A short course: Recognising and addressing underlying causes of learning and behavioural difficulties.

Why this course?

In South Africa, as elsewhere, educators are concerned about the large number of children who are not coping with the learning and behaviour considered appropriate by schools and societies. Too often the focus of intervention is on the symptoms shown by the children. The actual barriers to learning then become the target of the therapist or teacher. However, barriers to learning are not always the result of a simplistic ‘fault’ in either the learning or teaching process. They may be the symptom of weaknesses, irregularities or inefficient functioning in one or more areas comprising a complex system that supports the child’s ability to learn. The environment in which we find ourselves and the behaviours in which we engage will influence the structure of our brains – ultimately leading to the functioning ability of our body-brain entity. If we are to understand the impact of an individual’s internal and external environment on his or her learning, we need to take an holistic view of the child in his/her environment and understand neurodevelopment. This is not taught to psychologists and teachers during their training.

Course content and aim

This course introduces the eco-systemic approach taught by The Centre for Integrated Learning Therapy (ILT) as relevant to social and academic difficulties faced by children (and adults). If a child has failed to benefit from teaching strategies, then it is time to examine all aspects of the environment that could be contributing to the problem as well as looking very closely at the neurological equipment of the child to see if there is a neurophysiological or neurodevelopment basis to academic and social struggles. By accurately identifying the causes of a problem rather than treating the symptoms, it is often possible to turn “I can’t” into “I can.” Children who seem to be unable become able and efficient learners.

The course is aimed at fostering understanding of

  • The concept and significance of neurodevelopment
  • How it may be negatively affected by various factors
  • Identifying these factors
  • Knowing how to address some of these underlying causes of difficulties

As such, the course serves as an introduction to and part of the ILT Level 1 course (see our website for more details regarding other training opportunities.

The course consists of a manual for self-study and a study guide/workbook. The workbook must be submitted for assessment.

Time required for completion of course

Time estimated to complete the course (including the workbook) is about 15 hours. Registration may be made at any time of the year. There is no deadline for submission of the workbook.

Person responsible for these courses

The courses were written and are supervised by Dr Shirley Kokot DEd, formerly an Associate Professor of UNISA’s School of Education, where she was responsible for distance education courses in Educational Psychology and Special Needs Education. She is a practising Educational Psychologist, Research Fellow of UNISA, service provider to the HPCSA and the education departments of Gauteng and the Free State. A cv may be obtained on request.

For CPD points and ETDP-SETA credits for the ILT courses click here.

For the cost of this course, click here

To register for this course, please send us an email

Contact Details



+27 (0) 21 873 4951
+27 (0) 82 559 9966
+27 (0) 82 414 4814
+27 (0) 86 691 0051

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