National Institute for Learning Development - NILD

What is an Educational Therapist?

An NILD educational therapist is a highly-trained individual who works with struggling learners in a one-on-one or group therapy setting. Educational therapists are specifically equipped with the ability to identify and assess student learning needs. They create and implement individual educational therapy plans utilizing the NILD techniques specific to the learning goals for each student. Therapists are passionate, skilled, relational, and empathetic. They are individuals who want to be a part of unlocking learning potential for their students through an individualized, therapeutic approach.

Educational therapists must first have a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in education or a related field. Most begin their careers as teachers with an undergraduate degree in education or a related field.  They then receive post-graduate training in educational therapy.

Other educational therapists do not start out as teachers.  They enter the field because they have a family member who is experiencing learning challenges (commonly referred to as “learning disabilities”  or “learning disorders”).

Why Become an NILD Educational Therapist?

Our therapists are trained through rigorous, graduate-level courses. They are mentored, participate in professional development, and complete a certification process. They are skilled professionals involved in an intervention with a long history of success!

What are the experts saying about NILD?

I have been fortunate to speak at several conferences sponsored by NILD, including having the honor of being the keynote speaker at their 25th Anniversary conference. One of the benefits of my participating in these conferences is to have had the opportunity to discuss in detail the activities of NILD with its leadership group as well as many members of the organization. I am very impressed with the thoughtful work NILD accomplishes in training educators to meet the learning and emotional needs of students. NILD members demonstrate an understanding of the learning process and an appreciation of the unique style of each child. They are a group that truly focuses on the whole child, touching both the hearts and minds of students, and reinforcing learning, hope, and resilience…


Faculty, Harvard Medical School Author, "The Self-Esteem Teacher" and Co-author, "Raising Resilient Children"

There are many organizations that believe that Special Education is an “art” … still others believe that Special Education is a “science”. Few organizations have the wisdom to understand that Special Education is BOTH an art and a science. NILD understands this. My relationship with NILD has been an honor and a pleasure for me. Their devoted membership and their mission-driven leadership have made a tremendous impact on the field and have enabled countless of “God’s special ones” to reach their fullest potential. Quite simply, NILD “gets it”. They have made an immeasurable difference in the lives of many, many families.


Administrator, Adjunct Professor, Visiting Lecturer, Author, “It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success”

NILD professional certification is recognized and respected by educational therapists, administrators, classroom teachers, experts in the field of education and parents alike. Educational therapists who earn certification demonstrate NILD’s core values of integrity, innovation and synergy. They show integrity by maintaining high professional standards and commitment to their students.

Once a therapist has successfully completed our first level of training out of three, they are qualified to begin working with students in a one-on-one or group intervention setting. However, NILD does recognize our most highly trained educational therapists. Upon successful completion of all three levels of NILD training, attending NILD conferences on a regular basis and submitting letters of recommendation, the NILD Board of Directors, Executive Director and Instructors award the educational therapist a certificate of achievement as a Professionally Certified Educational Therapist (PCET). NILD PCETs serve as leaders in NILD as mentors, workshop presenters, and instructors. In order to best meet the needs of students, NILD is committed to maintaining rigor in our courses and professional development opportunities to ensure our therapists are prepared to address the learning needs of all students.

Though NILD has served over 100,000 students in it’s 40 years of success, there are many more students who would benefit from educational therapy who are not currently being served. NILD is always seeking to train more therapists to meet the high demand for educational therapy!

We offer a Master’s Degree in NILD Educational Therapy (link) that leads to certification as an NILD Professional Certified Educational Therapist (PCET).

Contact Us to learn more

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Training educators •  Developing minds •  Changing lives


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