Educational therapy is the clinical practice of utilizing specific methods, strategies, tools and approaches to help support academic success in students. These strategies are based upon the individual's specific learning profile, strengths and weaknesses. Educational therapy is for students who may have learning disabilities such as dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing deficiencies, language processing deficiencies, vocabulary weakness, visual processing problems, math disabilities, or difficulties in phonetic reading, reading comprehension, critical thinking inferential skills, written expression, organization and time management skills, memory weakness, low self esteem, test taking anxiety. While every student with learning challenges is different, the goal of educational therapy is to address and remediate whatever is interfering with a student reaching their highest level of proficiency.
For more information please use this link: Association of Educational Therapists
Stephanie Pitts is the owner of My Ed Therapist, an educational therapy group practice in Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes, and virtually, nationwide. She works with students one-on-one to help parents get a full picture of what is going on with their children, reading reports, conducting assessments, and creating and attending individualized learning plans and meetings. Known as “The Game Whisperer,” with a collection of over 200 games she uses with her clients, Stephanie expertly weaves fun and play into her work with clients to help them have more fun learning and make better connections between kids, parents, and educators. Stephanie is a Los Angeles native and received her B.A. in Sociology from USC and a Master’s Degree in Education from Pepperdine University. She completed her Certificate in Educational Therapy at CSUN and has been trained as an Academic Coach. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her two dachshunds, traveling, and spending time with friends.
Ali is extremely motivated and passionate about helping individuals grow and reach their goals by identifying and building on each student’s unique personal strengths. While completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology at UC Berkeley, Ali began her career working with a Non Profit organization providing mentorship and support to high school students struggling with psychosocial stressors affecting their ability to succeed in school. Through this experience, Ali realized her passion to help students reach both personal and academic goals. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in Psychology, Ali worked for a private tutoring agency providing in-home tutoring and babysitting to elementary and middle school-age students. This experience motivated Ali to further her education as she recognized that there were additional factors affecting children’s ability to reach their goals in school and desired to gain clinical experience helping clients of all ages. Ali attended the University of Southern California and completed her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and worked clinically prior to transitioning to working as a Learning Specialist focusing on psychoeducational goals. Ali develops individualized psychoeducational goals addressing issues affecting educational functioning such as ADHD, executive functioning, study skills, math, writing, and other academic challenges. Ali assists students in developing strategies both inside and outside of the classroom. Ali takes a person-centered, strength-based, and solution-focused approach as she works collaboratively with clients to help them overcome challenges and work towards their individual goals. During her free time, Ali enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing with her dog, shopping, and practicing yoga. As well, Ali enjoys meditation and practicing mindfulness, which she brings in her sessions to assist students in increasing insight, being present, and self-awareness.
Alicia Francois is a learning specialist in the South Bay area. She has several years of experience working with elementary and middle school students with respect to building executive functioning, time management, organizational, and study skills, in addition to reading, writing, and math skills. Alicia has significant experience assisting students with learning differences and helping them become successful, independent learners. She is also proficient in Orton Gillingham methodology and has worked with principals, counsellors, teachers, and parents to help students improve academically. Alicia has worked for highly selective K-12 independent schools, colleges, and universities including Chadwick School, Woodward Academy, Claremont McKenna, Amherst, and Georgia State (J. Mack Robinson School of Business). She has served on several admission review committees over the last twenty-five years and has a thorough understanding of what schools look for when reviewing applications and considering prospective students. Alicia uses her experience in this area to help students avoid the common pitfalls related to completing college applications and essays. Alicia earned a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and an M.Ed. from the University of Southern California. In addition to Southern California, she has lived in New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Georgia. She enjoys going to the beach, spending time with family and friends, and travelling.
