Jieun Chai, Ed. Therapist, M.A. Ed., Associate Member, AET
After graduating from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s degree in Asian American Studies, as well as a Master's degree in Educational Research, I taught 3rd and 4th grade at an independent school in Los Gatos for seven years while earning my teaching credential through CALStateTEACH.
I loved working as a classroom teacher, yet I began to notice individual students in the classroom who were struggling to do well in their academics, despite being intelligent and showing great potential. I observed students who couldn't read or spell at grade level, couldn’t focus in the classroom setting, or just lacked confidence in their ability as learners. One such student in my class ended up receiving help from an educational therapist, and the progress she made as a reader and learner was amazing to me. I wanted to be that person who unlocked the door to her mind, and determined then that I would pursue the field of educational therapy. After staying home for a number of years to take care of my children, and living abroad for a couple of years in London, I settled into the role of a resource teacher at an independent school in Los Altos, CA for five years. In 2017, I earned my Certificate of Educational Therapy from the University of California Santa Cruz and became an active member of the national Association of Educational Therapists (AET) and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).
As I start off my private practice in 2020 during a tumultuous time in the world due to Covid19, I feel more of an urgency to help those students who need extra support with their academics. My favorite part of this line of work is witnessing students getting some much-needed relief when something finally "clicks" for them, and the lightbulb turns on. They gain confidence in realizing that they are not "stupid;" they just needed someone to teach them in a different way.
When I am not working with students, I love watching movies, trying out a foreign language in a foreign country, and spending time with my husband and two kids.
What is Educational Therapy?
Educational Therapy offers children and adults with learning disabilities and other learning challenges a wide range of intensive, individualized interventions designed to remediate learning problems.
Educational therapy demystifies learning problems and stimulates clients’ awareness of their strengths so they can use those strengths to overcome or compensate for areas of weakness.
What is an Educational Therapist?
Educational therapists create and implement a treatment plan that utilizes information from a variety of sources including the client’s social, emotional, psychoeducational, and neuropsychological background.
An educational therapist is a professional who combines 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.
Does my child need Educational Therapy?
The need for educational therapy may be identified in a number of ways. Your child or adolescent may never have been diagnosed by specialists or school personnel as having learning disabilities, but you have made some of the following observations:
You may have had early indicators when your child was very young, such as early ear infections, difficulty with maintaining concentration on a task, problems remembering, delay in learning language, or problems paying attention.
Your child or adolescent may come home from school and tell you, “I’m stupid. I hate school! I don’t get what I am supposed to do.” You see a loss of self-esteem regarding school performance.
Your child or adolescent may resist going to school, or participating in the normal childhood activities.
You may have concerns based on observation of your child or adolescent that all is not right with his or her ability to learn, or to benefit from school.
Your child or adolescent may take an extreme amount of time and parent support to get homework tasks done.
You see ongoing struggles with homework and school assignments that have increased as schoolwork becomes harder.
You see discouragement and withdrawal.
Your child does not enjoy reading, and/or is a slow reader.
Your child has trouble following directions or understanding what is being asked of him.
If your child or adolescent has been identified or diagnosed by a specialist or school personnel:
Your child or adolescent may require additional individualized interventions beyond those received at school.
Your child or adolescent is receiving services from multiple specialists, and you need assistance in coordinating services.
You need assistance in interpreting reports and recommendations from various specialists who work with your child.
You would like assistance developing an overall treatment plan for your child.
Adapted from the Association of Educational Therapists, www.aetonline.org