Our Philosophy and Methods
There is no recipe or single method or approach to assess, assist or treat an individual with social cognitive challenges and/or executive function deficits. Social processing and communication are fast-paced, nuanced and dynamic. A successful “one size fits all” approach does not exist. Foremost in Lucia Reardon’s approach is understanding and consideration of the individual client and family. This is followed by relationship-building, which is necessary to create a working collaboration with that individual (and family). Mutual respect for and understanding of each other’s beliefs and desires are upheld to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere for communication and learning.
Ms. Reardon believes in treating the whole child and adult, promoting understanding and relevance to the environments in which her clients’ interact and providing strategies that allow them to meet their individual goals. She is committed to assisting the whole family and providing training and carry-over activities to ensure use of skills in the home, school, community and/or place of employment.
Individuals with developmental delays/differences in social thinking (i.e., that are found in individuals with diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Social Anxiety and “Twice Exceptionality”) often do not intuitively learn social information. Social cognition develops from birth and happens without much direct teaching because it is “hard-wired” in most humans. The complex and synergistic processes of Executive Function underlie social cognitive functioning. Executive Function refers to the multilayered and interactive cognitive processes that include verbal and nonverbal processing, contextual awareness, personal awareness, working memory, future thinking, and visual forethought, goal setting, goal shifting, problem solving and inhibition.
When this neurological “thinking architecture” does not develop fully, it must be taught explicitly and concretely — much like we teach the principles and operations of math or grammar to children. Ms. Reardon’s approach to supporting growth in children and adults with these challenges is to help them make an internal connection to the learning before connecting it to more external executive functioning skills. That is, to overtly and concretely break down these often subtle cognitive processes so her clients can gain an understanding of why it is important to engage in the related behaviors. Ms. Reardon and her staff, using visuals, technology, literature, discussion, role play, coaching and practice, guide and help clients to make more meaningful connections in their schools, jobs, and communities and with their families.
Ms. Reardon and her staff love what they do and bring humor and a positive perspective in their creation of a therapeutic atmosphere of self-acceptance wherein their clients can learn and grow.