National Institute for Learning Development (NILD) is a private non-profit organization offering training to educators in enhancing their knowledge in assisting individuals both children and adults with learning difficulties through educational therapy program which is individualized. Most specifically, NILD Educational Therapy program is meant for children in grades 2-12. This program entails 24 different strategies from which educational therapists chose the most appropriate technique for individual children. NILD Educational Therapy sessions basically deploy five key techniques, which include; Blue Book, Buzzer, Dictation and Copy, Math Block and Rhythmic Writing (Hopkins, 1996). NILD Educational Therapy is based on cognitive language processing model formulated to enhance academic skills and develop cognitive efficiency.
As identified by Hopkins (1996), techniques that emphasize on strategy development, oral language proficiency and self-questioning within the milieu of learning basic skills in main academics are useful in assisting children with learning difficulties. NILD lacks empirical research that hinders it from entering the public domain, thus it operates in private schools only. For this reason, NILD should engage in comprehensive well-devised study that tries to establish the effectiveness of the intervention.
The two studies done by Dr. Kathy Keafer and Beverly Benson and Ken Scott, utilizes various methodological approaches in determining the role of NILD Educational Therapy in students with learning difficulties. The study by Dr. Kathy identified four major areas of interest to counter for limitations in other studies. The areas identified include the general effectiveness of NILD program for students exhibiting below average academic achievement, effectiveness for students with discrepant profiles and with non-discrepant ones, the effectiveness of the program in younger and older students and finally, establishing which specific skills are most impacted (Woodcock, McGrew & Mather, 2001). A psycho educational assessment was done in order to establish the type and nature of learning difficulties in the participants. Various Intelligent Quotient measures were deployed in the study by Beverly Benson and Ken Scott and included the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for children, 3rd edition that entails the measuring of verbal, performance and full scale IQs, the Wide Range Achievement Test 3rd Revision and the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement, which measures academic performances in mathematics, reading and writing.
Statistical analysis of psycho-educational testing data between 1992 and 2004 given to NILD show that NILD Educational Therapy seemingly enable children diagnosed with learning difficulties to make statistically notable gains in measures of cognitive functioning and academic achievements in the reading, mathematics and writing domains. The study by Beverly Benson and Ken Scott, utilized a four-phase research design in order to cover all the necessary areas. The research was comprehensive and extensively covered major target group from various parts of the world.
Beverly Benson and Ken Scott, in their study concluded that, students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) tend to benefit significantly from NILD Educational Therapy. Follow up studies for students with learning difficulties have been encouraged by the two researchers in establishing permanent results of the applied strategies. Quality intervention should make a life-long learning impact that make the student to become independent learner. The two studies appreciates the limitations that the studies may have on determining the effects of NILD Educational Therapy on children with learning difficulties, thus the researchers recommend further studies in the same in order to come up with a comprehensive answer.