Dear Home Schooling Parent,
Like you, I wear many hats. There is the mom hat, the wife hat, and the home teacher hat along with the hats of chauffeur, nurse, guidance counselor, chef, and more. Among all of my hats is that of "educational therapist."
It has been my observation through 18 years of home schooling my own children that when it comes to home students with learning difficulties, learning disabilities, or special needs, home schoolers often feel stranded, helpless, and alone. Our home schools do not have access to special education departments or on-staff specialists to pinpoint the deficits and needs of non-traditional learners. I have always found this frustrating.
In 2008 I was introduced to "educational therapy" through the Home School Legal Defense Alliance. Educational therapy is a supplementary program designed to help students with learning difficulties who have experienced frustration and/or failure in their school work. This program was developed by the National Institute for Learning Development (NILD) in Norfolk, VA and uses intervention techniques in one-on-one educational sessions with the student. The focus of the intense, individual therapy sessions is on continual stimulation and development of the deficit areas of perception, basic skills, and critical thinking skills.
I was so impressed with the distinctives of NILD Educational Therapy and the benefits for students, particularly for home school and private school students who seldom have access to professional help, that I decided to pursue training and certification as an "educational therapist." I am now spreading the word that this valuable intervention is available. While home school students were my initial motivation, this therapy is equally valuable for private and public school students.
Please note that educational therapy is not tutoring. Tutoring attempts to re-teach classroom material that a student did not master in class without addressing the underlying causes of the student's inability to master the material in the first place. Educational therapy, on the other hand, addresses the underlying causes of the student's inability. There is a big difference.
Please know that you are not alone. There is help and hope available for your struggling learner. Feel free to email or phone me to discuss your concerns and your student's needs.
Lorri Wilke, M.Ed., PCET
Professionally Certified Educational Therapist