What Is Educational Therapy? A Quick Introduction

The harsh reality is that there are a lot of children across the country struggling with things like math, reading, science, or dealing with increasingly prevalent issues like anxiety or depression. We know firsthand that parents are always looking for effective ways to support their children and help them reach their full potential, overcome challenges, and thrive, both at school and at home, both academically and emotionally. 

Where do they go for help? Usually, they reach out to their children’s teachers, school administrators and counselors, and individual tutors. These are all great initiatives that can help assess and determine the kind of personalized support that a child needs, but sometimes it’s not enough. We’ve talked to numerous parents who were still frustrated with the lack of progress in their child, even though they were already working with a private tutor and getting support from their school teachers. In these cases, we recommend taking things to the next level and working with an educational therapist – and this is where we often get asked ‘well what exactly is educational therapy?’ 

What is educational therapy?

In a nutshell, educational therapy is a form of intervention that provides additional, specialized support to children or adults struggling with learning difficulties or disabilities. Through a combination of educational strategies and psychology and therapeutic techniques, educational therapists can help children overcome challenges and make progress in an effective way. 

Is educational therapy different from tutoring?

Educational therapy addresses a wide range of challenges, from emotional and behavioral issues to specific academic concepts. Similarly to private tutoring, educational therapists work closely and individually with struggling children, however, they take the process one step further by integrating behavioral science and psychology concepts to dig deeper and identify the core of the problem. Tutoring usually focuses solely on academic subjects, reteaching and repeating lessons and ideas taught in school and making sure the child can understand and process the information received in the classroom. 

Who needs educational therapy?

Educational therapy is helpful for any individual, whether it’s a child, a teen, or an adult, who is struggling with specific challenges or difficulties in the learning process. It covers a wide spectrum, from executive functioning difficulties, attention deficit disorders, learning disabilities like dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, as well as other cognitive or developmental issues that impede progress and growth. Educational therapists schedule one-on-one sessions and employ individualized strategies that target the specific issues of the individual. These strategies and techniques will enable and empower the child or adult to achieve their academic goals and reach their full potential, keeping up with their peers in school while improving their self-confidence. 

What learning disabilities can educational therapy address?

Educational therapists are trained to address a wide array of learning difficulties and disabilities, including dyslexia, ADHD, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, memory deficits, visual, auditory, or language processing issues, as well as school-related anxiety, weak social skills, poor organizational and time management skills, and more. If the problem is severe or particularly challenging, educational therapists often partner up with psychologists, behaviorists, psychiatrists, or other professionals to get the child the support it needs for their unique set of challenges. 

What does the educational therapy assessment process entail?

Educational therapists make use of various assessment tools as they try to evaluate a student, identify strengths and weaknesses, and come up with an individualized plan of support. Through observation, direct interviews, multisensory instruction, cognitive training, as well as behavioral interventions, standardized tests, and feedback discussions with school teachers and parents. 

These assessments are meant to highlight pain points and areas of improvement, guiding the educational therapist toward the right resources and techniques to best serve the unique needs of the student. The goal is to equip students with the necessary tools so that they can become independent, confident learners and reach their maximum potential, both academically and personally. 

How do educational therapy sessions work?

Educational therapy sessions usually last about an hour, to not overwhelm the student and take things step by step in a logical and effective manner. They’re usually provided outside of the school setting, either at the therapist’s office or at the student’s home, with a parent usually present in the home as well. The educational therapist and the student will work together on specific lessons, according to the action plan that results from the initial assessment and evaluation. Therapists will usually keep parents up to speed on their child’s progress, and get feedback from them to see if anything has changed in their behavior that might impact the sessions. 

For more information on educational therapy and our related services at Da Vinci Collaborative, reach out to us and we’ll get back to you as soon as you can.

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