Pediatric Outpatient Psychology Service
Rusk's Pediatric Outpatient Psychology Service provides specialized psychological assessment and therapeutic interventions for children with a wide range of medical and/or neurological disabilities. Our psychologists treat children of all ages, from birth through age 18. Typical diagnoses of children seen by our pediatric service include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or disease, cancer, cerebral palsy, neuromuscular/orthopedic conditions, spina bifida, cerebrovascular accidents, amputation, and other chronic illnesses.
Each child in our program is first given a neuropsychological evaluation. This comprehensive assessment will identify the child’s unique strengths and weaknesses in the areas of cognition (thinking), academics, visual-motor and perceptual abilities, attention and concentration, memory, problem solving and emotional and behavioral modulation. The patient’s family is involved in this assessment process as well. Once the evaluation is completed, the psychologist will discuss the findings and any needed interventions or referrals with the family.
Types of Therapy
- Individual Psychotherapy - On the basis of the child’s initial evaluation, he or she may be seen for individual psychotherapy sessions. These sessions are directed at issues related to learning or cognitive difficulties, adjustment to physical challenges, and/or experiences related to trauma and loss. The treatment approach will vary depending on the age of the child, and may include short- or long-term individual therapy, play therapy, behavior therapy, and EEG biofeedback.
- Cognitive Remediation - On the basis of the child’s evaluation, he or she may be also be seen for individualized neuro-rehabilitative interventions. In addition to the patient, these sessions may involve family members at select times. Remediation sessions focus on teaching cognitive skills and implementing accommodations in the home and school setting. The sessions also address changes in the child’s mood, adjustment, and coping as needed.
- Family Psychotherapy - The patient’s family may also be seen for psychotherapy sessions, since they are an integral part of their child’s overall treatment program. Interventions may include parent/sibling counseling, psycho-education, and behavioral management techniques.
- Group Therapy - Based on the child’s assessment findings, he or she may be referred for time-limited, theme-focused group therapy. Group topics may include enhancing self-esteem, building cognitive skills, improving social skills, and issues of school reentry.
- Educational Prescriptions - Rusk’s pediatric psychologists will provide written recommendations to the child’s school prior to the child’s school reentry. They will also consult with school personnel and provide them with education about the child’s disability, and serve as an advocate for appropriate placement and accommodations for the child.
- Consultations - Our pediatric psychologists will consult with each child’s referring physician and/or other Rusk outpatient rehabilitation team members involved in the treatment process for the duration of outpatient treatment.
Learn more about the pediatric programs and services Rusk offers, on our Pediatric Injuries and Conditions page.