Office Expansion & Other Exciting Updates From C-OATS
January 7, 2024
By Dr. Matthew Specht
By Dr. Matthew Specht

Happy New Year from our family to yours! 

2023 was a tremendous year of growth for our office. We could not be more grateful for our incredible patients and families. It is truly our privilege to support your childs’ well-being.

A growing team to meet patients’ needs

Perhaps the biggest update from our office is that we hired licensed psychologist, Dr. Catherine McNulty, Ph.D. in early 2023. 

Founder and director of C-OATS, Dr. Matthew Specht, Ph.D. commented, “Our office is constantly looking for ways to meet the growing needs of our patients and enhance the quality of care we provide. I knew that hiring someone with Dr. McNulty’s expertise and experience, particularly in the special education field, would allow us to exceed the demand for comprehensive, high-level child psychology services.”

With over 20 years of Special Education experience working with children, families, teachers, school administrators, clinicians, and other professionals, Dr. McNulty understands the complexities of education and offers a breadth of knowledge to support patients both in and out of the classroom. Whether it’s conducting comprehensive testing or managing the IEP process, she is equipped at helping families navigate the often challenging world of special education.

The expanded capacity of the team has resulted in more appointment times, both virtual and in person, allowing for more flexibility for patient preferences. For example, Dr. McNulty sees the majority of her patients in the morning and evenings, which works well for the schedules of many elementary and middle school students. 

Expanding in-house testing instruments

C-OATS is proud to share that its scope of special education testing and evaluations in its Greenwich office have expanded, along with its growing team. 

“Thorough special education assessments are critical in understanding and addressing a child’s unique educational needs. These evaluations help identify and diagnose specific learning or intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, social-emotional skills, or other conditions that may impact a student’s learning,” commented Dr. McNulty.

Primary purposes of special education testing:

  • Gather information about a student’s strengths, deficiencies, abilities, learning style, challenges, etc.
  • Help determine if a child qualifies for special education services under relevant laws
  • Allow educators to create tailored learning strategies, interventions, educational placements, etc.
  • Ensure compliance with requirements found in special education laws and regulations  

Dr. Specht commented, “We now have the ability to conduct more standardized testing to collect a wide range of data right in our office. 

We’re one of the few one-stop offices where we can do comprehensive assessments, analyze the findings, formulate the plan, and carry out treatment, both for existing and new patients.” 

This process allows for a more seamless consultation process when it comes to working with families, schools, and other educational partners.

“A learning disability may go hand-in-hand with other psychological conditions, so with the expansion of our testing, we leave no stone unturned. In tandem with the educational piece, we’re also able to understand more in-depth concerns such as history, progression, and family/medical backgrounds,” he continued. 

Expanded special education testing in our Greenwich office includes:

  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC): Intelligence test for children between the ages of 6 and 16 generates a full scale IQ test and provides scores for Verbal Comprehension Index, Visual Spatial Index, Fluid Reasoning Index, Working Memory Index, and Processing Speed Index. 
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS): Measures the cognitive ability for adults between the ages of 16 to 90 years old. Test results include Full Scale IQ, Index Scores, and subtest scaled scores including Verbal Comprehension (VCI), Working Memory (WMI), Perceptual Reasoning (PRI) and Processing Speed (PSI).
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT): Measures the strengths and weaknesses of children over the age of 4, so that the school may determine the need for special support either for gifted/talented students or those with learning challenges. 
  • A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment (NEPSY): Includes comprehensive neuropsychological battery for children ages 3–12. Testing provides measures of sensor-motor, language, visuospatial processing, memory and learning, attention/executive functions, and social cognition.
  • KeyMath: Diagnostic assessment to measure and improve essential mathematical concepts and skills for students ages 4.5 – 21.
  • Test of Written Language (TOWL): Norm-referenced, comprehensive diagnostic test of written expression that may be used to identify students who write poorly and determine students’ particular strengths and weaknesses in various writing abilities.
  • Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT): Identifies students who may need more intensive or explicit instruction in reading in order to make adequate progress in reading facility and/or comprehension.
  • Various rating scales (BASC, Connors, ABAS): Social, emotional, and behavioral testing to provide more information and to support the diagnostic process. These tests may help identify emotional disorders, social difficulties, and behavioral challenges that could impact a child’s learning and social interactions. 

“Offering new and existing patients such comprehensive special education testing options right from our office is a gamechanger.

It will surely set the stage for a more efficient and effective diagnostic process and treatment plan forward,” stated Dr. McNulty.

Supporting the mental health of child, adolescent, and young adults in Fairfield County & beyond 

From social media influences to academic pressures, young people today face a multitude of stressors unique to this digital age. It’s no surprise that the mental health of youth post-pandemic face deep challenges. 

Although 1 in 5 US children have a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder in a given year as stated by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, there is an overwhelming shortage of experienced and talented clinicians. 

The expansion of our psychology office and services are reflective of the growing need for mental health support for children and adolescents.  We are here for our patients and their families, and will constantly evolve to show our commitment to providing comprehensive and compassionate care!

C-OATS: Your partner in launching your child successfully into adulthood

Emily Carr, Practice Manager, continues to ensure that all processes run smoothly. Though she does not have a clinical role in our office, Emily has a Medical Doctor/Master of Public Health Degree (MD/MPH) with an MPH concentration in maternal/child health. Whether you’re scheduling an appointment or need documentation for school, your child and family will be taken care of at every turn! 

It’s our goal to accommodate new and existing clients, doing our best to cater to the unique needs of your family. We’ll continue to integrate technology into virtual therapy sessions where possible, ensuring continuity of care no matter where you are. 

With the start of this New year, we’re thrilled about the expansion of our team and offerings, and will remain focused on providing specialized, innovative, and compassionate care. We look forward to working collaboratively to support the mental health and well-being of your child so that they may thrive in today’s complex world. 

New to the practice? If you’re interested in a consultation or have been thinking about having your child assessed, reach out here to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation.

Wishing you and your family a year of joy, contentment, and good health. Many thanks from your friends at C-OATS!



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