What is Growth Mindset?

What is a Growth Mindset?

Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset?

A fixed mindset thinks, “I can’t make significant improvement in an area unless I possess natural talent.”

A growth mindset thinks, “My success is directly linked to my effort.”

A fixed mindset thinks, “I’ll avoid challenges because I am afraid of failure and embarrassment.”

A growth mindset thinks, “I’ll embrace challenges without fear of failure because I will gain something when I try, even if my original goal is not met.”

A fixed mindset says, “I’m giving up. I’ve hit a wall. I just can’t go any further.”

A growth mindset says, “I’m going to find the door in the wall and get through this.”

A fixed mindset says, “My lack of success is due to other people or circumstances beyond my control.” 

A growth mindset says, “My success is directly linked to my own strategic effort, and I am responsible for my own results.” 

Did you notice the word “strategic” in the last sentence? 

Effort alone isn’t always enough. Some students are putting forth a lot of effort but are not achieving the desired success because they are using ineffective strategies. 

That’s where Discovery Therapies really shines. We teach struggling students to be flexible in their thinking and discover new and more effective strategies that do lead to success. 

Although effort is directly tied to success, not all effort is equally effective. 

Our students learn to plan, execute their plan, evaluate their plan’s effectiveness, and then make adjustments in order to produce consistently better outcomes. 

This is the essence of a growth mindset, and it’s part of the jet fuel that propels our students to reach their learning goals. 

Which type of mindset do you have? Which type of mindset does your child have? In our next blog, we’ll discuss how to encourage a growth mindset in yourself and others.

The Important Role of Rhythmic Writing in Educational Therapy

If you are getting ready to begin educational therapy, you might be wondering, “Why do I need to buy a chalkboard? Is it really that important?”

Yes, it really is that important, and I assure you, you won’t regret it. 

“Does it have to be a chalkboard? What about a whiteboard?”

It needs to be a chalkboard, not a whiteboard (unless the student is allergic to chalk dust), because of the friction – the “drag” that slows students down and provides a more tactile experience. Students will also use a chalk holder to help avoid chalk on the hands, and to more ideally mimic the holding of a pencil.

“But how can writing on a chalkboard make a difference?” 

Glad you asked! There are many skills practiced during the activity we call Rhythmic Writing, such as focus, perseverance, self-control, self-monitoring, self-evaluation, visual discrimination, posture, correct pencil grip, and many, many more, but today I want to focus on one special skill: crossing the midline.

What Is Crossing the Midline? Part of the value of Rhythmic Writing is that it provides so much continual exercise in crossing the body’s midline. 

What is the midline? Think of it as an imaginary line going down the middle of the body from head to toe. Perhaps you have heard the term, “left-brained” and “right-brained”. Our brains have two hemispheres, the left and the right, which tend to dominate in different kinds of activities. 

Crossing the midline with an arm or leg helps get these two brain hemispheres communicating and working together, which is very important for skills such as tracking with the eyes across the page in order to read, and crossing the hand to the other side of the body to begin writing across a page. 

Crossing the body is also necessary for such everyday skills such as tying shoes, taking off a T-shirt, brushing hair or teeth, putting on makeup, or shaving one’s face.

Then there are those other activities that enrich our lives such as playing an instrument (drums and piano anyone?), doing arts and crafts, or any activity that normally requires both hands to complete, such as holding a book very still with two hands so that it can be read – very difficult for some children!   

Rhythmic Writing is an excellent way to add meaningful and consistent practice in crossing the body while performing smooth and rhythmic large-muscle motions. Of course there are other ways as well, namely sports, such as taekwondo, karate, ball sports, dancing, gymnastics, etc. We highly recommend that your student participate in whatever type of sport he or she is the happiest doing.

In an educational therapy setting, Rhythmic Writing is the activity that most easily builds this skill and gets those two brain hemispheres communicating. Besides using smooth cursive writing at the board, we use other special patterns (motifs) along with mental math exercises as students gain more and more comfort and ability with the process.