Alissa began teaching for the Manhattan Beach Unified School District in 1999. She taught grades K-3 at Robinson and Meadows Elementary Schools for 21 years, and then took on the new role of virtual learning teacher for grades K- 8 for MBUSD. Alissa graduated from Loyola Marymount University with both a degree in liberal studies and a multiple-subject C.L.A.D. credential. She also completed her master’s degree in elementary education from Grand Canyon University. A proponent of a student-centered classroom and learning experience, Alissa continually strives to differentiate instruction to meet the educational and emotional needs of the whole child. She is especially passionate about nurturing a love for lifelong reading, and has trained new teachers in the implementation of a balanced, comprehensive literacy and writing curriculum. Alissa was honored to be chosen as Jaycee Young Educator of the Year finalist in 2002 and Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year in 2016. She is trained in reading workshop, writing workshop, phonics instruction, and cognitively guided math instruction. Her hobbies include working in her succulent garden, logging rides on the Peloton bike, and spending time with her husband, son, and extended family.
Bryn is a passionate individual who is enthusiastic about working with students of all ages to foster a positive learning environment. She was born and raised in the South Bay and is an avid supporter of her community. Bryn graduated with an undergraduate degree from The University of Arizona and a Multiple Subject Credential from CSU Long Beach. She had experience working in the Hermosa Beach, Torrance, Palos Verdes, Manhattan Beach and El Segundo school districts as a substitute teacher before moving into a learning specialist role. Most recently, Bryn took on the roles of Behavior Interventionist and Behavior Technician, working 1:1 with students who need additional support with their academics and behaviors. During this experience, Bryn recognized her passion to help students find success in the classroom by creating individualized support. She focuses on positive self-talk, communication, and fun to better connect and maintain relationships with her clients. Bryn helps her students improve executive functioning by developing strategies for study skills, organization, and social and emotional development. She serves as an ally to students, encouraging them to overcome challenges and work towards their goals inside and outside of the classroom. In her free time, you can find Bryn cuddled up to her dog, Gigi, listening to live music at any local venue, or travelling the world with friends.
Jason is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst who has been serving students with unique challenges since he was in middle school. Jason received his BA in English subject matter prep from Cal State Dominguez Hills. He went on to complete his MA in Specialized Education at the University of North Dakota. Bringing energy, fun, and laughter are non-negotiables for Jason when it comes to working with learners. He uses games, storytelling, and partnering with his students to help them achieve their goals. Jason believes “we have to give energy to the things we want our students to repeat. One of the best things about working with students with unique challenges is getting to be there as they start to see themselves in a new light.” A native to the Southern California area, Jason enjoys reading, writing and board games. On the weekends he can be found coaching soccer or going on adventures with his wife and two sons.
A product of a family of teachers, education is a natural fit for Joanna. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Teaching Credential from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 2006. She has been in elementary education for 12 years, first with a charter and then with a public school district. She spent 11 years in the classroom and one year as an Intervention Specialist, designing and implementing remediation and intervention materials for students in grades tk-6. She also served as her school's Response to Intervention Academic Lead, acting as a student and family advocate in SST, RTI, and IEP meetings. She has a deep-rooted drive to ensure access and equitable learning for all students. Joanna has received specialized training and certifications in reading remediation, with a focus on foundational literacy and reading comprehension development. She has been extensively trained in the Writer's Workshop model used in most schools and received additional certification in writing support through Guided Language Acquisition Design and Thinking Maps. In addition to her work in literacy, Joanna is skilled in Cognitively Guided Math Instruction and has served as a facilitator for training teachers through UCLA Center X Mathematics Project. She has also been certified to support students with executive functioning. Joanna has experience working with students with ADHD, processing disorders, behavioral disorders, dyslexia, nonverbal learning disorders, and anxiety. In her free time, Joanna enjoys taking advantage of all the natural beauty the South Bay has to offer with her husband and daughter. She is an avid Dodgers fan and loves to read, play with her dog and cat, and find new places to eat.
