“Oh, It’s Time for my Therapy Session!”

(This is a fictional account, but based on reality, of a boy in grade seven we’ll call “Jack”. The blog is written from his point of view as a student in his third year of educational therapy sessions.)

NILD Educational Therapy student with goat

Hi! I’m Jack!

I am a 12 year old boy who enjoys taking things apart and I do lots of chores at our farm with the chickens and goats and other random animals.

What I don’t really like is working at school.

When I was in grade four I had testing done because I couldn’t read at all yet, and everyone was concerned. The person who tested me said that I’ll probably never be able to read, so will just need to use the support of technology.

My mom, my grandma, and my teacher didn’t believe this, and so it was recommended that I start educational therapy sessions. I didn’t have a clue what this was about, but thought “Sure, why not? I get out of class for over an hour, twice a week. As long as they aren’t doing anything fun in class like having a party, I don’t mind leaving.”

My Therapy Sessions

Mrs. Ster, the therapist is quite nice. She first asks me how my weekend was, and I start to tell her about the 10 new goats we got, and how I had to separate them into the pens. Then she says, “Ok, now we have to start. You can write the rest of your story in your journal at the end of the session.” I love to talk, it’s so much easier than writing, but then I guess we wouldn’t get any work done.

We start with the Rhythmic Writing, which I still find confusing, but it is getting easier now. My favourite is page 6. Sometimes it hurts my arm to write on the chalkboard, and I forget to stand still. It’s hard for me to stay on one spot, but I try.

We do lots of different types of work in a session:

  • Math block,
  • Dictation and Copy (I hate doing this one so much!),
  • Buzzer, and
  • Blue Book.

The Blue book is like a little book that we have to memorize. It’s kind of crazy, but I guess it helps with spelling and reading. Then we do lots of other activities and puzzles and who knows what all. I just know the therapy session usually flies by, unless I’m really tired.

The Results of My Sessions

I have to tell you, that after two and a half years of educational therapy sessions, I can now read!

I don’t read many books, but it feels really good to know that I can figure out what words are. Sometimes I read magazines. I am below my level, and it’s still really hard, but I can do it!

It started to make more sense last year, and Mrs. Ster said that it takes a year of therapy sessions before things start to fall into place. I am not very good at remembering to do homework, but I do try sometimes. It’s just that I do my chores and play outside and help my grandpa fix his car, and then I don’t have time to do homework. In the morning I run out of the house and often forget my Discovery bag on my therapy session days.

I guess I’m not the “ideal” student, but Mrs. Ster keeps encouraging me along, and it feels good to achieve some success.

What I Now Think of Educational Therapy

If someone were to ask me now what I think of educational therapy, I’d say that it’s hard work and sometimes it makes your brain go crazy while doing the Rhythmic Writing. I don’t mind the Buzzer, and am getting quite difficult words now. I can’t remember the Blue Book pages lots of times, but when Mrs. Ster cues me in with the page, it comes back. I like the different puzzles, and sometimes we play fun games with strategy like “Crosstrack”. Math is really hard sometimes.

I’d say that if you want to learn to read and write better…why don’t you give educational therapy a try? It can’t hurt you….and it is fun telling stories about my life to someone truly interested.

Thanks for listening! I have to go check on the goats now!

— by Jack

Jane Hoogendam

Jane Hoogendam

Jane Hoogendam has worked as an NILD Certified Educational Therapist, classroom teacher, special education teacher and vice-principal for over thirty years, in various schools and designations. Her passion for teaching and love for children is evident in her interactions with students, parents and colleagues.  Presently working as a private educational therapist and following her life-long interest in writing, Jane is eager to continue learning how to teach "children to think" and unfold their potential.
Jane Hoogendam

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