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Meet Stephanie Pitts of My Ed Therapist

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Pitts.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Stephanie. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I am a third generation LA native. I have lived all over LA but spent my childhood in Pacific Palisades. I went to USC for undergrad, Pepperdine for graduate school and then got my post-masters certificate in educational therapy from Cal State Northridge.

I have always worked with kids. I started babysitting from a young age and then was a camp counselor for nine summers, worked as a teacher in preschool and elementary school. After that, I left teaching to travel the world and teach a large family of children while we traveled. I ended up staying with the family for nine years, and my job grew to help the children and family in many different capacities.

I was doing a lot of educational therapy without knowing that what I was doing was actually a career. I only learned about it after the family hired a professional educational therapist to help one of the children. So I decided to go back to school to become certified in it. After leaving that job, I moved to the south bay where I knew nobody because there weren’t many educational therapists down here.

I opened my private practice in 2016 by driving around to people’s homes, and in 2017 I got my current office space. I also started a podcast with my friend, fellow educational therapist Rachel Kapp (who practices in Beverly Hills). The podcast is called, Learn Smarter: the Educational Therapy podcast.

It is about educational therapy, and our mission is to help families learn more about educational therapy and how it can change the trajectory for many children and to be a resource for parents and teachers who might not have access to an educational therapist.

I had a hard time in school myself and struggled with reading in elementary school and then struggled when I changed from public to private school in middle school. They realized I was three grades behind and hadn’t learned all the things my peers had already learned. So I had to work really hard to catch up. I went to a tutor who I realize now was more of an educational therapist. She was an inspiration. I lost contact with her but wish I could tell her, thank you.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I would say nothing is ever a smooth road. There are bumps and turns along any road. Back when I was teaching, I realized I didn’t enjoy being the classroom and having to follow certain requirements set by the school.

After I left the school setting, I realized quickly I never wanted to go back. I wasn’t cut out for the bureaucracy of the school environment. While traveling the world, I got to learn all these different ways of teaching and helping these kids one on one was what I was really passionate about.

But I didn’t realize I wanted to become an educational therapist until I was in my thirties. It’s been an interesting journey getting to this point, but I think it has all made me a better educational therapist.

My Ed Therapist – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
As an educational therapist, I teach kids and adults learn how to learn. I do this through a variety of ways but I like to make learning fun because so often by the time students come to me, they hate learning and school because it is hard. Most of my clients have a variety of learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, anxiety, or just never learned how to do things like study. I like to think outside of the box and play a lot of educational games. Many kids that shut down when a worksheet gets put down in front of them.

By using games, it is a low investment and high return for them. The look on their faces when these have these “aha” moments when they realize they can do something is so powerful. I do a lot of growth mindset work with my clients and really strive to foster the love of learning in them again. So many kids come to my office and get excited because it looks like a toy store and I have a trampoline. Kids love to jump it out while learning and we do all kinds of things with the trampoline.

Currently, I have five women who are educational therapists, learning specialists, and reading specialists who work in practice seeing both children and adults. The fact that it has grown so fast has been amazing, and I am so proud to be able to help all these families. So often parents tell me “You are everything I never knew we needed and where were you when I was a child?”

I truly love what I do and love to be able to help parents and kids. I have heard from many parents that I have helped make their home life better because they aren’t fighting over school and homework anymore. I love being an investigator and helping my clients figure out who they are as learners and learn how to advocate for themselves and learn to learn in a way that suits their brain.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment has been when people from across the country have listened to the podcast and asked for me work with their students virtually. It’s amazing that we have been able to reach a wider audience across the country. The other proud moment I have was recently when Dr. Thomas Brown (one of the world’s experts in ADHD) agreed to come on our podcast.

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