What Is a Therapeutic Learning Center?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2019
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A therapeutic learning center is a place where a parent can take a child to receive help with emotional and physical learning and socialization skills. Trained staff work with children at the therapeutic learning center to overcome speech impediments and difficulty engaging with others and developing motor skills required for day-to-day life functions. Working in group and individual settings, the therapeutic learning center staff is able to conduct speech language pathology, physical therapy and interactive metronome. The centers also typically offer handwriting renovation, social skills groups and, in some cases, the children are even taught to ride a bicycle when it was once thought to be impossible for the child to do so.

Behavioral disorders, such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can create a special social and learning difficulty for a child. Encouragement that is needed to combat these disorders and provide the children with the skills required to succeed in spite of the disorder are typically available through a therapeutic learning center. The staff of the therapeutic learning center follow strict guidelines of a treatment plan and create an individual education plan (IEP) based on each child's individual requirements and needs. The skills learned will often allow the child to function successfully in a more relaxed environment.


Group therapy sessions will serve to socialize behaviorally-challenged children and impart proper behaviors and actions onto a problematic persona. The child will be educated on ways to interact properly with both peers and authority figures and is often able to rejoin public classrooms on a limited or permanent basis. Occasionally, a problem student in a public classroom will be placed into a special education classroom and be labeled as having a learning disability when, in fact, the child can benefit from a therapeutic learning center to deal with an emotional problem. These children are often returned to a normal classroom, where they excel and continue with their education.

Individual sessions at the therapeutic learning center are intended to provide emotional counseling, problem-solving skills and other therapy the counselor deems necessary. With typically small classroom sizes, the students at the learning center are afforded more individual attention and one-on-one teaching to better meet the student's needs. A strong emotional bond is often created between the counselor and the student, helping the student to trust the counselor and follow directives with less disruption. Many learning centers also offer counseling and education for adults and family members to ease the child back into the home after he or she has completed the program.


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Post 3

@burcinc-- Either way, I suggest doing a good deal of research before selecting a therapeutic learning center. It can be of immense help to a child with special needs but some centers are better than others. I suggest a center with a comprehensive list of classes and a limited number of students. The more time a teacher has for each child, the better it is.

And parents need to be involved in the process too. Continuing some of the exercises at home and forming a stronger bond with children is also important.

Post 2

@burcinc-- I think most are private but I'm not sure. A child will not have to go a therapeutic learning center indefinitely though. A great deal of improvement can occur in just six months or a year. And the child can possibly continue public school after that.

Of course, every child is different and they have different needs and potential. So it's not possible to know how quickly they will progress or whether additional learning and therapy will be needed.

Post 1

What is the cost of such therapeutic centers? Or are there government sponsored ones?

My nephew is going to public school, in a special needs classroom. But he's not doing too well. He seems to need more individual attention. I think he would do much better at a therapeutic learning center but I'm not sure if his parents could afford it. I suspect that private ones are fairly expensive.

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