So, here you are. You’ve got a child who struggles with academics but underneath these difficulties are some real psychological or neurobiological deficits. Without sounding too technical, if your child has been diagnosed with ADHD or a learning disorder- you may need a professional who has an understanding of the symptomology of the diagnosis as well as the academic training to best assist him or her- hence the role of an educational counselor or educational therapist
What is Educational Counselling?
The role of an educational counselor or educational therapist is to amplify the strength of a child to learn at his/her best. The focus is not strictly on the subject matter but also to enlighten the child on how to process information, provide tools or strategies to help them focus and to bridge any difficulties with focus and attention. It must be stressed that an Educational Counsellor is not the same as a tutor. To make it clear, the focus of a tutor – is to help the child on a specific subject or course-by traditional teaching methods, An educational therapist or educational counselor recognizes that not all kids are wired the same way and in response to that -works with the uniqueness of that child to recognize thinking patterns, habits and attitudes that get in the way of processing and comprehending material. The educational therapist gets very creative in sourcing apps, supports, visual aids, counseling/mentoring in order to boost the will, motivation, determination and skill sets to achieve academic success.
Who are Educational Counsellors?
Educational counseling can be performed by educators with specialized training in cognitive deficits or therapists/counselors who have additional training on learning differences. The difference between a traditional tutor and an educational counsellor is exemplified here:
Tommy is diagnosed with dyscalculia and really struggles with math anxiety. What a traditional tutor might do is have Tommy do questions and practice over and over again in order to master the math question. This is good but what about the math anxiety? On the other hand, an educational counsellor would recognize the core issue with Tommy is his problem with number sense. The counsellor would find a way for Tommy to recognize basic number facts as well as source apps/ digital tools, visual aids and so forth. Equally important is that the educational counsellor would help Tommy with coping skills on how to overcome math anxiety.
Consellors can also be General or special education teaacher, Reading or math specialists, Social workers or any professional that has gained the required training to be able to offer educational counselling.
Why Use an Educational Counsellor?
Teachers are busy. The truth is that as much as they care, teachers rarely have the ability to really cater to the unique needs of your child. Even with IEP and educational Assistants-it’s often not enough. Our educational counselors can offer the following but no limited to;
- Helping a parent discern whether behavioral issues are a result of underlying cognitive deficits etc. or attention issues
- Teaching organization and time management skills
- Provide a bridge and act as a dependable link between school and home
- Be a mentor that a child can confide in about issues at school and at home
- Offer tools, strategies to help improve focus, habits and attitudes
- Track progress and identify gaps in learning that may be overlooked by teachers