Intensive remediation. The phrase alone sounds kind of scary, doesn’t it? If you’re the parent of a child who isn’t reaching his or her full potential in school, we’d like to put your mind at ease. We recently connected with Alison Kennedy, Director of The Reading Foundation’s Vancouver clinic to talk about what intensive remediation is, and what it can do for children who are struggling. If you’ve ever wondered how you can help your children to become more confident readers, writers, spellers and mathematicians, you’ll want to hear what Alison has to share about what intensive remediation is, and how it may be able to help your child.
Who Needs Intensive Remediation?
“The average student who comes to us is of average or above average intelligence, but is performing below their grade level,” says Alison. Common issues for these students are reading and spelling, as well as reading comprehension. While most of their clients range in age from six years old to their teen years, more parents of younger children are coming in to help their children get a leg up with reading. Alison emphasizes that early intervention is ideal, and as parents and teachers become more aware of learning issues, she’s seen a shift towards younger children entering the program. She explains, “When students really struggle in school for a long time it takes its toll on their emotional well-being and self-esteem. Also, they learn ineffective coping strategies.”
What Does Intensive Remediation Involve?
When children are really struggling in school, spending an hour or two each week with a tutor isn’t enough, according to Alison. Ideally, intensive remediation is four hours a day, five days a week. For most children, that means missing half a day of school. However, the gains made in processing skills often outweigh missing half a day of curriculum. If that doesn’t work for a particular child or family, they can do a modified program of 10 hours per week. This time is spent one-on-one with a clinician, and instruction is structured around each child’s learning style. After 80 hours, all students show improvement, and most are ready to move on from intensive remediation, although they will continue to work on their new skills with their parents. Alison shares, “They are able to read, they are able to spell, and they feel really good about themselves.”
What are the Benefits of Intensive Remediation?
Alison is very passionate about the work she does. She says, “I like empowering the students in a caring, nurturing environment. They learn that they can succeed. With hard work they can do it.” Once students are able to read, there’s a noticeable change in them, as Alison explains. “A new world opens to them that they never saw before. They’re reading words on buses and everywhere.” The time spent in intensive remediation pays off in many ways. Seeking out extra help for your child needn’t be intimidating – it can be an empowering experience that can open up whole new avenues of learning.
This article was sponsored by the Reading Foundation, a private clinic in Kitsilano that specializes in the assessment and treatment of learning difficulties through intensive remediation. Our research-based programs address not only reading, but also spelling, writing, comprehension, and math. The Reading Foundation’s dynamic and individualized approach has caused us to be sought out by anyone who feels their child is not performing at their highest potential. The benefits of our educational remediation go beyond the standard scores and grade levels reported in a number of studies; the positive growth experienced by children leaves a lasting impression on their confidence and self-esteem.