So You Say You're an Ed Therapist...
According to the Association for Educational Therapists, Educational therapists provide intensive, individualized compensatory and remedial intervention. Ed therapists work primarily with individuals with learning disabilities and other learning difficulties such as:
Language processing problems
Poor study skills
Organizational and social challenges
Low academic self-esteem
Each educational therapist has a unique background and skill set. For example, I am an educator with seventeen years of varied classroom experience. I have taught in elementary schools, high schools, preschools, and schools specializing in meeting the needs of academically gifted children and children with learning differences. Experience working with a broad spectrum of ages (2-20), and a wide variety of learning profiles, has uniquely prepared me to celebrate each child's unique gifts, while problem-solving and remediating challenges.
Educational therapy incorporates a variety of strategies and interventions to foster independence, shine a light on learning strengths, and demystify learning challenges. Students are encouraged and equipped to take charge of their learning and self-advocate.
Specifically, educational therapists:
Gather, organize and analyze existing assessments, evaluations and reports.
Utilize both informal and formal assessments to develop a treatment plan tailored to each client
Collaborate with teachers and other education and medical professionals.
Use ongoing assessments to inform instruction and provide data points for communication.
Create a trusting relationship with each client based a program that evolves to meet his/her needs
Combine remediation with practical strategies for completing current assignments
Develop appropriate modifications and accommodations so that students experience success and independence
Make referrals to allied professionals to maximize progress and emotional well-being
Communication with parents, students and allied professionals needs to be consistent and clear in order to provide the highest quality educational therapy. Working as a team is an essential component of assisting students in gaining confidence and moving forward.
So, in a nutshell, ed therapists are cheerleaders, negotiators, collaborators, strategists, and advocates for families. We join the team to help children thrive.