Is your child struggling in school? Has s/he managed to squeak by several years in a row but is not mastering the curriculum? Could there be underlying issues causing these learning problems?
One of Bridging the Gap Counseling and Educational Services goals is to ignite the love for learning in every student that enters through its doors. BTG does not only teach students what to learn; BTG teaches students how to learn for a lifetime.
Educational Therapy is the form of therapy used to help students with learning differences and challenges that are often labeled as learning disabilities. This type of therapy offers a wide range of intensive interventions that are designed to remediate a variety of learning problems. The BTG Team of Experts draw from a toolbox of interventions that are individualized and designed specifically to supplement or enhance the learning of each individual. With Integrative Educational Therapy, students learn life skills that enable them to process more efficiently, to increase both memory and focus, and learn how to handle emotions that might interfere with the learning process. Students and parents learn how proper nutrition enables the brain to process and retain information more effectively. Integrative Educational Therapy taps into the metacognitive abilities and limitations as well as the executive functioning of the brain.
BTG’s Educational Therapist will work with you and your child(ren) to simplify learning problems and stimulate a student’s awareness of his/her strengths so s/he can use those strengths to their best advantage and build a skillset in areas of weakness.
A treatment plan will be created and implemented for each client that utilizes information from a variety of sources including the client’s school records, current IEP, any recent or earlier testing, personal observation in the classroom or home, and any assessments necessary.
SENSORY PROCESSING: Diagnosing children with Sensory Processing Difficulties (SPD) is not limited to children with autism. Human beings take in information through their five senses. If one or more of these senses is heightened or under sensitized, you or your child may have SPD. Oftentimes children diagnosed with anxiety disorders actually have sensory processing issues.
Sensory input into the brain actually comes in through the seven senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch, proprioception, and the vestibular system. Most learning issues center in four sensory areas: visual input, visual processing, aural input, and aural processing.
However the last two senses are critical when we discuss the brain and how it functions in learning:
We offer our clients a unique experience to work on all areas of sensory input through the use of our sensory processing room with cozy tunnels, trampolines, balance equipment, warm lighting, tactile tubs, and focus balls. Dealing with sensory issues relieves anxiety, improves processing, and aligns the brain for learning.
COGNITIVE PROCESSING AND LEARNING MODALITIES: Children and adults often have problems with sequential thinking, cause and effect reasoning, application of recently acquired material, and the synthesis of information into new forms of thinking. Our Bridging the Gap Counseling and Educational Services Educational Therapist teaches students how to think about their thinking (metacognition) and how to utilize their brain power so that the executive portion of the brain makes wise decisions and reasons both inductively and deductively.
God has wired human brains so that each person has his/her own personality and favorite modalities for learning. Students often have learning difficulties because they do not understand how their brains learn. BTG Educational Therapy not only teaches students how their brains best learn but also how to improve the function of the non-favored modalities of learning.
MEMORY AND FOCUS: Memory improvement has been the topic of many fantastic books and articles. BTG's Let's Make a Memory takes the best of many memory systems and makes it child or teen brain friendly. Everybody can remember; you just have to know the BTG tricks!
Student engagement is a hot topic online, in teachers' lounges, and in education magazines. If students are not engaged in their learning, truly no learning takes place. BTG's Intentional Attention provides students with a toolbox of strategies so they can self-regulate their own focus in social and classroom situations.
NUTRITION AND EMOTIONS: You are what you eat, drink, do, and feel. The mind body connection has an overwhelming impact on learning and acquisition of social and life skills. God has designed your child's brain and body to function at its best when nutrition, Brainercise (exercise for the brain and body), emotions, and water intake are in line. Let Bridging the Gap Counseling and Educational Services help you and your child understand the interrelationship of these components and their impact on learning.
INTEGRATIVE TUTORING Integrative tutoring is learning BTG style. Teachers and/or coaches build relationships, explore interests and disinterests, and design the tutoring experience so every student does learn. Sensory and physical activities are natural components of integrative tutoring. After students have integrated the learning into their own experience, they are then presented with various opportunities to teach others which is the highest level of application for newly acquired material.
COUNSELING: Counseling is one of the tools that Bridging the Gap Counseling and Educational Services uses to enhance the learning experience and the life skills for children, teenagers, adults, and families. Learning is truly a family affair. If students are struggling with retaining information and critical thinking skills, there are a rainbow of issues that can influence this process. GAP comes alongside each Student and their family to be sure they deal with any learning blocks or stumbling blocks and turn them into stepping stones to successful learning . Our goal is to accompany our clients through the three stages of counseling: stabilization, healing, and life coaching.
BRAIN INTEGRATION THERAPY: If you have ever suffered from brain fog or unclear thinking processes, the two lobes of your brain may be imbalanced. You may have more activity in either the right or left lobe when in reality the two should be aligned. Students (or adults) who are struggling with learning issues, ADHD, trauma, sensory processing problems, etc. may have a lack of alignment in the two lobes of their brains. Through a series of exercises that are mental, emotional, and physical, thinking can be clearer, learning can be easier, and even motor skills can improve.
EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE: At Bridging the Gap, Pamela and Terry both work on emotional and social intelligence, which is the ability to monitor one’s own emotions and respond appropriately to the emotions of others in social situations. The term refers to abilities such as:
The study of ESI came from research into learning styles, multiple intelligences, personality studies, psychology of emotion, and neuroscience. We constantly receive and process messages about our environment, ourselves, and the people around us. Three decades of brain research have shown that we process via thinking and emotions, which are not processed in the same way or in the same part of the brain. For a highly emotional person, the brain has to be rewired not to process all input through an emotional filter. That rewiring allows the brain to think about input instead of only emotionally processing the input. The good news here is the brain can be rewired; therefore, social and emotional skills can be taught to young people and adults who struggle with social/emotional issues.
The diagram below contains four levels of emotional intelligence, with the apex being relationship management. If the other three skills are maximized, relationships become much easier to manage. Many scientists and professionals consider EI to be more important than IQ in future success.
EXECUTIVE FUNCTION: Executive Functions of the brain is a set of skills that begin in infancy and carry through to adulthood. These frontal lobe skills are the very foundation of learning successfully and effectively managing a career. Many people tap into these skills because they have them effectively modeled in their environment; however, many do not. The definition of executive functions is broad; here the skills that are most commonly included:
You might see problems with executive functions with people who have suffered trauma and/or attachment issues in their lives or those who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In any case, these are skills that can be learned and wired into the brain through counseling and/or educational therapy.