How do I know if my child needs educational therapy?

As a parent, you want to ensure that your child has the best possible start to life, which begins with getting the most out of their school years.
If you notice that your child's test scores are low or are dropping, that he or she is struggling in a specific subject area, or in general, it can be difficult to know if this is an indication of underlying difficulties, and if your child needs additional support.

Signs of challenges in learning or other problems may include:

  • performing below grade level in school
  • troubled attitude towards reading
  • writing challenges
  • difficulty following verbal instructions
  • lack of attention in school
  • seeming lack of interest in school 
A variety of tests are available that can pinpoint where the breakdowns in the learning process are occurring.

What is the process for identifying learning disorder?

Traditionally – a learning disorder has been defined as a discrepancy between ability and achievement in a specific area such as math, reading, etc. or an area of processing.  A newer approach in the California school system goes under the acronym of RTI – (Response To Intervention) whereby any student who is not meeting the school benchmarks theoretically should be provided with some form of intervention.  If the student does not respond to intervention and after considering other variable criteria, the student may be deemed to have a learning disorder.  The rules for this are still a bit unclear as it is quite new and many California school districts have not adopted it yet.

My child has many strengths. Doesn't that mean he/she
doesn't have a learning disability?

Actually, no. A learning disorder doesn't automatically mean a delay in every faculty. As an example, some children may be gifted in math but display weaknesses in reading or oral expression. Some children may read well but suffer comprehension problems. Some may only have issues with fine motor control, exhibiting problems with handwriting or drawing.  

My child has been receiving Special Education support
at his/her public school. 
Why would an Educational Therapist be necessary?

School resources are extremely limited. A child with a learning difficulty may not be able to obtain sufficient support from school provided resources. Often, learning difficulties may require a broader, multi-disciplinary approach. In this instance the educational therapist plays the role of case manager, arranging for resources and tracking progress.

Are the tests that you use recognized by psychologists,
schools and colleges?

There are a wide variety of IQ and function tests on the market that are used by various professionals to gauge performance and to identify problems. Educational therapists are specially trained to use tests that measure processing and memory skills in addition to academic measurements. As an example, children with language delays shouldn't be tested with language based performance tests. The end result will not accurately reflect the capabilities or strengths of the child and may lead to an improper diagnosis and inadequate treatment.


What should I do if I have more questions, or to find out if my child's difficulties in school or home are due to language or learning difficulties?

As a parent, you understand the importance of this time in your child's life. If you have concerns over their performance in school, or wonder if they are showing signs of struggling or falling behind, please give me a call to set up a free initial consultation!

Call Susan at LearningTeacher
(714) 969-2042