For many years Trinity Christian School has desired to offer support for parents of students with learning difficulties. We are pleased to offer such a program beginning in the 2009-2010 school year. We offer one-on-one educational therapy using the Discovery Center Program of the National Institute for Learning Development.
What is NILD Educational Therapy?
NILD Educational Therapy was developed to treat assumed, underlying causes of learning difficulties rather than simply treating the symptoms. It is a true therapy in that it aims the intervention just above the student’s level of functioning and raises expectations for performance. Students are trained to view themselves as competent, confident learners. The goal of NILD Educational Therapy is to help students develop tools of independent learning in the classroom and in life.
Students in NILD Educational Therapy receive two 80-minute sessions of intensive educational therapy per week. These sessions include a variety of techniques designed to address students’ specific areas of difficulty and to improve their overall ability to think, reason, and process information. Techniques emphasize basic skill areas such as reading, writing, spelling and math, applying reasoning skills within each area.
How is NILD Different from Tutoring?
The focus of NILD Educational Therapy is the development of clear, efficient thinking. Students are given tools to enable them to overcome specific learning weaknesses. Tutoring typically focuses on content while educational therapy builds efficient learning processes. NILD Educational Therapy teaches students how to think rather than what to think. NILD Educational Therapy is skill-oriented, improving basic learning skills so students can learn and retain content.
Students become better able to:
- stay focused on the teacher’s voice
- accurately hear and remember what the teacher is saying
- read visual information on the board, transparencies, or computer screen
- understand the main points of what the teacher is saying
- decide the significant information to record
- remember how to spell the words being recorded
- record information legibly
Who is a Candidate for this Program?
Potential students for this program are those experiencing obvious frustration in areas of school performance. Poor spelling, illegible handwriting, inability to express thoughts verbally or in writing, and difficulty with reading and math are common indicators of a learning disability.
Learning disabilities are diagnosed through a battery of tests that measure and compare students’ potential with their actual performance.
Students complete their programs when they become independent and successful in the regular classroom. This decision is based upon recommendations from the educational therapist, parents and classroom teachers and usually takes a minimum of three years.
A Success Story
"During my junior year I was diagnosed as Learning Disabled. I had always struggled with academics and as the time to apply to college drew near, I wondered if I would be competent. I had trouble with retention,expressive language, and organization. I attended the Discovery Center at Johnstown Christian School for two years. I raised my GPA significantly and really improved my study and learning skills. I attended Geneva College and Gallaudet University and graduated with my MA in Counseling. God’s grace, my Discovery Center teacher, and my parent’s endless support are the reasons for my success. Having a learning supportive environment in a Christian School teaches us that in spite of our struggles with academics that we are wonderfully and fearfully made, in His image. I came to know in a real way that we 'can do ALL things through CHRIST who gives us strength.'" – Jessica Bovard, Counselor, Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.
Questions & Answers
How are students admitted to the Program?
Students are referred to the Discovery Center by a teacher or parent who may have some questions concerning the student’s academic progress. An educational battery of testing is then administered by a Discovery Center therapist followed by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale-IV administered by a certified school psychologist. If the program is recommended for the student an educational therapy plan is then designed specifically for him/her. Tuition for the Discovery Center Program is paid in addition to the regular school tuition.
What is my job as a parent?
Parents provide structure and consistency. To be successful, parents must be committed to the program and supportive of their child. There is an element of at home practice that should be overseen by a parent.
Will my child miss regular class time?
Yes, therapy is given for two eighty-minute sessions per week. Modifications may be made in regular classroom assignments.
Why one-on-one therapy?
Each student’s needs are specific and distinctive. An uninterrupted, concentrated and personalized session is the best approach to meeting those needs.
What is the tuition?
The tuition for the 2009-2010 school year for the Discovery Center is $2500. There are additional costs for materials and testing.