In short, Rhythmic Writing complements skill acquisition in other areas such as reading and writing, sports, music, the arts, and even daily life activities. That’s just a small part of the reason why Rhythmic Writing is a powerful and important part of educational therapy. 

If you’ve been at this a while, what growth have you observed in your student through Rhythmic Writing? Please share in the comments below what your experience has been. 

What Is a Specific Learning Disability?

IDEA’s Definition of “Specific Learning Disability”

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines “specific learning disability” as a
“disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations.” 

This can include:

  • perceptual disabilities
  • brain injury
  • minimal brain dysfunction
  • dyslexia
  • developmental aphasia (loss of ability to understand or express speech, caused by brain damage/stroke)
  • dysgraphia (an impairment of motor skills needed for writing)
  • dyscalculia (learning difficulty in math)

It is also helpful to consider what a learning disability is not when trying to understand what it really is. The IDEA’s definition goes on to explain what a learning disability is not:

“Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of intellectual disability, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.” [34 CFR §300.8(c)(10)]

You can see from the list in the last paragraph that a learning disability is not difficulty learning due to a hearing loss or vision problems, though those issues certainly could be present as well. 

Neither is it an intellectual disability. Actually, people with learning disabilities generally have normal to high IQs. 

It is not an inability to learn caused by emotional issues, though the frustration and embarrassment resulting from a specific learning disability can often bring on emotional distress that could further impair learning.

Neither is a learning disability caused by anything in the student’s environment, culture or economic situation.

Then What Is a Specific Learning Disability?

Research says that learning disabilities are caused by differences in how a person’s brain works and processes information. Students with learning disabilities process information differently.

That’s why we prefer to say, “learning differences” instead of “disabilities”. These students can learn very well, but need a different type of instruction. 

That’s where Discovery Therapies comes in. Our NILD (National Institute for Learning Development) educational therapy is ideally suited to these students with learning differences, and we recognize the enormous potential each student brings. It is our joy and privilege to unlock and unleash that potential, and the best time to begin is today

Ohio Department of Education. (2019, July 30). Specific Learning Disability. Ohio Department of Education. Retrieved December 20, 2021, from

Discovery Therapies Helps Students with Dyslexia, and Their Parents

Find Help for Dyslexia From a Columbia NILD Therapist

If you have just received your child’s diagnosis of a reading disorder or dyslexia (dyslexia and reading disorder are often interchangeable terms), you may feel overwhelmed. Now you know what the problem is, but what is the best solution? Tutoring? Not likely. Tutoring doesn’t normally address the underlying issues.

Your child will need a program that is backed by research and proven effective through testing and data, a program that will address every area of reading. 

That’s exactly what you will find at Discovery Therapies, Inc. If you’re looking for a dyslexia therapist in Columbia, SC, you have found what you were looking for at Discovery Therapies. Our teaching stations are located in various parts of the city, as well as certain nearby cities, including Sumter, SC, and we offer online therapy as well.

Discovery Therapies is endorsed by the National Institute for Learning Development (NILD) and our therapists are trained, licensed and certified by NILD as well. We bring to you a program that began over 40 years ago and has transformed lives all over the world.

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) recognizes educational therapy as practiced by NILD therapists to be proven to effectively treat dyslexia. It is a comprehensive program covering every aspect of reading.

Help and Support for Parents of Dyslexic Children

Having a child with learning difficulties can be stressful, especially when you feel like there is very little you can do on your own to help your child. 

Parents of dyslexic children at times feel very alone and misunderstood. When school is hard for the child, it is hard on the parents as well. 

Other people just don’t understand how intelligent your child actually is and why they struggle so much in school.  

Your child’s educational therapist does understand. Discovery therapists frequently see students with high IQs who have been unable to work up to their potential because of a specific learning disability, such as dyslexia.

Your student’s therapist will include you in the therapy process, inviting you to attend sessions from time to time, keeping you informed of progress, answering questions for you, supporting you and your child in the school setting, giving you perspective and helpful tips, writing accommodation plans when needed, and asking for your insight as well.

You and your child will find hope and real, transformative help at Discovery Therapies, Inc. The best time to start is today.

Contact us at (803) 419-0126, or send an email to:

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