What is a Learning Disability?
A disability is an inability to do something, a diminished capacity to perform in a specific way. Disability is a significant difference from what we expect most people to be able to do, given their age, opportunities, and instruction. They can be cognitive, learning or attention, emotional or behavioral, physical or disorders of communication, autism, traumatic brain injury, impaired hearing or sight. Not all disabilities are easily recognizable, but through testing and evaluation educators can pinpoint neurological differences in the cognitive functioning of the individual learner. These differences demand instruction that differs.
What is NILD Educational Therapy?
NILD Educational Therapy is a form of therapy which is used to treat individuals with learning differences whether disabilities or challenges. Educational therapy involves interventions which are designed to resolve the individual learners' learning weaknesses. Through testing specific activities are designed and individualized to meet the unique needs of the learner. Educational therapy addresses the underlying cognitive skills that affect academic learning. These skills include visual and auditory processing, attention, focus and memory skills. The student only receives practice in the skills that are weak.
How Can NILD Educational Therapy Help?
NILD Educational Therapy improves cognitive functioning and learning skills by focusing on the building blocks of learning.
How is NILD Educational Therapy Different from Tutoring?
Through testing, NILD Educational Therapy identifies students’ learning weaknesses. Activities are designed to strengthen those weaknesses so they can work more efficiently in tandem with the students’ strengths instead of working against them.
Through testing, Tutoring identifies gaps in student knowledge and designs lessons to help students be successful academically with grade level curriculum.
NILD Educational Therapy focuses on how students learn. Tutoring focuses on what students learn.
Why Does it Work?
Traditionally, the educational and scientific communities have believed that intelligence is fixed. It remains constant and stable throughout an individual’s life. NILD believes that intelligence can be modified through intervention. Recent medical and educational research gives evidence of neuroplasticity. This indicates that individuals can increase their mental capacity to learn through targeted activities and instruction.
NILD Therapists are highly trained through graduate-level classes. They are certified by NILD to design and practice NILD Educational Therapy protocols specific to individual student needs. Therapists work individually and in small groups using research-based practices. These include interactive language, dynamic intervention, cognitive and meta-cognitive strategies, explicit instruction, reasoning, questioning, guided practice, feedback, and self-regulation.