Academic Language Therapy
What is a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT)?
Academic language therapists (sometimes called an educational therapist or certified academic language therapist) are specialists specificly trained to work with students with dyslexia or reading disabilities. They have completed extensive accredited training at the graduate level in multisensory structured language teaching. They are trained in the structure of the English language and how to teach that structure in a multisensory manner through the Orton-Gillingham methodology. They are trained to remediate problems in reading, spelling, and written language. Not all students need academic therapy; some just need tutoring for help with a particular subject.
Academic therapy with a Certified Academic Language Therapist is an intensive remedial approach that starts the dyslexic or reading disabled student with the basics and rebuilds the learning continuum step-by-step. Usually therapy starts from the beginning of Book One so that no gaps are left in the student’s grasp of and facility with processing information in reading, spelling, and writing. Sometimes a therapist will decide the student does not have to start at the beginning if the student is older and/or more advanced. Since the program is always reviewing previous concepts, the student is exposed to missed items. This would be decided by the trained therapist. Classes are composed of one-one-one training to better benefit each child's specific needs.
How long does the academic therapy take and what can I expect?
How long it takes to complete the program depends on the severity of the problem and the frequency of the sessions. Success is not always immediately measureable. Remember, academic therapy is a process, not a product.
Developmental & Behavioral Services
What are Developmental and Behavioral services?
Developmental and Behavioral services are an additional service provided to families whose child requires transition plans, Shadowing, and/or Behavioral plans. Utilizing information from testing, previous school reports, parent input and suggestions, Mrs. Helten develops and hones in on specific areas of weakness while continuing to develop and encourage growth in the student’s strengths. Specifically, in areas of emotional regulation (mindfulness and coping strategies), class participation (advocating for support and clarification in addition to classroom participation), peer relationships (intentional participation with peers) and development of interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Parents will receive monthly reports informing them of their child’s progress.
How long can I expect these services to occur?
As with all of our services, Developmental and Behavioral services are not designed to follow the student the entirety of their academic career. Each student’s journey is unique and their needs vary. Many factors come into play when designing the plan. Parent support and follow-through and the student’s behavior are two large factors. All ALA staff is informed and trained for the plan and strategies needed in order to ensure success in the classroom and among the student’s peers.
Transition services are generally designed to follow a two to three-week implementation. If a student requires a Shadow, a minimum of four hours per month for the entirety of the Shadow services are required. Services for Behavior and Development will vary among students, but generally require anywhere from two to six hours per month.
What is Shadowing?
Shadowing is a term used to describe services provided to a student who may need a little extra support in a classroom setting. A Shadow’s role is to assist in the facilitation of social and emotional development in addition to positively shaping a child’s behavior in a school setting. In some cases, a Shadow will also assist in the academic development of the child. Objectives are designed to build a scaffold for future independence.
Who can Shadow?
A Shadow is a professional who has been trained in the social and emotional development of children and behavioral strategies to positively impact and shape problematic behavior. All Shadows are employed through Unique Pathways and are overseen on site by Jennifer Helten, owner of Unique Pathways, LLC and Director of Staff and Student Development at ALA. Her team of professionals have degrees, are R.B.T. certified and receive monthly training in order to provide a high quality service.
How long will your child need a Shadow?
A Shadow’s job is to work themselves out of a job and is not designed to follow a student their entire academic career. Shadowing often follows a tiered approach in order to insure a systematic fading of the Shadow’s presence in the classroom. However, each case is unique and duration will vary dependent upon the development of the student and severity of behaviors.