What is an Education Therapist?
Professionals who work one-on-one with students to help them develop learning processes and strategies
A child who is struggling and falling behind in school is not a happy child. Kids who have learning disorders, or attention problems that make learning unusually difficult, often suffer for several years before parents and teachers figure out that something is standing in their way.
Once a child’s learning challenges are identified, she may benefit from having an educational therapist to work with her on developing the skills she is missing, and on devising learning strategies that build on her strengths and compensate for her weaknesses.
An educational therapist is a professional who is trained to understand an individual child’s learning challenges, and the patterns and behaviors he has developed to work around, or mask, his deficits. Some of those behaviors—avoidance, acting out, even tantrums—may have been misinterpreted by parents and teachers who read them as opposition or impulsivity.
Helping the whole child
Education Therapists have a range of professional backgrounds, Christine’s specialization is in working with students with special education needs and learning challenges. She is focused on the whole child—that is, the emotional as well as cognitive factors involved in successful learning.
When educational therapist Christine Powell works with children who have dyslexia, as an example, they have usually fallen behind their peers in reading skills, and are often discouraged and anxious, to some degree, about learning in general.
For the first couple of years of school, many kids with dyslexia successfully mask the fact that they’re not learning to decode or sound out words, the way other kids are. They are able to keep up, more or less, by memorizing words and listening extra hard to the teacher. But by the third or fourth grade, they often hit a wall, because the amount of reading, and the number of new words they are expected to be able to decipher, rises exponentially. In the first three grades, it is commonly noted that kids are learning to read. By the fourth grade, they need to be reading to learn.
Christine works to bolster a child’s reading skills and fragile self-confidence. For the reading work, Dr. Powell, who is a trained Wilson Reading System instructor, goes back to the point where the student ran into difficulty and moves forward. “You must meet the child where they are developmentally, so you can build towards success.” she notes. To develop decoding skills she uses what she calls multi-sensory instruction. “That means hearing the sound of the letter, saying it, repeating it, visualizing it in your head, sky-writing it with big hand motions, kinesthetically, and then writing it small, using fine-motor muscles. Sometimes we have kids write in shaving cream or whipped cream, or draw the letters in sand or mud, to experience that resistance.” She’s not working with kids on their homework, but working on skills they can apply to their homework.
Reach out if you have any questions.
- Educational Therapy offers children and adults with learning disabilities and other learning challenges a wide range of intensive, individualized interventions designed to remediate learning problems.
- Educational Therapy demystifies learning problems and stimulates clients’ awareness of their strengths so they can use those strengths to overcome or compensate for areas of weakness.
- Educational Therapists create and implement a treatment plan that utilizes information from a variety of sources including the client’s social, emotional, psychoeducational, and neuropsychological context.
Specializing in Remediating:
- Phonological processing
- Encoding/ Spelling
- Vocabulary development
- Encoding/ Spelling
- Writing Mechanics
- Essay Writing
- Critical Thinking (higher-order cognition)
- Executive Function Skills
- Short term, working, and long term memory
- Test-taking and study skills
- Organizational skills
We work with students and adults with various diagnosed and undiagnosed learning issues including:
Dyscalculia (Math Disability)
Learning Disabilities (LD or SLD)
Dyslexia and related reading disorders
Auditory processing delays
Visual processing delays
Sensory Processing Disorder
Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities (NVLD)