materials and prominently labeled "BPA-free."

Now, according to NPR, a new study has found that 70% of products made of BPA-free plastics nonetheless released estrogenic chemical residues into the foods they contact, in some cases in quantities greater than the containers they replaced!

You can read about this study here: http://tinyurl.com/4s6fh95

Why are we worried about this? Because children are our special concern, and we take with the utmost seriousness all possible insults to the developing brain. And, because we believe that no serious conversation about autism, its rise and its causes can fail to consider the role of environmental exposures, of all kinds.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Our Pro Bono Evaluation Policy

We've received a number of inquiries asking if we ever make our services available on a "pro bono" basis for free, or at reduced prices. Because NESCA is committed to providing quality care to those most in need and least able to afford it, the answer is yes, but subject to the following guidelines:

We offer free or subsidized evaluations and other services only through a number of charitable organizations with which we have had longstanding relationships. These include the Massachusetts Advocates for Children (http://www.massadvocates.org/), the Epiphany School in Boston (www.epiphanyschool.com/) and the Sudanese Education Fund (www.sudaneseeducationfund.org/). We have found that this is the best way for us to leverage our limited resources.