About Educational Therapy
What Does an Educational Therapist Do?
Simply stated, an educational therapist gathers information about the student and then develops and implements a remediation plan to address all academic challenges.
Because social, emotional and biological factors can impact learning, these issues may also be addressed.
Non-academic goals such as building self-confidence, self-monitoring, working independently and self-advocacy skills are often incorporated.
The educational therapist acts as a case manager and will collaborate with the student's teachers, therapists, and any other allied professionals involved in the student's life.
"Vicki has taught me how to organize my time, advocate for myself, and physically and mentally see my assignments. She has a gift of getting to know each of her students and pinpointing their difficulties, working hard to understand where their disabilities hinder their learning. I can safely say that Vicki has given me the self-confidence and skills to succeed in college and into my adult life!"
Stephanie, college senior
I had the pleasure of working with Vicki as we collaborated for a mutual client. Our therapies (educational and speech) blended well together and Vicki and I were able to seamlessly work as a team to make sure our clients needs were being met. When we attended school meetings with our client’s parents, teacher, and school support staff, Vicki was always prepared, ready to share the client’s progress and techniques she had used in her sessions as well as detail continued areas of need with helpful strategies. Vicki was an unwavering advocate for the child and always made sure his teachers knew how hard he was working and what skills he was mastering. You could see her dedication and willingness to go that extra measure for her client. She was always totally invested in not only his academic but emotional well being as well. It was an honor to work with Vicki and see first hand the progress he made because of her efforts.
-Stephanie LaPedis, M.S. CCC-SLP
What Skills Are Taught by an Educational Therapist?
Struggling readers often have phonics "gaps" that impact the ability to develop grade level reading skills.
In addtion to systematic and explicit phonics instruction, strategies are taught to decode multi-syllabic words, identify sight words, adjust reading speed, and read with expression.
Some students struggle to understand the content of what they are reading.
Building vocabulary is often key to improving comprehension.
When attention impacts comprehension,strategies are taught to help the student engage with the material.
Although some students have a diganosed math disabliity, many others struggle to retain math facts or to keep up with a constantly progressing curriculum.
Various strategies incorporating the different modalities of auditory, visual and kinesteitc are used to teach or reinforce concepts taught in the classooom.
These skills include the physical act of writing and may involve instruction in letter formation.
Most often, students require strategies to "organize their thoughts" and to breakdown the writing process.
Skills taught include prewriting planning, sentence and paragraph structure, grammar and editing.
"Vicki helps me with my homework, and she teaches me spelling tricks and silly math stories to help me remember my multiplication facts."
- Pablo, 5th grade
The same phonics "gaps" and attention deficits that may impact reading can also impact the developent of spelling skills.
Strategies are taught to identify recognizable phonics patterns, to break down multi-syllabic words into parts, and to memorize irregulary spelled words.
Organization and Study Skills
Organization strategies generally involve setting up systems for managing papers and materials in binders, and desks, both in and outside of school.
Effective study strategies for tests are based on the student's learning style and subject matter.
Some students need strategies to help manage their time, keep track of tasks, self-motivate and timely complete assignments.
Vicki has taught me how to organize my time, advocate for myself, and physically and mentally see my assignments. She has a gift of getting to know each of her students and pinpointing their difficulties, working hard to understand where their disabilities hinder their learning. I can safely say that Vicki has given me the self-confidence and skills to succeed in college and into my adult life!"
-Stephanie, college senior