HANDLE® Services

1. Handle – Early Childhood
2. Handle – Age 5 – Adult
3. Classes
4. Support Services

Below is a brief overview of services offered by the Center. These are generalized descriptions, each client – be they individual or group – is unique and I adapt to the clients’ needs as much as possible. Please call for more information as well as fees.

A Note about Interns: I am always present for these services, and as I am a Certified HANDLE® Supervisor, Interns occasionally participate in different capacities. Clients are encouraged to let me know if they have a preference regarding the interns participation. There are many options and my clients comfort and trust are of utmost importance to me.

~ Individual HANDLE ® Evaluations and Programs

Individual HANDLE Evaluations and Programs are offered for clients ages 1-adult (no age limit).

Early Childhood Program (3 month package):

Children age 1-4.11 are seen in a play environment. We clear the room and play with toys, pillows, and other fun nontoxic items in the Center. During that time the practitioner is observing the child in relation to how he/she interacts with herself, the practitioner, parents, and the toys. These observations as well as an extensive intake questionnaire and interviews assist the practitioner to gather information about the efficiency of the child’s neurological systems. A break is often taken to allow the practitioner to create a profile and program. The practitioner then guides the family in implementing specific HANDLE activities and compensatory measures such as adjusting the lighting or fabrics in the child’s environment. Sometimes this is done within the context of the play, without taking a break. We allow 4-5 hours for this appointment. Sometimes we divide this appointment up into two different days, depending on the child’s, and the parents’, needs. This is very individual and flexible – as is everything else with children!

An Activity Review is scheduled within the next 10 days to review the program and answer questions. A Program Review is scheduled about 4-6 weeks later, and then another one 4-6 weeks after that. We allow up to 2 hours for these appointments.

The 3 month program is appropriate for children with mild to moderate issues including sensory integration dysfunction. With these children progress generally is experienced in this amount of time and nature takes over to continue the work. For youngsters with more significant issues or for those who want to do more work additional session packages are offered and recommendations are made at the conclusion of the initial 3 month time frame.

Age 5 through adult Program (7 month package):

The Assessment for a full HANDLE program involves three phases.

The initial phase: Assessment ~

With the help of an extensive intake questionnaire and interviews, the practitioner facilitates a non-academic 2 hour assessment in a nonjudgmental, minimally stressful, affirming manner. Parents, spouses and caregivers are welcome and encouraged to be present. For those who are ambulatory, verbal and can do desk work; there are tasks and activities we introduce. The client is in charge. Activities can be easily altered or skipped based on the ability, willingness, and stress level of the client. Since the assessment is observational in nature, the activities, although valuable, are not essential to the learning about the client’s neurodevelopmental efficiency.

For those who are nonverbal or unable to do desk work, we use a more play based environment, interaction with parents, etc. to learn what we can about the different neurological systems and their relative strengths and weaknesses. Both methods are effective and the client’s abilities dictate the flow of the session.

Phase Two: Individualized Neurodevelopmental Profile and HANDLE Activity Program Demonstration ~

This phase can occur on the same day after the client has some free time to eat, rest, and relax. Often this phase is scheduled for another day soon after the assessment. This is recommended because it allows for everyone to approach all the information given in this appointment from a fresh and rested place.

During the break between appointments, the practitioner puts together an Individualized Neurodevelopmental Profile describing the observations and interpretations gleaned from the evaluation process and tracing the functional difficulties through varies neurological systems to the root causes. Using this information the practitioner also creates an individualized program of HANDLE activities for the client. If both phases are done in a single day, this “break” is about 2 hours as well.

The client and family then return and receive a full explanation and discussion of the Neurodevelopmental Profile and demonstration of the Individualized program. This portion of the day is also 2 hours.

The client takes the program home and does the activities daily (about 20-30 minutes/day), beginning their own home treatment program.

Phase Three: Activity Review ~

An Activity Review is scheduled within the next 10 days to review the program and answer questions. This 2 hour appointment is to ensure that the program is understood and done correctly according to the client’s needs. Program adjustments are made as needed and questions answered.

Each month (every 4-6 weeks) – for 6 consecutive months – the client returns for a 2 hour Program Review. The home treatment program is reviewed, fine tuned; activities are modified, removed and added according to the client’s needs.

All sessions are videotaped and the client is offered a copy of the DVD after each session. Between each appointment the client does their treatment program at home. Additional support is offered through short email and occasional phone consultation as needed between appointments.

~ Screenings Ages 5- Adults:

A screening is just what it implies, it provides a tool for the screener to check out the presence of neurodevelopmental disorganization and offer recommendations as to how to address any irregularities that are found. It is an excellent way to find out quickly what underlying issues are creating learning and behavioral difficulties; and to get help right away in addressing them. Many clients experience significant relief just from implementing the screening recommendations.

Screenings are appropriate for children with mild to moderate issues including sensory integration dysfunction. Screenings are not appropriate for clients with diagnosis of Autism (unless mild) nonverbal, or those with high medical needs. Full HANDLE programs are appropriate for these clients. Screenings provide the client/family the opportunity to determine if there are significant issues and to receive some recommendations for addressing these challenges. Screenings are conducted in the Center or in school and take about 2- 2 ½  hours.

The process: Prior to the screening an intake questionnaire is filled out by the client and sometimes also by support personnel, such as teachers. A 30 minute non-academic observational screening is conducted in a nonjudgmental, minimally stressful, affirming manner. There is a short break while the Screener records her observations and interpretations and establishes her recommendations for the client’s most appropriate next steps.

The Screener presents her interpretations and recommendations to the client. If she has concluded that the client has mild neurodevelopmental difficulties, she presents/demonstrates a short program of HANDLE activities to be done at home that will assist in balancing these irregularities. A 30 minute program review follows 10 days later.

If the Screener determines there is a need for more in depth information and a full HANDLE evaluation is required, this recommendation will be made to the client. A few activities may be given to begin the process of neurodevelopmental integration while the client is setting up a full evaluation. For those paying full price for a screening, a courtesy 10% discount off the full evaluation is given if scheduled within 3 months of the screening. Other therapies or modalities are often recommended as well.

~ HANDLE Informational Meetings:

Free informational meetings are presented to the community in general, special groups, schools, clubs, etc. Content includes an overview of the HANDLE paradigm, an explanation of its practical applications, several activities are demonstrated, and questions are answered. These tend to be interactive meetings, similar to short workshops. They can be tailored to the needs of the group. The goal is to give enough information about HANDLE that a participant will have a sufficient general understanding of the paradigm to decide if they want to know more.

~ One and Two Day Workshops:

One day workshops discuss the Foundations of HANDLE in detail. They are appropriate for parents, teachers, therapists and others who are interested in learning a different perspective. Several activities are taught.

Two Day Workshops take the paradigm to the next step, explaining in detail the HANDLE perspective on each of the neurodevelopmental systems, how their functioning affects behavior, activities to address inefficiencies and practice in practical application.

Informational talks and workshops are eligible for CEU credits for LMFTs and LCSWs, provider #PCE 3648

~ Teacher In-services:

In-services for teachers can be tailored to the needs of the school staff. Commonly, they take the form of case study workshops. A general overview of the HANDLE perspective is given and then applied to cases brought by the teaching staff. Some activities are shared as well.

~ Support Services:

Private and group consultations are provided upon request to individuals, families, corporations and special groups. These are customized to the needs of the client and include attending IEP meetings, talking to other professionals the family is working with, and classroom observations and recommendations to teachers.