Friday, January 3, 2014


How did you get into the field of educational therapy/therapeutic tutoring?I used to homeschool my children, so I was always coming up with new and different ways to present material. In 2008 we moved to Papua New Guinea so I could teach grades 7 - 12 and experience a radically different culture and climate than what we were used to. The principal there told me about NILD Canada and suggested it was something I should really investigate for my future. Down the road, our youngest son was diagnosed with ASD so being a therapist made even more sense.

What populations do you work with?I can work with any age, but most of the clients that come to my practice are between grades 3 and 10. I am certified, at this point, to offer five different types of therapy, so depending on the need, my therapy can help ASD, Autism, FASD, learning disabilities, stroke, ADD hyperactive/combined subtype, PDD-NOS, slow processing, working memory issues, visual and auditory perception difficulties and other individual needs.

How do you find business?
It is always a slower process when moving to a new city and, in my case, province, but generally, through word of mouth, business doesn't take long to pick up and it is always fantastic to be able to chose the days and times that work best for me!

Do you do any advertising?
I have created and posted flyers, utilized facebook, Linkedin, my blog, and other websites to advertize, but in my personal experience, word of mouth is still the best form of advertisement. People want to hear the experiences of other people. Living in a city with lots of schools is always good, and people really do share their success stories. The hardest part, in my opinion, is a lack of funding for this type of therapy, along with the fact that most insurance companies will not cover any portion of the cost. It is often tough for parents to afford and I try to be as sensitive to that as possible while not sacrificing any of the program.

What do you see as the biggest obstacles to getting great results, and how do you overcome them?
Everyone is busy these days and many would like a quick "miracle" fix. That doesn't happen meeting for therapy only once a week. The goal is for two sessions per week, with small amounts of "take home" to be done each day (5 - 10 minutes a day maximum). Skype has been a new offering from me so there is always the option to combine home therapy with office visits.
In the end, though, coming to the therapist weekly helps both parents and, most importantly, the client motivated and progressing ... what I call "best practice". The clients who put forth the most effort are, inevitably, the ones who see the most change and are the happiest with all their hard work.

How do you convince prospective clients to enroll in therapy?
For the most part, I think we all intuitively understand that there are requirements involved in any activity: genuine commitment, effort and repetition are necessary to change the brain. Without commitment on the part of the client, not only do I look inept as a practitioner, but the program looks to be ineffective. I have let clients go, in the past, after mutually agreeing, if the commitment isn't there. 

Any tips for other therapists?
Persevere! I am not positive if Theodore Roosevelt truly said this, but I agree that nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty ... I have never in my life envied a human being who led and easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.

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