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  • What is executive functioning?
    Executive functioning includes mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention , remember instructions and juggle multiple tasks. These abilities are crucial for learning and development. For example, when we plan, we begin to set priorities and divide a larger task into smaller, more manageable tasks. This is an executive functioning skill and is one that is developed with experience. Kids need to learn how to plan, how to set priorities, how to get started, where to start, and how to make a task more manageable. Kids need to do this with guidance and proper scaffolding so they independently and successfully use their executive functioning abilities.
  • What is sensory processing?
    We all take in information about our surroundings. We are constantly inundated with sensory input. Most of us are able to filter out what isn't important to us. Sensory processing is how we perceive the world through our senses.
  • What is a sensory diet?
    A sensory diet is a specific intake of sensory activities that an individual needs to self-regulate. I would argue that we all need an input of a sensory diet that is unique to us. For example some people need to get up and move their body more often than others. Some people like to go for a walk as a break from work or have a workout in the middle of the day to maintain their focus. We all have different ways of managing our energy and ultimately our motivation levels for getting what needs to be done, done.
  • How do you use your awareness of sensory needs and self-regulation in your sessions?
    I work hard to get to know the students I work with and to understand what they need to do their best learning. Some students need to move, some need music, some need quiet, some need structured breaks, some need vigorous exercise and some need humor. The list of what students might need is expansive; however, it is with getting to know the student that we can work together in a way that the student learns self-regulation.
  • What is self-regulation?
    Self-regulation is how we manage ourselves - how we manage our stress and our energy. It is knowing what we need to maintain a healthy balance that promotes wellness and overall learning and growth. With younger kids self-regulation is modelled and taught so kids can develop a better sense of self and how to independently manage stress and energy levels. I like Stuart Shanker’s definition of self-regulation. Please see his website for more information on self-regulation.
  • How are self-regulation and self-discipline different?
    Self-regulation does not focus on inhibiting a reaction but rather how to move through it with strategies that are unique to the individual.
  • How are self-regulation and self-control connected?
    You could say that someone with self-regulation abilities will also have self-control abilities. If one knows how to manage stress and energy levels (self-regulate), then that person will be in a better position to develop and use self-control. However, if someone is able to exhibit self control, self-regulation might still be challenging.
  • What is positive psychology for education (PEC)?
    It is an awareness as an educator of positive psychology and how this awareness can be used to motivate students towards their best learning and their best selves. I work on helping students develop positive mindsets. I help students discover their strengths and work towards knowing that they have the ability to grow and reach their goals. With my knowledge of positive psychology and education I strive to help children see the opportunities in life, see through a positive lens, and use both resilience and a growth mindset to reach their goals.
  • What is a positive mindset?
    Positive-mindset along with fixed-mindset and growth-mindset are terms used in psychology, counselling, coaching, education and other professions. Having a positive mindset is a belief that one is able to grow in his or her capabilities. We are not fixed. We are growing thriving humans with massive potential. It is a belief that, I may not be able to do this...yet, but with effort and support I will be able to. It is a belief that one need not be judged for their current capabilities because they are always growing and learning. It is a belief that mistakes are necessary and an important part of learning. It is a hunger for how to grow and improve without judgement.
  • What is a typical session like?
    A session is usually 50 minutes. The student is supported individualy or in a small group (up to 3 students). Small group sessions are offered with approval. For more information on small groups, please see the FAQ "How are small groups approved?" Each student has a “growth plan” which outlines in detail the goal(s) we are trying to reach and how we are going to get there. In each session, the student completes different tasks and activities that will help move the student toward their goal. A typical session begins with a welcoming activity, an activity that helps the student become comfortable and feel welcome and settled in the learning space. Then the session will move through activities that help develop the student’s specific goals. The session is then closed with an activity. We may also discuss what we will do next time and what the child can do until the next session. Throughout this, observations are taking place and appropriate adjustments are applied, depending on the growth plan, learning and self-regulation needs of the student.
  • What is a “growth plan”?
    This is a dynamic plan that is created with the student, parents and educator. It is a road map to reach a specific goal - the abilities or skills that we are working on. The plan will outline steps to reaching each identified goal and the role of each person involved (Parent, Teacher and Student). A growth plan will have information on the child’s interests, strengths, and learning goals. The plan will outline how the learning goals will be met. The growth plan may also include log entries on findings and progress. The growth plan also outlines an attendance commitment: frequency (how many times a week), duration (how many sessions), dates and times are chosen.
  • What if I can’t make the session?
    We all have busy, crazy, stressful, fun and full lives. I know things come up and people get sick. I ask for as much notice as possible if you are going to miss a session. Officially, I ask for 48 hours' notice so that I may fill the session. If you are unable to give 48 hours' notice, you are responsible for paying for the missed session. I also ask that in the spirit of providing the best possible support for your child that everyone does their best to adhere to the agreed upon attendance commitment that is outlined in the growth plan.
  • Who do you work with?
