Pediatric Behavioral Health

About Ms. Lonergan

Ms. LonerganMs. Lonergan received her Masters of Counseling Psychology at Assumption College, Worcester, MA.  She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and Child Development. 

Ms. Lonergan is also a Licensed Massachusetts School Adjustment Counselor.  Given her role as a School Adjustment Counselor, Ms. Lonergan is able to suggest practical ideas to help a child better succeed socially in the classroom.  Due to her sense of humor and down-to-earth approach, children and teens often enjoy her approach to therapy.

Areas of Practice
    • Behavior Management Training
    • Individual and Family Therapy
    • Group Therapy
    • Anxiety
    • Autism / PDD

      Ms. Lonergan's Helpful Tip

      How to Foster Better Communication and Relationships With Your Child’s School

      Proactively communicate with your child’s school.  Send emails or make short phone calls.  Let your child’s teacher know if they had a rough morning or a bad night.  Teachers appreciate these phone calls tremendously.  It helps them better understand and empathize with your child that day.

      If you child is on an IEP or 504 you have the right to request a progress meeting during any point in the school year.  Do not wait until the annual IEP meeting to find out how well your child is progressing in school.  Progress meetings usually entail the child’s teachers and support therapists reporting on what they have been working on in school and how your child is responding to it.

      If you child has challenges at school, set up a meeting at the start of the school year (outside of parent/teacher conferences) to discuss your child.  Let his/her teachers know what interventions and/or methods of learning your child best responds to.  Let them know what triggers your child.  Let them know what has approach works best with your child.  Let them know your child’s areas of strength and weakness.  THE MORE A TEACHER KNOWS ABOUT A CHILD, THE BETTER TEACHER THEY CAN BE FOR YOUR CHILD.

      Ask your child’s teacher to call or email home once-in-awhile when your child does something really good at school.  This serves a variety of purposes.  Your child understands that home and school are on the same team.  Your child will appreciate the extra effort it took his/her teacher to make the phone call.  Finally, it is a great conversation starter for when your child arrives home, (ex. “Mrs. Smith told me that you stood up for one of your friends at recess today.  That is awesome!)

      A simple “Thank You”’ goes a very long way.  Most likely your child can’t appreciate his/her teacher the same way parents can appreciate all the time, effort and patience that goes into being an effective teacher.  A simple “for no reason at all” thank you note or email goes a very long way with teachers.
      Even if your child’s school district, school administration or classroom teacher frustrates you to no-end, do NOT allow yourself to model this frustration in front of your child (no matter what age).  Children will carry this attitude to school and it inevitably ends in a mess and in the end, your child is the one who suffers.  You want to make sure your child has an IEP or 504 that best supports your child.  You want to make sure that those services are being implemented by the appropriate people.  However, have those challenging discussions with the appropriate parties, do not vent to your child about how his/her teacher/school isn’t doing their job right. 

      Ask your child’s teacher what you can do at home to help support your child at school.  Is there a certain behavioral intervention being used at school that might be able to be used at home?  This can be especially effective for elementary aged children.  The child clearly understands expectations and consequences. 
      Don’t underestimate the impact school has on your child.  Until the age of 18 school is the center of their universe (academically and socially).  Never belittle your child’s concerns because right now, in this moment, it is important to them.