Psycho-educational Treatment Program Strategies
Psycho-educational Treatment Program Strategies
Since the Tree Group first conducted the Comprehensive Psycho-educational Evaluation and launched the psycho-educational program in 2003, our developed treatment strategies have created and provided renewed hopes and small miracles for the children who were not motivated or hopeless due to delayed language and other learning related difficulties. To best treat the children scientifically, we develop a unique system of developing clinical/psycho-educational treatment strategies of which strategies are presented together to improve their linguistic and learning related delays.
Clinical Treatment Program Strategies
The basic program approaches of our clinical treatment that is rooted on psychotherapy use various treatment techniques and strategies depending on the symptoms. Clinical Treatment strategies are carefully chosen according to the major psycho-educational treatment areas.
Psycho-educational Treatment Areas and Symptoms
– Language Development Delay & Second Language Acquisition Delay
– Cultural Adjustment and Stress
– Attention Deficits & Hyperactivity
– Developmental Delay & Autism Spectrum
– Learning Delay & Learning Disorder
– Emotional Difficulties and Learning
– Other Psycho-Treatment Areas and Symptoms
Psycho-educational Treatment Strategies for Language and Academic Development
The basic program approaches of our psycho-educational treatment for language and academic development are implemented individually depending on each child’s current level of functioning. The guideline below introduces some of the treatment strategies researched and applied in our sessions.
Note that this guideline uses general academic terms with which parents may feel familiar rather than psychological or clinical terms. Also note that all of the treatment strategies introduced here are implemented in individual sessions except for those for children to acquire social skills in small group settings.
Language Acquisition and Language Development Delay Treatment Strategies
Delays in language acquisition were the problems which, in 1896, Dr. Witmer of the University of Pennsylvania first applied his psychological strategies to learning problems. If there are no identifiable physical issues with the vocal system and hearing or no intellectual and other neuropsychological problems, but only delays in language development, all possible psycho-developmental factors should be analyzed.
In some cases, children may have confusion or difficulty distinguishing a particular sound from others or cannot remember the basic sounds for a long time. In other cases, they may have trouble making accurate pronunciations due to problems in the organs that are involved in oral language or have difficulty recognizing their own sounds as well as developmental disorders, such as autism, that prevent from acquiring basic language skills.
For children whose language acquisition keeps delayed, the major interfering factors must be identified through the Comprehensive Psycho-educational Evaluation and the children should start appropriate psycho-educational treatment with an initially developed set of psycho-educational strategies. If there is little or no progress with a certain initial strategy, other strategies should be developed and implemented to overcome those delays.
Receptive and Expressive Language Treatment Strategy
With the issues of receptive language ability, children may have difficulty recognizing accurate sounds. In some cases, they have trouble distinguishing between sounds and words or recognizing specific phonics. In other cases, they are unable to store newly learned words in their short-term memory due to neuropsychological issue or attention/concentration difficulties. Some of them refuse to learn altogether and remain in the state of learned helplessness due to prolonged exposure to ordinary learning/teaching methods that are not suitable for their needs.
With the issues of expressive language ability, children may not show problems with visually recognizing objects and knowing their names accurately; however, they have difficulty verbally expressing what they recognize and know.
If children experience any of these difficulties with receptive or expressive language, the core factor that triggers these problems must be identified first and they should be treated with an individualized psycho-educational strategies to assist them acquire the basic phonics, recognize the names of basic objects and verbally express these and train them to increase their attention/concentration capacity.
Reading, Makes Sense! Treatment Strategies
Some children who have been raised in bilingual and multicultural environments experience delay in language development. In fact, simply reading a text out loud, comprehending the meaning of the text, and integrating the content with one’s existing knowledge are completely different from one another. For instance, bilingual students who process knowledge in Korean show a relatively lower level of accuracy, speed, and comprehension of texts written in English than do those who process knowledge in English. Low comprehension skills lead to low academic achievement and ultimately a sense of shame about academics in general.
The Reading, Make Sense! Program aims to help students develop language proficiency and enhance their ability to think in that language. As such, students can gain confidence, motivation, and interest in reading through improving the speed of reading as well as the ability to grasp the meaning and accumulate knowledge necessary for learning.
Optimal Language Acquisition Program with Standardized Tests (SAT, SSAT, PSAT, TOEFL, GRE, GED)
The SAT, a standardized test widely used in English-speaking countries, was launched more than 120 years ago by an American psychologist at Princeton University, named Carl Campbell Brigham (1890-1943). He was the chairman of the College Board, which has overseen the test, and through SAT, he attempted to predict how much students could achieve academically and how well they could adjust to college environment.
However, because the SAT has the basic assumption that the test taker is a native English speaker, there has been continuous criticism about its inappropriateness and unfairness toward students who are speakers of other languages. Despite such limitations, standardized tests, including the SAT, are still actively used as an objective measure to evaluate the students’ current academic status in the form of numerical scores.