Kate’s passion lies in helping students and adults reach their full potential by supporting their mental, social, emotional, and physical well-being. Born and raised in the South Bay, Kate attended Palos Verdes schools and worked for local businesses and schools, supporting children, staff, and families for over fifteen years. Kate’s background in education began in high school and during her undergraduate studies where she worked at an after-school organization tutoring students, running a homework club, and teaching summer programs. After nine years of supporting students in an after-school environment, Kate worked as the Lead Special Education Teacher at a Non-Public School, working with middle school and high school students with social/emotional and learning disabilities while overseeing all Special Education teachers. Kate went on to become the School Director for the Non-Public School, running two South Bay schools. With a Master’s Degree in Education from Pepperdine University and years of experience in training and development and senior leadership, Kate understands there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to education or learning, and she has made it her mission to help others become their most successful selves. Kate uses a multi-disciplinary approach to help others overcome challenges, increase self-confidence and self-advocacy, improve mental health, foster positive development, aid in school or work attentiveness, and promote healthy learning environments for all ages. She has an extensive background supporting individuals with learning disabilities or difficulties including ADHD, specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia, traumatic brain injury, nonverbal learning disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and social emotional difficulties. She also specializes in helping students and adults with executive functioning skills such as organization, critical thinking, memory, planning and prioritizing, attention, and task-initiation. Kate has a talent for building positive relationships with students, inspiring learning, and motivating the unmotivated.
Katrina is a lifelong Californian who has lived in every area of the state. She earned her B.A. at St. Mary's College of California in performing arts with an emphasis in dance. After completing her teaching credential at California State University, Sacramento, she went on to teach for several years at Bay Area independent schools and ultimately completed her Masters Degree in Educational Therapy from Holy Names University. Katrina has always been passionate about education, and she began her career while she was a high school student tutoring younger children after school in her mom's classroom. Since then, she has worked as an English teacher, SAT Writing and Grammar instructor, special education instructional assistant, dance teacher, and even a director of a tutoring center. She has years of experience helping to cultivate the strengths of diverse learners while encouraging autonomy for each individual. Katrina is also a certified instructor of Autism Movement Therapy and brings her passion for movement to her educational approach for all learners. In her free time, Katrina can be found spending time with her husband and their three children. She loves to dance, read, and spend time outside.
Laura loves making learning fun for all students by focusing on their strengths a.k.a. “superpowers” and helping them become more confident in their abilities. A native of Los Angeles, Laura received her B.A. from Scripps College in Child Psychology and earned her M.A .from New York University in Childhood Education and Special Education, becoming a certified elementary school teacher in New York. Throughout her career, Laura has been passionate about the accessibility of education and the arts. She has worked as an Arts Educator as part of Arts of LA’s Arts Advocacy Leadership program. Laura has developed individualized educational interventions for students with learning disabilities and other learning challenges such as dyslexia, executive functioning, low academic self-esteem, ADHD, and poor organizational and study skills. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family, photographing the sunset, and painting.
Marcella is an Intervention Specialist from Ohio. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Special Education from Youngstown State University as well as a B.S. in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Ohio University. Marcella has worked as a certified special education teacher for 20 years and is experienced in working with learners who have mild to very severe learning needs. During her career she has created and delivered effective, differentiated classroom instruction to students with a diverse range of learning needs in grades K-12. She has written IEPs, conducted IEP meetings, and administered Alternate Assessments to students. Marcella has a true passion for working with young learners and enjoys helping these learners progress academically and socially. She strives to create an environment that nurtures success in a positive and fun way. Marcella recently got engaged and moved to California. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her fiance and daughter as well as reading, shopping, and traveling.
Maria is a Learning Specialist whose interest in teaching sparked when she was in the third grade at Beryl Heights Elementary School in Redondo Beach. Maria has 15 years of experience in teaching elementary and middle school, coaching, and administration roles. Her passion continues to be helping students become independent learners, readers, and self-advocates. She enjoys building relationships with students and their support team to facilitate learning experiences in order for students to reach their goals. Maria studied human development at El Camino College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, Dominguez Hill. After receiving her Multiple Subject credential, she reached her goal of earning a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University. The beach has always been one of Maria's favorite places to be and she enjoys sharing all it has to offer with her children. From playing volleyball to SCUBA diving, she loves finding new adventures outdoors. It's even better when she gets to explore with her family and friends!