What is the Discovery Program?
The Discovery/NILD program provides educational support to students facing learning difficulties or to students who are frustrated learners. The Discovery Program (an educational therapy designed by the National Institute for Learning Development) can offer students an effective tool to overcome educational obstacles. This intense and integrative approach launches change for a lifetime. The program guides the learner toward effective learning skills in order to lessen the barriers that make reading, writing, spelling, math and problem solving difficult.
What is Educational Therapy?
Purpose: To help students overcome academic difficulties due to learning differences and challenges.
Definition of a Discovery/NILD Learner: A student who has average to superior intelligence and who has specific deficits in perception and/or cognition. These students typically do not learn effectively by traditional instructional methods.
Goal: To help a student reach their highest potential in fulfilling God’s purpose and to effectively use his/her God given abilities to reach their academic potential.
Design: To help students realize their academic potential and stimulate their thinking processes in:
- perceptual areas
- processing speed – visual, visual-motor and auditory
- working memory
- fluency (speed and knowledge)
Classroom Characteristics: A student who has difficulties in the following areas:
- Reading / using symbols
- Abstract thinking
- Retaining or recalling information
- Handwriting or using manipulatives
- Listening skills
- Reading of words
- Reading comprehension
- Math skills
- Oral / written expression
- Reversals of letters, numbers or words
- Confusion with left / right or other directions
God’s Plan for Unique Learners
Northside believes that each child has a unique role in God’s plan and is a special individual gifted by God for His divine purposes. We believe God will use the educational therapy program to set the learner free as it states in Isaiah 61: 1-3.
Individual Educational Therapy (NILD)
- Non-tutorial: focus is to develop cognitive and perceptual weaknesses in order to promote independent and active learning
- Individual and intense: schedule includes either two 80-minute or two 50-minute mediated sessions each week – during the school day or before/after school hours
- 26 techniques are tailored to the learner
- Parental involvement: observation of therapy and monitoring of homework
- Enrollment: annual contract; average enrollment in educational therapy is 3 to 5 years based on commitment of family and initiative of the student
Group Educational Therapy Program (NILD)
- Group model: uses the same program as individual therapy
- Student grouping: is based on grouping students together who have similar strengths and deficits
Search and Teach Program (NILD)
- Program based on early intervention (Kindergarten and 1st Grade)
- Individual and intense: schedule includes two 30-minute sessions during the school day
- Specialized techniques: to meet the educational needs of young learners before they experience frustration of learning failures
- Focus: to develop foundational skills necessary for success in reading – visual memory, auditory sequential memory, directionality and motor skills
Benefits of the programs:
- Individualized attention
- Independent learning
- Overcoming cognitive deficits
- Long term change – academic and life skills
- Improved social relationships
- Improved academic skills
- Improved problem solving skills
- Development of flexibility in thinking
Who should inquire about the Discovery Program?
If your child frequently ask these questions or makes these statements, the Discovery Program may provide useful interventions to assist struggling learners:
Where is it? What is it? I am not sure which one. What do I do? What is the second step?
I don’t know! This doesn’t make sense! Didn’t I do it right? I can’t see what’s wrong!
I don’t know why! I can’t do it another way! I’m not sure what is relevant. I give up!
I can’t remember! I learned it yesterday!
Northside can provide an academic testing battery. The testing costs $175 and takes 3 to 5 hours to complete. The cost includes a written report and a conference to discuss the results. If testing has already been administered, Northside is willing to use the information as part of the testing battery packet.
Questions or need further information? Contact Assistant Principal Marjean Halverson (763-755-3993).
Marjean Halverson holds an M. Ed in Special Education, a Minnesota State Teaching License: Elementary Education and Learning Disabilities, ACSI Certification in Elementary Education and Special Education, NILD Professional Certification, has been a National Institute for Learning Development Instructor over 11 years and has had over 28 years of teaching experience.
For more information about National Institute for Learning Development (NILD) – Discovery Program, visit their web-site at: www.nild.net