An educational therapy or special education tutoring session is a one to one or small group and is designed to follow a educational plan developed by reviewing the ﬁle, or derived from a screening, or from recent psycho-educational testing. The educational therapy or tutoring program should be reviewed every three months to determine if the plan is working. The way to evaluate progress is through informal assessment or formal testing to see how skills are improving and progressing. Parent consultation is needed on an ongoing basis to determine if the child is progressing. Educational therapy can involve skill building or teaching the child skills needed to be successful in school and in the subject areas of reading, writing, math, and study skills. In some cases, the educational therapy program will support and teach skills needed to complete homework, writing assignments, or help prepare a student for a test. For older students, time management and organizational skills will also be taught.
Cognitive Skills Training is a systematic, structured approach aimed at improving cognitive, language, perceptual, and attention skills for children ages 5 - 13. Andrea Shor developed the Cognitive Skills Training Program after her training with the Learning Potential Assessment Device, a language and culture free assessment for children with executive processing disorders, low intelligence, or attention and language weaknesses. Nine years after her training in 1990, she created a curriculum and skill sequence to teach children how to learn and generalize basic language and perceptual concepts. The Cognitive Skills Training Program uses the principles of schema learning from the work of the Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget, the ideas of mediated and facilitated learning experiences , and the cutting edge research from neuroscience claiming that the brain is a malleable and changeable organ, and that neural changes can occur when learning is presented in a systematic, intensive, unfamiliar, and innovative manner. The CST program is also inﬂuenced by the work of Dr. Joseph Chiltern Pearce, scientist, who claims that children can learn more deeply through play and nurturing experiences which help the brain to generalize and integrate old learning with new learning. The CST program is also inﬂuenced by the work of Candance Pert Ph.d and Bruce LIpton, Ph.d who claim that beliefs and learning take place at the neuro-peptide and cellular level and that beliefs and learning can be changed by changing the sub-conscious mind. The CST program incorporates mindful meditative exercises into the curriculum to help the child’s sub-conscious mind absorb and receive and accept learning strategies during the CST session.
The child who beneﬁts from the CST program may present with a cognitive inﬂexibility or difﬁculty absorbing and retaining language or perceptual concepts. Children identiﬁed with non-verbal learning disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, attention deﬁcit/hyperactivity disorders, or low intelligence can beneﬁt from the CST training as many of these children can be described as rigid or inﬂexible thinkers. Children who have had many years of skill building and tutoring, yet do not consistently retain or generalize the skills that have been taught, are also excellent candidates for Cognitive Skills Training.