School can be frustrating for kids with learning and attention issues. Daily frustration can lead to feelings of anxiety and discouragement. If this happens, an educational therapist could help. Educational therapists work one-on-one with kids to help them develop stronger academic skills and build self-confidence.
How Educational Therapy Works
Does your child struggle to remember facts or start assignments? An educational therapist can help him work around his weaknesses. She can also encourage him to develop a more positive attitude.
For example, if your child has dyscalculia, the educational therapist can teach him strategies for working with numbers. If dyscalculia has caused him to develop math anxiety or to feel discouraged, she can address those issues as well.
Educational therapists might be in private practice. Sometimes they work in schools, learning centers or clinics. They can work with children of all grade levels and even adults.
Educational therapists come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including education, special education, child development, speech and language pathology, counseling, social work or advocacy. But they’ve received further training and have completed specialized certification programs or earned advanced degrees.
Educational therapists help kids by:
- Recognizing that behavior issues may be caused by underlying learning and attention issues
- Teaching strategies to help improve concentration, memory and attention
- Teaching organizational skills
- Developing a treatment plan by giving both formal and informal assessments, tracking progress and adapting the treatment plan as needed
- Providing a safe environment for kids to talk about their feelings about school and learn how to self-advocate
- Acting as a liaison between home and school
The Benefits of Educational Therapy
Skills learned in educational therapy don’t just apply to tonight’s homework. They can lead to more success and self-confidence in many areas, not just school.
For example, strategies for organizing a school project can be applied to other activities—like organizing the details and schedule of an event. And strategies for overcoming academic anxiety can be used for other stressful situations, like dealing with a first job.
Are you uncertain what’s getting in the way of your child’s learning? An educational therapist may be able to sort that out through observation and formal testing. She also can help you find appropriate specialists if necessary. An educational therapist can work with your child’s teacher or other school specialists, acting as a liaison between home and school.
Types of Learning and Attention Issues Educational Therapy Can Help With
Educational therapy can help address a number of learning and attention issues, including:
Results You Can Expect From Educational Therapy
You may need to work with an educational therapist for many months or even for a few years. It depends on the severity of your child’s symptoms. Remember that an educational therapist can’t “cure” your child. Learning and attention issues don’t go away. However, your child will learn new strategies that can help him be more successful in school.
Finding an educational therapist that you and your child are comfortable with helps tremendously. A lot depends on your child’s personality. But in general, a good educational therapist is one who’s clear, nonjudgmental and encouraging.
If you’re thinking about educational therapy for your child, here are things to look for in a therapist. You might also be interested in how educational therapists are different from tutors.