Some students have deeper and different needs than others. Academic Therapy is designed to help students who have learning and/or emotional challenges that are limiting their academic performance.
Through providing strategies that address long term academic challenges while simultaneously helping students with their present school work, academic therapists help students reach their potential.
The Learning Consultants is fortunate to have the best academic therapist in Connecticut: Jean Card.
Over the last decade, Jean has become a fixture in the Shoreline Connecticut education arena in developing a deep expertise in academic therapy. Academic institutions ranging from The Grove School to The Williams School to public schools throughout the state have specifically sought out Jean to help students with different and deeper needs.
Through combining her extensive academic tutoring skill set with her social work background, Jean’s expertise in learning disabilities, executive functioning, and emotional issues facing teenagers has made her the foremost guide for helping parents get their off track students back on track.
Jean’s work has not only dramatically helped students improve their academic performance but also radically lowered parental stress.
While we routinely hear different superlatives about Jean’s work, the most common theme has been that she helped her students develop greater mastery in school which in turn led to greater student self-esteem and a continual positive self-reinforcing cycle culminating in her students reaching their potential… finally!
My career as a social worker initiated in the pioneering space of home based family therapy. As the Director of Student Mastery at The Learning Consultants, I have worked directly with adolescents as an Academic Therapist to support students in reaching their goals. I address academic performance while simultaneously focusing on psycho-educational and social-emotional goals. My approach is holistic, collaborative and solution focused. Grounded in authenticity and integrity, I build trust with the student, family, school personnel, and mental health providers to integrate a customized plan for each student.
My ability to forge a trusting relationship with students and families has allowed me to connect with a broad range of student profiles such as, but not limited to, high performers with anxiety, ADD, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, auditory processing, Dyslexia, chronic diseases, eating disorders, grief, trauma, and LGBTQ+. My work has included students with school avoidance as a result of depression and low self-esteem. My solution focused approach enables students to assess and embrace their learning and emotional profile. I work to produce a student who harnesses their strengths while gaining the insights and skills to embrace and solve challenges independently. My interventions with students are designed to create student autonomy and self-direction based in trust, advocacy and accountability. I measure, monitor and adapt these interventions to maximize meta-cognition and academic effectiveness.
My paradigm with adolescents is shaped not only by my background in social work, but also by my own three sons. My oldest is a strong verbal learner and early on came to rely heavily on that strength. As a result, he would wait until the last minute knowing he could pull off a paper in short order. My second son was diagnosed with Dyslexia in second grade and we soon learned that Dyslexia is a “buy one get two free” meaning he also has ADD and Executive Function. My third son had the most exposure to the ever increasing role of technology in both our personal and academic landscapes. Additionally, at age 10 he was diagnosed with Type1 diabetes, which clearly influences my understanding of health challenges in teens. Walking in lock step through the experiences of others and the experiences of my own sons contributed significantly to my experiential knowledge of Executive Function and the role it plays in a student’s academic journey.
Jean has developed several cutting edge programs:
Through a combination of assessments and consultative discussions, Jean develops a clear plan for how students can leverage their differences to their advantage and minimize the challenges that their differences present.
Jean has found that students are keenly aware of the roadblocks preventing their academic success. For example, a student may have an awareness that he is a visual learner but is not sure how to leverage this trait as a learning strength. Students feel a sense of elation once they have a firm grasp on how to use their learning strengths to their advantage. This produces secondary effects of reducing school frustration, building self-esteem, and bettering familial relations.
Identified (504, IEP) and unidentified LD students benefit tremendously from specialized guidance on standardized tests. Jean has had extensive experience in all phases of the test process with LD students. Over the last decade, Jean has helped hundreds of such students succeed on the tests and do so in a manner that elevated their self-efficacy.
For the identified student, Jean helps identify which testing accommodations the school and family should petition for based on student report, parent report and prior testing. When accommodations are granted, Jean helps the student understand how to work within those parameters.
Students who are not identified in a formalized 504 or IEP but may have processing delays, anxiety or other LD challenges, also benefit from strategies to help them perform within time limits, recognize key terms in questions and maximize scores by capitalizing on academic strengths. A large portion of the student population fits this category and would reap enormous dividends by learning how to balance their strengths and challenges during the SATs or ACTs.
Academic challenges often have a detrimental effect on a student’s self-esteem. Jean and her team have worked with students who have ADD, ADHD, Executive Function, processing disorders, health diagnoses, Dyslexia and others. These students often work hard but face struggles that do not garner the academic results. Over time, these students have a poor image of themselves as a student and can start to disengage with learning. After an initial assessment, Jean and her team will discern and address both strategic interventions and social-emotional learning support. Students are both given sufficient support to perform well academically and distinct guidance for self-direction such that they learn how to excel on their own. The combination of tools and confidence puts students back on the journey to academic success!