Individual Educational Therapy is a supplemental program established to help students with learning difficulties that have experienced frustration and/or failure in school. The program, established by the National Institute for Learning Development, uses intervention techniques in one-on-one educational sessions for 80 minutes twice a week. The focus of the intense individualized sessions is on continual mediation and stimulation for developing deficit areas of perception, basic skills and critical thinking skills.
Distinctives of the educational therapy intervention approach used are:
- The approach is individualized and always one-on-one, allowing specially trained educational therapists to design an educational program specifically aimed to stimulate areas of deficit for each student. The therapist acts as the mediator to help the student go beyond the point where he/she could go on his/her own. Therapy provides the stimulation necessary to improve deficit areas. The process allows the student to succeed at real tasks rather than bypassing or just compensating for areas not mastered.
- Educational therapy is non-tutorial in nature. The focus is not on passing a test or completing an assignment, but on teaching the student the skills to become an independent learner. The process of learning and problem-solving (understanding how and why to do something) is more important than the product (getting an answer). The goal of educational therapy is to mediate the child.s learning through process stimulation; a step-by-step approach to developing basic skills and strategy development so that the student can apply his/her learning to real life situations. All of these components are integrated to allow the student to become an independent and successful learner in the classroom and in life.
- The emphasis is on deficit stimulation as opposed to compensation. Deficit areas cause disruption in the learning process and can cause repressed testing scores. Educational therapy targets the specific deficit areas and creates stimulation to bring them to more normal functioning. We know from brain research that the brain responds to stimulation and will develop the learning connections if intentionally targeted. This “stimulation” is accomplished through an interactive questioning and mediating process that keeps the student constantly engaged and thinking during a therapy session.
- Techniques and materials are designed to emphasize various processing modalities and learning strategies. Throughout each segment of therapy, there is an emphasis on the integration of techniques designed to teach the student to perceive information accurately (input); cognitively connect it to previously learning material accurately (elaboration); structure and organize the information into a logical pattern; then articulate the understanding clearly and correctly (output). Content is secondary to the focus on the underlying skills of perception, thinking and verbal skills that will make the student successful.
- The program requires a team effort between home and school, with the educational therapist, classroom teacher(s) being partners with the parents. Parental involvement is critical to the student’s progress. The students are the beneficiaries. Most students develop a more positive self-image rather quickly after beginning the program as it provides a trusting, safe, and challenging learning environment. The student learns through experience that he/she is bright and capable of learning, even in the areas that are difficult. Students and parents also participate in writing annual goals and are given explanations to help them understand why some areas are difficult and what is needed to succeed. Independence is stressed as a part of the program.
- Educational therapy is effective for students ages 5-Adult. Typically, students in the educational therapy intervention program improve 1 to 1-1/2 years in reading, writing, spelling and math each year. There are often positive changes when students are re-tested on intelligence testing after intervention. Parents and teachers report significant changes in social maturity, ease of managing assignments, grades and self-concept. Progress is generally steady, but this is not a “quick-fix” program. Again, we know from brain research, that to make lasting changes in the way one learns requires consistent and persistent stimulation over a long period of time. Most students will require an average of three years in the program to reach the independent learner status seen as the goal for “graduation.”
The goal of this program is to strengthen the skills that are causing learning difficulties, allowing students in this program to become independent and successful in their learning experience and in life.
Most students are in the program for an average of three years. The additional fee for this program is listed on the Tuition and Fee Schedule.
- Current Individual Cognitive and Academic Assessment Results (within 3 years)
- Program determined to provide appropriate intervention for student
- Permission by LSS Director, Principal and Parents
- Students in grades 7 – 12 must also agree to the placement.