What is Educational Therapy?

Educational therapy is an intensive educational intervention beyond what tutoring can provide. Educational therapy provides educational and therapeutic approaches to helping students through the learning process. Not only will an educational therapist assist a struggling student with specific subject material, but will also take an active role in the evaluation, assessment and remediation process. Our educational therapists also provide case management and collaboration among parents, teachers and medical professionals. Additionally they may act as an advocate on behalf of the student and participate in Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings and Section 504 plans intended to help student access educational services.

What problems does educational therapy address?

Ann Martin Center provides educational therapy to students diagnosed with developmental, neurological and learning disabilities. These problems include Dyslexia, Asperger’s Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, and specific processing disorders.

When should students be referred to Educational Therapy?

There are a number of ways to identify whether a student needs educational therapy. A student may be identified with a learning disability by a teacher, psychologist, speech and language specialist or school personnel. Parents and teachers should watch for students who have:

  • Difficulty with maintaining concentration
  • Problems remembering facts
  • Delays in learning language
  • Problems paying attention
  • Taking too much time and parent support to get homework tasks done
  • Low self esteem
  • Difficulty with handwriting and grasping writing utensils
  • Difficulty with auditory processing
  • Difficulty staying on task
  • Lacking awareness of physical surroundings
  • Problems with impulse control
  • Resistance in going to school
  • Trouble interacting with peers or participating in normal childhood activities
  • Feelings of anxiety, frustration, tension and/or depression

What is the process for starting educatonal therapy?

In order to assist students with learning challenges or disabilities, an educational therapist at Ann Martin Center looks to identify processing skills required for learning that may be underdeveloped. Our educational therapists then build the student’s awareness of his or her specific learning style and teach important learning skills to assist the student in becoming a more independent learner. In this way, the student can use his/her strengths to best overcome areas of weakness. As areas of processing develop and the student is trained to understand his/her own specific learning styles, we are able to teach academics including reading, writing, math and study skills. With the thinking processes to support them in place, students are then able to retain these skills and learn subject matter more effectively in a safe, understanding and supportive environment.

How is educational therapy different from tutoring?

Ann Martin Center’s credentialed educational therapists work intensively with each student involving both educational and therapeutic approaches. An educational therapist is different from a tutor in his/her level of experience in working through educational interventions and in the therapist’s knowledge of disabilities.        
Educational therapists can also provide case management including communication with teachers, school counselors, learning specialists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers and/or psychiatrists. They often work with the student in order to coordinate services and facilitate a better understanding of the student’s learning needs and development. An educational therapist can assist in developing more effective IEPs and 504 plans.

Tutoring focuses on re-teaching academic subjects and help with homework. Tutors generally assist students who are behind in certain subjects and want to catch up or get ahead in school.

How is Ann Martin Center different from programs like Sylvan Learning Centers?

There are many ways we differ:

  • Our teachers are credentialed Educational Therapists or Reading Specialists with a Masters Degree. They are not undergraduate students or recent college graduates.
  • We assess our students to identify the best way to reach each one individually, because we understand that every student has different learning styles that work best for him or her.
  • Our sessions are all private one-on-one meetings (one educational therapist with one student), not groups of students as in a traditional school.
  • Our sessions do not consist of putting the student in front of a computer and having them work. Credentialed teachers work directly and intensively with each student.
  • Each student is constantly evaluated and reviewed to determine progress.

What about educational and/or psychological evaluations?

If a student does not already have the results of an evaluation from a professional, the student may need a Psychological and/or Educational Evaluation to determine levels of academic achievement, learning style, and areas of strength and weaknesses to help us develop a treatment plan. We offer both forms of assessment.

A parent's persective

“An educational therapist worked with my son for two years, and I can give you my observations about the experience. They met for two one-hour sessions each week and worked on homework, but not simply doing homework. She worked with him on how to manage homework, how to organize it, prioritize assignments, understand what the teacher wanted, estimate the amount of work required, plan for long-term projects, etc. As my son worked on projects, the educational therapist observed the process and identified areas where he needed new strategies or remediation, which she then suggested, involving him in the process of developing strategies. She also worked on boosting his confidence, sparking his interest, and trying to make things fun. In addition, the educational therapist interfaced with our outside neuropsychologist’s office and the personnel from the public middle school he attended, suggesting strategies and accommodations. In time, we saw my son become more capable of working independently in class and at home, taking new pride in his abilities and accomplishments.”

For more information or to set up an initial appointment, please contact our Learning Program Director, Betty Peterson, MEd ET/P at (510) 655-7880, ext. 370.