Hello Sasco River Center, Southfield Center, Sensory Kids Clients & Extended Community,
We hope you and your family are well in these uncertain times we are experiencing with the recent global focus upon the coronavirus. We know that this uncertainty can lead you and your children to experience various emotions including frustration, anxiety, sadness and confusion. We also know that predictability and routines are best for everyone’s psychological and emotional well-being, so we are examining the many safe and creative ways that we can continue to support you and your family. As we are hearing about schools that are closing and other schools considering this action, we wanted to continue to communicate clearly about what we are doing at Sasco River Center to place your safety as our top priority while we continue to provide the expert care that you’ve come to rely upon from our clinical team.
Here is a helpful link from the CDC on keeping our workplaces, schools and homes safe: LINK. Note that we are following the advice that “mental health and other medical facilities should stay open” from the head of the CDC, appearing on CNN morning of 3/12.
We remain vigilant and prepared throughout this dynamic situation. We are closely monitoring local, state and federal sources for specific guidance, and are stringently adhering to all guidelines relating to cleanliness, personal space, and absolute restrictions on admittance of any person with any cold or flu-like symptoms in any of our spaces. While we have always focused on cleaning and sterilizing our therapeutic spaces, over the past two weeks we have increased our cleaning to daily across all spaces, with additional wiping down of therapeutic spaces between client sessions. We have also reviewed with our team members proper greeting and space recommendations, along with expectations for frequent handwashing and usage of hand sterilizer. While we believe that this greatly reduces the transmission of germs, we absolutely understand that many clients are seeking additional ways to maintain services while limiting contact with multiple people in confined spaces.
For all our clients, we are offering the opportunity to be met outside of the building and escorted by your clinician to their therapy space so that time in the waiting room is unnecessary. If you would like to access this option, please email your clinician or contact our receptionist so this can be arranged.
In addition, for any service for which videoconferencing or telephone guidance would be appropriate (psychotherapy, occupational therapy/sensory processing, psychiatric medication management, behavioral consultations, parent coaching, learning services), each of our team members has been equipped with and trained on technologies that will allow ongoing remote connection in a safe and confidential fashion. In a telehealth session, we can guide you on what to do with your child and/or we can continue to work directly with your child over video technology to continue progress toward therapeutic goals. To take advantage of these remote therapeutic opportunities, we will need you to sign a telehealth consent form. Your clinician will be contacting you and providing the form that needs to be signed.
For all children being tested, we have now created a reduced number of smaller spaces in each center that can be more easily sterilized between students rather than conducting testing across several spaces. These rooms and testing materials will be sterilized between students.
Sensory/OT, Therapy and/or Psychotherapy:
We are offering the following options:
- For those of you continuing with sessions at one of our clinics, as noted above, we will be happy to meet you and your child in the parking lot, to avoid congregating in the waiting room. We are scheduling each child individually in therapeutic spaces to avoid contact with other clients. In addition, we are spreading out sessions to allow time to clean and sanitize between sessions.
- For those of you that wish to continue this important in-person therapeutic work but do not want to come to one of our centers, we have developed additional options. We are able to meet at designated local playgrounds that we have already researched for safety and access to therapeutic activities. In addition, our team of sensory experts would be happy to do in-home sessions as well. We will do our best to extend hours and options so that we can meet the scheduling needs of as many of our clients as possible.
- SENSORY ADDITIONAL: As an added opportunity during this time when your children might be out of school for an extended time, our team of sensory experts can provide sensory consultations that will address sensory strategies for you to support your child’s sensory needs while away from school.
Of course, we recognize that many of you will want to maintain the same level of in-person services and our team of clinicians will continue to offer their expertise in the highly individualized and personal way that we always have. In addition to the enhanced cleaning noted above, we are taking other precautions to increase your safety.
Other Options (Stay Tuned)
Finally, we are in the process of developing some opportunities for your children to participate in fun and therapeutic activities outside of the center. For example, our occupational therapists are trained to provide bike riding classes to help get the kids out and keep moving, while optimizing their time off while the weather is nice. We are also working on some small camp ideas. Stay tuned for details on these opportunities.
As always, we thank you for the trust you place in us. We want to assure you that safety along with high quality care are our top priorities. Please reach out with any questions and we look forward to continuing our work together. Note that we will continue to update you as the situation unfolds.
Chris Bogart + Melissa Kahn
Executive Directors, Sasco River Center