Our Services

About the Initial Appointment

Most patients begin with an initial 50-minute intake with Dr. Pontillo in order to discuss openly your concerns about your child. This is your opportunity to share your concerns, ask questions, and provide any collateral information you feel would help Dr. Pontillo get to know your child better (e.g. academic records, report cards, IEP/504 plans, previous evaluations, or medical records). Parents are welcome to bring their child with them to the appointment if they wish, but this is not required. By the end of the session, a tentative plan is made between clinician and parent/guardian as to the next steps to take to best meet the needs of the child and family. Those who prefer may elect to have a screening in place of their initial appointment. Schedule an initial appointment.

About Screenings

If you prefer, a screening can be set up in place of an initial intake appointment. Screenings are 50-minute appointments with you and your child that allows Dr. Pontillo to briefly screen for developmental, social, emotional, or behavioral concerns. Screenings are preferable to parent-only initial appointments when you are seeking Dr. Pontillo's impressions based on observations or interactions with your child. A screening does not allow sufficient opportunity for diagnostic conclusions to be made. Nonetheless, a screening can provide information on areas of strength and weakness, and culminates in concrete and specific recommendations on how to ameliorate any concerns/difficulties. In addition, screenings can determine whether or not further evaluation or intervention is warranted. Schedule a screening.

About Evaluations

No two evaluations are alike. Rather than imposing a 'template' of a specific number of tests and/or hours to answer a particular diagnostic question or concern, formal evaluations are tailored individually to suit the needs of each child. As time and money are very valuable resources, Dr. Pontillo aims to be comprehensive, while at the same time eliminating extraneous tests and/or batteries that would not prove useful in diagnostic clarity. At the conclusion of the initial appointment, if Dr. Pontillo and you feel that proceeding with formal testing is the best course of action, options as it pertains to the testing will be discussed.

The nature and content of the evaluation itself will vary based on the question/concern and age of the child. Evaluations may include some or all of the following components:

•  Interviews with parents, teachers, and/or other treating health professionals.
•  Standardized tests designed to assess developmental/cognitive or academic skills.
•  Standardized questionnaire measures completed by parents/caregivers and/or educator(s).
•  Behavioral observations of the child within the office, in his/her classroom, or at the home.
•  A prepared written report detailing the evaluation results and specific recommendations.
•  A parent-only feedback session in order to go over the results and recommendations.

Action Plans: Regardless of the type of evaluation conducted, all assessments (from the very brief to the most comprehensive) culminate in an action plan. This is a set of very concrete and specific recommendations on how to maximize your child's developmental potential. Dr. Pontillo's action plans are individually tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of each child and may include: strategies for use at home or at school, recommendations for therapy/counseling, referrals to other disciplines, or a list of individualized goals to measure your child's progress.

About Consultations

Consultations are 50 minute sessions for parents/guardians to meet alone with Dr. Pontillo in order to address concerns they have about their child. Common issues addressed in a consultation include: social, emotional, academic, behavioral or developmental concerns, educational placement, IEP/504 review and analysis, and prior psychological evaluation review and analysis. Many individuals have all their questions and concerns sufficiently addressed within a single appointment, while others may choose to have subsequent consultative visits.

About Therapy/Counseling

Therapy/Counseling consists of 50-minute meetings with Dr. Pontillo, either for the child alone, or along with family members. The decision of whom to bring to meetings is usually a joint one made by Dr. Pontillo and parents/guardians, and can change throughout the course of therapy. Considerations include: the nature of the difficulty/concern, the comfort level of the child, the child's developmental level, and the goal of the session(s). Although some families may wish to bring their child in weekly, many choose to have biweekly or monthly sessions, based on the nature of their concerns. This frequency of sessions is also discussed with the parents/caregivers at the initial meeting. The content/format of the sessions vary based on the child's developmental level and other individual factors. Dr. Pontillo is a results-oriented therapist, and tailors her work to each individual child/family in order to yield maximal gains in the shortest amount of time.

Parenting Support

Dr. Pontillo provides a one of a kind parenting support and education class for parents of bright kids who are diagnosed with mild autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Dr. Pontillo is passionate that you are your child's best teacher, advocate, and support person. Her program provides the education and support you need to have the information and energy to be your best self and bring out the strengths of your child so they aren't known by their diagnosis. Watch this video today to learn more about your bright child with ASD and find out why parent education and knowledge is the key to your child's long-term success.
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About Behavior Management/Parenting Sessions

For assistance with behavioral management or parenting, 50 minute sessions may be scheduled for Dr. Pontillo to meet with parents alone to develop specific tools and strategies designed for the individual child and family. Dr. Pontillo believes in a multi-disciplinary approach, and shares her office space with independent practitioner, Roya Kravetz, parenting coach and behavioral specialist. Families who require more frequent or regular visits are referred to Ms. Kravetz for ongoing coaching sessions.

About Study/Organizational Skills Training

Elementary/middle school children and their families may participate in individually tailored sessions with Dr. Pontillo focusing on improving academic and organizational skills. Areas of emphasis include homework/task completion, problem solving, decision making, academic planning, goal setting, improving peer relations, improving frustration tolerance, and developing healthy self-confidence and self-esteem. Dr. Pontillo believes in a multi-disciplinary approach, and shares her office space with independent practitioner, Roya Kravetz, parent coach and behavior specialist. Families with high school children who would benefit from skills training in this area are referred to Ms. Kravetz.