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, ADD, 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 his 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.
Eric is an Associate Educational Therapist with a passion for teaching and working with children that began as a snowboard instructor in high school. Eric studied Adolescent Education and History at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and taught at an alternative middle school in Poughkeepsie. Eric also earned an M.A. in Special Education from Loyola Marymount University as a member of the P.L.A.C.E. Corps. He taught middle school in Los Angeles for four years and acted as the lead Junior High School teacher and IEP Specialist on campus. Additionally, Eric works for a nonprofit organization located in rural Nicaragua with a focus on developing a remedial reading and writing program in Spanish while also organizing community events. By combining his training in assessing student’s needs and multi-sensory instruction, Eric creates data-driven activities that stress each student’s individual needs. Through prescriptive and differentiated instruction, he constructs a unique learning environment that promotes responsible self-advocacy, critical thinking, and executive functioning skills. Eric is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys spending his free time surfing, hiking, and camping. He also practices meditation and brings the concept of mindfulness into every session. Although not a local to the Los Angeles area, he has fallen in love with the weather and waves of Southern California.
Jennifer Maslar is an Associate Educational Therapist from Cleveland, Ohio. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Intervention Specialist from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. Jennifer moved to LA to complete the two-year PLACE Corps (Partners in Los Angeles Catholic Schools) program while teaching in an under-resourced school. Jennifer then earned her Master's Degree in Reading Instruction from Loyola Marymount University. Jennifer has her K-12 Mild/Moderate Teaching License in both California and Ohio. Jennifer has taught at both the elementary and high school levels. She is the Learning Specialist at an all-girls private high school in Los Angeles. She is creating and developing accommodations and inclusivity programs for the school. Jennifer also works as a fieldwork instructor at Loyola Marymount University. In addition to being a special education teacher, Jennifer has experience working as a behaviorist for children with severe special needs. Jennifer writes and implements IEPs for all of her students. She works directly with School Psychologists to develop Behavior Intervention Plans. Jennifer also acts as an advocate for clients in IEP meetings. In her free time, Jennifer loves to enjoy the beach, exercise, and play with her rescue dog, Pedro.
Jirika came out to California from Texas to attend Claremont McKenna College and received her bachelor's degree in both economics and history. She then earned her credential and master's degree in special education from National University. She has always loved children and knew she wanted to work in education. Jirika started out teaching in Los Angeles in 2003 for Teach For America in a Special Day Class and went on to become a Learning Center Teacher at the elementary level in 2007. She has been trained in a variety of programs that are used for general and special education students such as: Step Up to Writing, Read Naturally, Eureka Math, Cognitively Guided Instruction, and Leveled Literacy Intervention. When Jirika is not working, she appreciates the opportunity to spend time with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. With the great weather in California and active kids, the family enjoys participating in outdoor activities.
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.
Laura loves making learning fun for all students by reinforcing their strengths and helping them become more confident in their abilities. To help students reach their fullest academic potential, Laura enjoys being their advocate and cheerleader so that they can eventually become an advocate for themselves. 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. By combining her interests, she built a career in arts administration as a Gallery Director before beginning a gallery of her own at Bergamot Station in 2015. Wanting to make more of a difference with students one-on-one, Laura returned to her roots in education and became an associate-level member of the Association of Educational Therapists in 2020. She has worked as a Learning Specialist for students of all ages as well 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, performance anxiety, ADHD, nonverbal learning disorders, and poor social, organizational, and study skills. One of the greatest rewards in teaching is seeing your students achieve their greatest academic potential and making progress towards their goals. In her free time, Laura enjoys painting, spending time with her nephews, and photographing sunsets by the beach.
Leinna is a learning specialist and middle school teacher who has been in education for seven years. She has a passion for working with students and helping them find their success in life. As a graduate from Long Beach State University with a degree in Business Administration coupled with a teaching credential and master’s degree in education, she has a broad range of knowledge to share. Leinna has worked with students of all ages and prides herself on getting to know students as individuals to find their strengths and build self-efficacy to believe in themselves. She can work with all types of learners and has a strong math and English language arts background. Leinna also specializes in helping middle and high school students with executive functioning challenges. Leinna is a California native and lives in the South Bay with her husband and two kids. They enjoy adventuring around the world and exploring new places together.
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.
Megan D’Amore has been in education for 15 years and in the classroom for 9 years. She is currently a middle school teacher in Redondo Beach. She graduated from California Lutheran University in 2007, with a BA in Liberal Studies and an emphasis in Physical Education. After college, she moved to Wiesbaden, Germany where she completed an AmeriCorps internship teaching and coaching military children whose parents had been deployed. Upon her return to the states, she decided to further pursue the area of Special Education and earned her MA from Loyola Marymount University. Megan has worked with students of all ages, ranging from elementary school through college. She can teach and offer support in a variety of subjects and has specialized training in reading intervention, math and executive functioning. When she’s not teaching, Megan likes to spend time with her husband, Jason, and son, Bennett. She also enjoys traveling, dancing, yoga, attending live concerts, and tagging along on golf trips with her husband. Fun fact, he is the Men's golf coach at LMU. Go Lions!
Cory was a lifelong New Yorker up until 2014 when she happily traded coasts. She has a B.A. in Communications and over 20 years of experience running businesses and helping others grow theirs. Cory's biggest teacher has been her now 21-year-old son who struggled with learning challenges from an early age. Through advocating for him, she was able to see what worked and what did not. This led her to opening her own tutoring agency in New York City and serving on the Board of Directors of her son's special education elementary school. She also was a regular contributor to the Huffington Post where she blogged on parenting and education. Cory continued her work in education once relocating to Los Angeles, serving as the Director of Admissions and Outreach at a South Bay private school. She now runs her own Online Business Management company, helping therapeutic entrepreneurs with everything it takes to be a success. In her free time, Cory enjoys traveling the country, hiking, music and spending time with her son.
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.