A teenage boy reads a paragraph in school, his teachers say he just isn't trying. He doesn't understand what half the words mean, but can look at the book and figure out the answers.
A ten year old boy with Autism can do addition and subtraction problems beautifully, but cannot decipher a story problem even though he can read the words.
Each of these kids, and many more out there, need a therapeutic model of intervention. A therapeutic model not only the child's weakness, but also how their situation in life and capabilities may be impacting their learning. It then takes an individualized approach to effectively address the problem. The girl, for instance, may need improved confidence in test taking rather than just drill and practice. With the teenage boy someone may need to recognize that he is not lazy, but rather frustrated, and then put in place an intensive vocabulary program. The boy with Autism may need some help understanding math concepts, rather than just learning to do the problems. Every case is different, but they all need a therapeutic model that goes deeper than traditional tutoring.
According to the Association of Educational Therapists website,
"AET defines an educational therapist as a professional who combines both educational and therapeutic approaches for evaluation, remediation, case management, and communication/advocacy on behalf of individuals of all ages with learning disabilities or learning problems."
When a child has a speech/language difficulty, they see a speech therapist. An Educational Therapists plays this same role for someone with a learning difficulty. Like ASHA, the Association of Educational Therapists has standards for professional conduct and required continuing education hours.
As an Educational Therapist/Professional, I discovered the Association of Educational Therapists when attending a local workshop hosted by AET. I found that the professional standards and therapeutic model of the organization mirrored the work that I had been doing with kids for years. It was a match that was meant to be.
For more information on my work as an Educational Therapist, contact me, or click here.