The treatment strategies ingrained in the Optimal Language Acquisition program are not developed to make students to study the English language as an academic subject; rather, these are made to foster the students’ ability to think at a deeper level and gain insights so they can broaden their scope of thought as well as to continually monitor their progress with objective measures.
‘SOUL’ Writing Strategy
Recently, concerns over regression in the writing skills of both English and Korean speaking students have been rising. These concerns are specifically about their inability to write with their own insights and philosophies while focusing too much on producing grammatically and technically flawless writing. The ‘SOUL’ Writing Strategy aims at training and cultivating students to become true writers who can deliver their perspectives, philosophies, and sentiments through writing to the extent that they can touch readers’ hearts.
Treatment Strategies for Development of Cognitive Function
Executive Function & Organization Skills Training Strategy
The ‘Executive Function’ area in the brain acts as the cognitive control tower that oversees all the behaviors that are involved in achieving goals. It is an essential learning function that controls attention/concentration behaviors, short-term and working memory capacities, cognitive flexibility and self-control as well as abilities to plan, problem-solve, and reason simultaneously.
In often cases, children’s distracting behaviors, such as having a short attention span and losing objects easily, are not only due to ADHD, but also when they have problems with this executive function in the brain. If they do not have enough ability to plan and organize knowledge that is essential for school life and learning in general, they will experience degraded academic management skills and difficulty with academic achievement; and thus, it is very important to improve the executive function through behavior modification treatment strategies.
Visuo-Spatial-Motoric Function and Visuo-spatial Ability Treatment Strategies
In the 1850s when psychologists began to research and numerically measure the human mental capacity and intelligence, they started distinguishing linguistic from nonverbal as the most important measures of intelligence level. Both the linguistic factors that encompass the general vocabulary, verbal comprehension, and dictation as well as abstract language ability, and the nonverbal factors that include arithmetic skills and visual spatial and reasoning abilities are equally important pillars to measure the human intelligence level.
While researching the brain’s various functions by its features through neuropsychological research and evaluation, we can identify cases where visual-spatial motoric coordination or visual-spatial reasoning ability is insufficient or impaired. Children with problems in these areas have trouble accurately recognizing objects or figures and limitations with abstract mathematical concepts. Also, they may have difficulty reading directions or organizing belongings in everyday life.
In such cases where there is a problem with cognitive ability or the responsible area in the brain is permanently injured, rehabilitative treatment approaches will help improve these impaired visual-spatial motoric coordination and visual-spatial reasoning ability.
Higher Order Cognitive Function and Science and Math Strategies
The study of math and science requires complex and advanced levels of cognitive ability and skills, such as the verbal comprehension ability to understand fundamental concepts, terms, and formulas, the perceptual reasoning ability to accurately recognize scientific/mathematical signs and symbols, as well as higher order cognitive function needed for attention skills and abstract arithmetic reasoning. If students find it too challenging to utilize the cognitive abilities required by learning math and science and thus cannot achieve the academic excellence they wish to achieve, then a new psycho-educational strategy tailored to individuals’ cognitive abilities and needs should be implemented along with the traditional teaching methods.
Unfortunately, the traditional school environment has limitations in providing individualized psycho-educational services, and so, there is a high tendency to use teaching methods that are heavily based on verbal language, written symbols, and drills that mostly require repetitive memorization or practice. As such, the Higher Order Cognitive Function Strategies were developed to aid students to truly understand math and science by tailoring and modifying the complex scientific and mathematical concepts to the level at which their current cognitive abilities can achieve.
Verbal Working Memory Treatment Strategies
Working Memory refers to a type of memory capacity that temporarily holds auditory information in the brain and processes or reconstructs the information with the knowledge stored in the brain. Being well equipped with Working Memory capacity is crucial in succeeding in academic settings because most teaching is verbally delivered and if a student has low Working Memory capacity, then he is likely to have trouble learning and acquiring knowledge. The Working Memory UP! Training Program is designed to train students with limited or low Working Memory function with effective skills to enhance memory and improve their learning ability through language development.
Classroom Behavior Treatment Program
Classroom Behavior Modification and Academic Achievement Strategies
Ineffective study habits, a lack of motivation for academic success, cognitive distraction, and disruptive behaviors are major factors that deter students from following the school curriculum and accurately comprehending and performing given tasks. Classroom Behavior Modification and Academic Achievement Strategies aim at identifying and correcting the problematic classroom behaviors and cognitive factors that hold students from establishing good study habits through the academic materials used at school.
ABCMM Academic Behavior Close Monitoring & Modification Strategies
The Active Learning Program is structured for participating students to be able to self-modify their problematic academic behaviors along with the individualized one-on-one psycho-educational sessions. During the self-study time, students are asked to complete the given academic tasks by utilizing the skills they learned in their clinical and psycho-educational sessions, and any inappropriate or ineffective academic behaviors are closely monitored and immediately gone under behavior modification by clinicians.