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Alumna Sarah Edmunds Reflects on Life and Work in COVID-19 Times

Sarah Edmunds, PhD

Program: Psychology Internship (2019 alumna)
Current role: Clinical Research Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston Children’s Hospital
Location: Boston, MA

Sarah EdmundsTo combat the spread of COVID-19 and keep our patients safe, our division temporarily stopped providing diagnostic assessments for children with neurodevelopmental differences, which was one of the main components of my training. My clinical work has since partially resumed. I have shifted to providing virtual therapeutic consultation to families to help address short-term goals around their children’s behavior and emotion regulation. Families have welcomed us into their homes, and this has helped us suggest strategies and create behavioral plans that are even more tailored to children’s home settings. I am very grateful to be able to help families reduce stress during this time.

It is difficult to figure out how to conduct evidence-based, comprehensive diagnostic assessments within a virtual framework. For example, how does one evaluate the nuances of children’s nonverbal social communication through video? How can one use standardized materials to assess children’s cognitive ability in a telehealth setting? It has been fascinating to observe this process in our division from a healthcare access perspective. Unsurprisingly, I have had more time for reflection in these past few months. I find myself wondering how to best serve children in what may become the new “normal.” A post-COVID era will undoubtedly require creative solutions, so I am grateful to have time for brainstorming. 

Read other alumni reflections on their work and life in COVID-19 times.