Chicago First Midwest Training Ground for Educational Therapists

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Educational therapists are experts at helping clients gain the self-understanding needed to manage their schoolwork or their jobs. To keep up with the demand for educational therapists, the Association of Educational Therapists (AET) developed the Educational Training Institute (ETI), which is designed to provide intensive, post master's level training to educational therapists and other professionals. Chicago has been chosen as the site for three courses from the Educational Training Institute.

Students with disabilities are twice as likely to drop out of high school. With that bleak fact, parents are increasingly seeking support for their children to ensure that their child will not become a statistic. With one in seven Americans having a learning disability, demand for services has increased. Often, these services are met by a variety of professionals, including educational therapists. Educational therapists are clinically trained educators who are sensitively attuned to the interplay of emotions, cognition, and learning. They combine educational and therapeutic approaches for evaluation, remediation, case management, and communication/advocacy on behalf of children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities or learning problems. These problems include, but are not limited to, dyslexia, AD/HD, reading, writing, language or math disabilities, low motivation levels, low academic self-esteem, and poor social, organizational, and study skills.

Educational therapists are experts at helping clients gain the self-understanding needed to manage their schoolwork or their jobs. To keep up with the demand for educational therapists, the Association of Educational Therapists (AET) developed the Educational Training Institute (ETI), which is designed to provide intensive, post master's level training to educational therapists and other professionals. Chicago has been chosen as the site for three courses from the Educational Training Institute.

"Educational therapy is a relatively new field and I've been amazed by the need for qualified educational therapists. I'm a special education teacher and I was interested in learning more about it. Educational therapy is big in California and it's beginning to make its way here," said Vanessa Seed Melbye, a special education teacher from Chicago. "I was happily surprised that AET chose Chicago as the site for the class. It saved me airfare," said Melbye, who attended the first course, "Principles of Educational Therapy," held in Hyde Park over the course of two weekends in June and July. "It was great to learn more about the field…it's a new approach to working with kids with learning disabilities. It's holistic and encompasses more than just remediation. I'm excited for the next classes." The other two courses will be conducted in Chicago next year.

Educational therapy had its start in California, and most of AET's members currently practice on the West Coast. "Currently, educational therapists are few in number in the Midwest. AET hopes that, through the ETI, clinically trained educational therapists will grow in number and expertise to best serve the population throughout the region, particularly in the underserved metropolitan areas," states Maxine Ficksman, previous coordinator of the UCLA Extension Certificate in Educational Therapy program and current Graduate Programs Chair of the Association of Educational Therapists. "All of us at AET are very excited about establishing the ETI in Chicago as our first location. This wonderful city was selected for its large number of renowned universities and colleges that provide superb training in the field of special education."

The Association of Educational Therapists is the national professional association for educational therapists. AET defines and sets standards for the professional practice of educational therapy.

If you'd like more information about this topic, please visit http://www.aetonline.org.

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