    I work with all students. Many families come to me if their son or daughter is struggling in school. Students will typically be struggling in one or more of the following- reading, math, writing, anxiety, attention, self-regulation and executive functioning. I also work with students who may not be receiving the attention that they need at school. Schools do the best they can within the means they have, but sometimes a student needs a bit more. I also work with students who have not been successful in meeting their learning goals in other settings and need an opportunity to try to learn in a different way - so that they may learn how they learn best.
  • How long do students work with you?
    Students work with me for various lengths of time. The length of time will depend on the goals, the frequency of sessions and the speed at which the student is reaching their goals. I encourage families to purchase sessions in a block of 6 sessions. Typically students attend sessions twice a week. Twice a week is highly recommended, at it sets a good momentum for the learning that they will do and is considerate of the busy schedule of a family. Depending on the need I may also recommend that the student attend sessions three times a week for a period of time. After each block of 6 sessions, I reassess and together we discuss the student’s progress and make recommendations. The family then decides if they would like to continue. Overall, the length of time that I work with a student depends on the progress and the needs of the student.
  • What is the cost?
    A 30 minute consultation is free; this is a great opportunity to see if I am a good fit for your child’s needs. This is our opportunity for a "meet and greet". If you are already sure you would like me to work with your child then we can skip the first 30 minute meeting and dive into the growth-plan meeting, where we develop the growth-plan. If you are unsure what a growth-plan is please see a description in FAQ. This growth-plan planning meeting is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and is $65. In this meeting we also find the dates and times your child will attend sessions. Then your child attends sessions with me on the agreed upon schedule. It is recommended that you purchase sessions in a block of 5 or more sessions. A block of 5 or more sessions are purchased at $5 less per session. Purchased individually (as a pay as you go option), sessions are $50. Small group instruction (max 3 students) is $50 +$20 per additional student. -growth plan meeting - $65 -sessions blocks of 5 or more - $45/session -individual sessions - $50 -groups - $50 +$20 for each additional student Sessions are one hour. If you would like a longer session, sessions can be purchased back-to-back.
  • Do you recommend private or small group sessions?
    Usually students work with me on an individual basis. However, depending on the student it may work well to work in a small group.
  • What payment options do you have?
    I am able to accept cash, cheque, Mastercard, Visa and debt card.
  • How is this different from tutoring?
    Sessions are designed to work on areas in which a specific child is struggling. The design of the lesson varies immensely. The sessions are thoughtfully designed with learning goals, strengths, talents, interests and challenges as the building blocks. Sessions focus on how to provide learning situations and opportunities that build on a child's weaknesses, utilize their strengths and provide what the child needs to do their best learning. The child learns howhey learn; what their learning strengths are; what their learning style is and what their strategies are for doing their best learning. Essentially the sessions work to empower the student with the skills to learn in their own way by understanding how they learn best and what they need to do their best learning. Here is a simple concrete example. Instead of working with a student to complete math homework, I work with the student to understand where the student's current understanding is; how the student's brain is thinking about math, and how the student needs to experience the math. I continuously design activities that build on the student's understanding, so that the student can then independently - with his or her own way of knowing -complete school work, meet learning goals and build confidence.
  • How are small groups approved?
    Some students learn better in a group. Some students thrive towards their goals when they take on a mentor role. Some students thrive when they have a mentor. When deciding on a small group, factors that are taken into account include: learning goals, abilities, ages, temperaments and how the students work and behave when they are together. Overall, the process of approving whether a student group will work together is dependent on the quality of learning that takes place when the students are together. Many families wonder about siblings and if they can be in the same session. The answer is yes and no. In the end, it is about the quality of the session and moving towards the goals on the growth plan for each student. If a small group is approved, it is continuously assessed for effectiveness of learning, and adjustments are made, which may include separating into individual sessions.
  • Do small groups have to be the same age or grade? Do the kids need to have similar goals?
    Small groups may or may not have to be the same age and grade or have the same goals. The factor that matters the most is whether the kids are able to learn - and do their best learning together. If you have students that you would like to be in a small group please contact Deanna with specific questions.
  • Do you make the small groups or do people come to you with a small group idea?
    Typically, families come to me with the idea that they are interested in a small group - and we go from there.
  • What strategies do you use?
    In every session the aim is for the student to have fun while working on individual learning goals. Strategies are always multisensory and nueroscience-based. They learn: How they learn What their strengths are How to use their strengths for what they find difficult How to regulate themselves to maintain attention and focus How to ask questions How to explain their thinking How to set goals Most importantly they learn: confidence! Specific strategies used during a session are determined by the learning profile of the student. Strategies are multisensory and nueroscience-based; they may include: Movement Music Visual-spatial strategies - drawing, videos, building, models, manipulatives Games and activities to move toward personalized goals. Specific skills will always depend on the specific learning goals and learning profiles of the student: Here is a list of a few of the skills: working memory, auditory processing, phonological awareness, processing speed, inhibition control, self-regulation awareness, attention, concentration, planning, organizing, problem solving and number sense. Use of technology and various programs and applications Throughout the session I am always assessing the student’s understanding and adjusting to keep the learning strategies effective.
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