The SA Educational Psychology industry is in crisis – but there are alternative options for reading and learning help.
In a recent News24 article, the Educational Psychology Association of SA (Epassa) laments about public and private medical aid schemes who have refused to pay for the services of educational psychologists since April 2016. The problem arose after the Health Professions Council of SA reclassified the industry’s scope of practice in 2011, differentiating between clinical psychologists, educational psychologists, and counselling.
Although this worsening industry crisis affects many educational psychologists negatively, parents and children are often turned away and seemingly left with no alternative to help address learning and reading problems.
According to Susan du Plessis, Director of Educational Programmes at Edublox reading, maths and learning clinic, it’s important for parents to investigate and research other service providers that cater for their child’s specific needs. “There are many misconceptions around problems like dyslexia – according to popular belief, it is a neurological disorder in the brain that causes information to be processed and interpreted differently. At Edublox, we don’t subscribe to this theory, as we believe that it’s simply a term to describe a severe reading problem. We solve the problem by helping a child to master specific steps on the road to reading (including addressing deficits with the underlying cognitive skills required to master the skill). This ultimately means that there are alternative options that might also work for your child when medical aid coverage is denied at an educational psychologist.”
Edublox reading, maths and learning clinic is beating the odds despite increasing pressure on the educational intervention industry. “Many of our existing clients raise concern about the long-term sustainability of a reading and learning clinic like ours in a turbulent national educational intervention landscape, but we are standing strong and increasing our footprint and access for children across the country,” comments Henk du Plessis, Managing Director of Edublox.
Susan du Plessis concludes: “Regardless of the techniques or disciplines employed to help children overcome learning problems, it is imperative that access to the intervention of choice should be available. We encourage parents to keep their chins up and persevere in finding help for their children’s reading and learning problems – and we are cheering them on.”