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Diverse Thinking Different Learning

Apr 27, 2021

There are many things parents feel when they realize their child is struggling with learning to read. Today we dive into all the feelings, including isolation, frustration, discouragement, and discuss why it is important to support the entire family when a child has trouble learning. My guest today is Maria Fagan Hassani and I am thrilled to have her here.

Maria is the founder of Learning Link and provides Educational Therapy and tutoring services to both children and adults. Her approach to helping students is to guide the entire family and the classroom teacher in bringing education to their child. You will hear how passionate Maria is about her job in helping learners understand their own learning and helping parents be a healthy part of that journey. 


Maria also offers an incredible three-week course for parents that you will definitely want to check out. She also shares her most popular free resource, The Momentum Guide that includes proven strategies to overcome resistance to homework, foster independence, and boost confidence



Show Notes:

[2:06] - Referring to prior episodes, Karen invited Maria onto the show to continue the conversation about reading.

[2:51] - Maria explains her position as an educational therapist and what support she provides.

[4:05] - As an education therapist, Maria has a specific lens that she sees the child through. By combining her lens with the lenses of their classroom teacher and other adults in their life, they can more fully see the child and their struggles.

[5:20] - Oftentimes parents fall into one of two categories. Either they have not experienced similar learning difficulties and don’t know how to help or they themselves struggled and do not want their child to have the same difficulties.

[6:42] - Part of Maria’s job is to support a child’s parents as well as the child in realizing that they are not alone.

[7:21] - It is the job of educators to bring the learning environment to the child.

[8:11] - Maria describes what type of parent involvement she usually sees. She gets the opportunity to talk to parents about ways to help their children.

[9:31] - The teacher doesn’t need to see the parent’s work, they need to see the child’s work to make sure they are bringing the right education to that child.

[10:32] - There is a fine line between doing too much to help your child and doing their own work. It could mask what they are or are not capable of doing.

[12:17] - Maria describes how she can assist families with interactions and conflicts.

[13:54] - Maria explains that she supports parents by helping them be the best parents they can be. She does not underestimate their relationship.

[15:24] - When Karen evaluates a child, she always offers to discuss the results with the child as well. In Maria’s case, she is actively working with the child and they need to be aware of why they are there with her.

[16:28] - Children should always be a part of the conversation on services with Maria. 

[17:40] - Some students come in and know why they are there and some are not informed. Maria describes the conversation she has with children who don’t understand why they are meeting with her.

[19:17] - Maria shares that these conversations with children are her favorite part of the job because she gets to explain learning.

[20:08] - Showing progress is a powerful motivational tool.

[21:11] - Kids who struggle in school with academic activities tend to have a better understanding as adults because they know how to deal with struggles and hard work.

[22:15] - The focus is always on the child, but parents need the support, too. Maria’s work extends beyond one-on-one work with children.

[23:45] - Maria describes the sense of community in meetings that are emotional but supportive and helpful.

[25:23] - There is so much involved in reading challenges. In Maria’s three-week course, she breaks down the comprehensive reports from an evaluation in parent-friendly verbiage.

[27:53] - In addition to breaking down the learning difficulties, Maria also works with parents to flip the mindset to the gifts that their child has.

[29:14] - Maria also gives strategies to parents on how to discuss the learning difficulties with their child in understandable language that supports a growth mindset.

[30:19] - Karen and Maria describe a “job well done.”

[31:25] - Sometimes the main role of the parent in their child’s education is to advocate for their child at their school.

[32:36] - Assuming the line of communication between the child’s teacher and the parents is open, Maria encourages the parent to welcome the teacher into their team of supporters.

[33:21] - Maria has also had some of her students create a PowerPoint presentation or write a letter to share their learning difficulties with their new teacher. It is important to approach a new teacher as part of the team.

[35:33] - Maria shares her contact information, her course, and a free resource for distance learning. Her three-week course will start May 16th.

For more information on Maria’s services and to grab a free copy of her most popular free resource for drama-free Distance Learning, The Momentum Guide, please visit  

About Our Guest:

Maria helps struggling learners grow their academic super powers with soaring self-confidence  through free resources, group programs, and Private ET Services.  She has successfully supported hundreds of learners and their families over the past 20 years. Learning Link provides Educational Therapy and tutoring services to children and adults. In addition, we specialize in supporting students with time management/executive functioning training, as well as working with students who struggle with the reading process.


Connect with Maria Fagan Hassani, M.A., ET/P:

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