Learning Therapy is all about taking the best of psychotherapy and combining it with a state-of-the-art understanding of how we learn to create effective support for anyone looking for help with a learning challenge.
How does it help?
Well, that depends—and that gets at just the point: just as in psychotherapy, everyone has a different challenge and everyone learns differently. What’s critical is that the learning therapy is co-created. The idea is to help with the material at hand as well as to help instill an understanding of how to learn for life regardless of the subject matter. Students learn how to learn.
In particular we help with:
Whether a formal diagnosis of dyslexia has been made or not, difficulties with decoding (the sounding out part of reading as opposed comprehension, which is understanding what’s been read) are best engaged with a multi-sensory, step-by-step reading program. Those programs using an Orton-Gillingham [link: http://www.iser.com/resources/reading-specialist.html] approach are the standard. Students are given guided lessons featuring a particular phonetic rule or rules that include dictation and guided reading of individual words, phrases, sentences and short stories all featuring the rule, with opportunities for lots of review until the rule is mastered.
Everyone can learn math. But math tends to be taught as one-size-fits all. Those who don’t learn the way math is taught end up believing that math is just beyond them.
Much of the work I do with math is undoing the damage that’s been done from just this kind of math teaching. Math is cumulative; each skill builds on a skill that’s been previously taught. If certain skills aren’t mastered before the next one is taught, it’s difficult to learn the next skill, and the problem is compounded. So once you’ve fallen behind in math, it gets harder to learn, and a belief that it’s just not learnable becomes compounded.
Our challenge is to figure out together just how it is we’re going to help you learn math. Sure, I’ve got endless tools and techniques, but that doesn’t mean we know what’s going to work for you. And, it is by virtue of your participation in create the learning that will help you learn not just the material we cover, but get better at learning anything you want.
Sometimes a young person has difficulties in school that just can’t be summed up as a challenge in one or another subject area. Executive Functioning refers to the cognitive system that controls all other cognitive functions. This includes areas of attention, focus, abstract thinking, planning and complex decision-making. Students with difficulty in this realm often seem unable to “get it together.”
How do I help? Intervening with students who struggle with Executive Functioning means directly engaging the issue of learning how to learn. Work typically includes attention to issues of organization, efficiently and effectively allocating time, learning to ask for and make use of help (whether from teachers, tutors, or others who are offering help), and getting better at “the politics of school” (for example seeing how certain behaviors might be inadvertently antagonizing a teacher whose good favor is desperately needed).