In order to develop successful, independent learners, NILD Educational Therapy® focuses on developing four key components – cognition, perception, academics and emotions. The focus of the individualized intervention is to strengthen the underlying causes of learning difficulties rather than simply treating the symptoms. Which is what tutoring does. NILD educational therapy is a true therapy in that it aims the intervention just above the student’s level of functioning and raises expectations for performance.
Students in NILD Educational Therapy® receive either individual or small group intensive intervention. These sessions include a variety of techniques designed to address students’ specific areas of difficulty and to improve their overall ability to think, reason and process information. Techniques emphasize basic skill areas such as reading, writing, spelling and math, and applying reasoning skills within each area.
Students work with educational specialists, called educational therapists, who are trained specifically in NILD methodology and receive on-going graduate level training leading to NILD certification. Regular collaboration between the educational therapist, parents and classroom teachers is encouraged in order to assess progress and appropriately adjust educational programs for each student.
How is Educational Therapy Different from Tutoring?
The focus of NILD Educational Therapy® is the development of clear, efficient thinking. Students are given learning tools to enable them to overcome specific learning weaknesses. Tutoring typically focuses on content while educational therapy builds efficient learning processes while developing skills. This enables students to retain the content more efficiently and effectively. NILD Educational Therapy® teaches students how to think rather while teaching them what to think.
Is My Child a Candidate for this Program?
Potential students for this program are those experiencing obvious frustration in areas of school performance. Poor spelling, illegible handwriting, inability to express thoughts verbally or in writing, and difficulty with reading and math are common indicators of a learning disability. A goodness of fit with the program is determined through a battery of tests that measure and compare students’ potential with their actual performance. Discovery Program’s educational therapists work in conjunction with qualified diagnosticians and can assist parents in completing and understanding appropriate educational assessments.
How & Why Does the Program Work?
Research is indicating that thinking can be changed through intensive, focused intervention. Students are trained to think for themselves rather than depending upon a teacher or parent to think for them. Language and thinking skills are interdependent so that when one skill develops the other is also strengthened. Educational therapists are trained to develop language and thinking through effective questioning. Students are taught to defend their answers and to reflect upon their thinking processes. They transition from dependent learners to those who think and reason independently.
Following NILD Educational Therapy® intervention which typically takes three years few, if any, adjustments or modifications need to be made in the student’s academic programs. Strategies learned in NILD Educational Therapy® typically enable students to remain independent and successful throughout their school years. Students generally develop requisite skills to pursue a career in the field of their choice.
Who is an NILD Educational Therapist?
An NILD educational therapist is an individual who holds a bachelor’s (or higher) degree in education or a related field and has been trained by NILD to work with students who have learning difficulties. This person is a trained professional holding or working toward NILD professional certification as an educational therapist (PCET).