Response to Intervention, known as RTI, is included in IDEA 2004. RTI allows earlier access to accommodations and support for children who struggle in school, including intense intervention, and frequent progress reporting to modify instruction or goals, for more effective teaching of all children.
Children who do not have a diagnosis but are struggling in one or more areas deserve to have the most appropriate support and encouragement so they can learn and succeed. One of the recurring themes of the program is that kids should be educated according to their specific needs and not based on general or arbitrary labels. For instance, some children with Down syndrome have specific learning disabilities that are not specific to all students with Down syndrome, or may have an additional diagnosis that create different types of communication and learning challenges or behaviors.
For children with developmental delays, specific learning disabilities, or other special needs, RTI can create better opportunities for early intervention, adapted curriculum, and inclusive education that also supports their mainstream peers. Other students may be struggling due to illness, family circumstances, traumatic events, the stress of frequently changing schools, or temporary challenges that divert their focus from education. Recognizing the true diversity of the mainstream classroom means that educators more easily recognize the small accommodations and supports that students with intellectual disabilities deserve to show us their true potential and importance.
Response to Intervention may originally have seemed overly complicated or even confusing as a concept and even more so as a program to be integrated into local schools and districts. As more success and effectiveness has been documented, RTI has found enthusiastic educators and administrators who take pride in the success of the students in their own schools.
Teachers put in extra time and effort for their students every week, and should be appreciated for embracing every technique that can make their teaching more effective. RTI provides what seems like a blueprint or flowchart for educators who inherit challenging classrooms that turn out to be full of great kids.
Browse at your public library, local bookstore or online retailer for titles like:
What Really Matters in Response to Intervention: Research-based Designs
Pyramid Response to Intervention: RTI, Professional Learning Communities, and How to Respond When Kids Don't Learn
DVD: Introducing RtI: Presenting the Fundamentals of Response to Intervention
RTI and the Road to Special Ed
National Center on Response to Intervention
Response to intervention integrates assessment and intervention within a multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement and to reduce behavior problems. With RTI, schools identify students at risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide evidence-based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on a studentís responsiveness, and identify students with learning disabilities or other disabilities.
The ABCs of RTI: A Guide for Parents
This brief from 2007 provides information for parents on what children may experience in schools that use RTI to identify and instruct children with specific learning disabilities. It presents a three-tier model and includes question section that parents could use to fill in information about screening, progress monitoring, tiered instruction, staff collaboration, and fidelity of implementation. The tool was written by Daryl Mellard, Melinda McKnight, and Donald Deshler and produced by the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities.
Evidence-Based Tools and Interventions
The National Center on Response to Intervention has established a standard process to evaluate the scientific rigor of commercially available tools and interventions that can be used in an RTI context. Over the course of its funding period, the Center will conduct annual reviews of tools and interventions in the following three domains: Progress Monitoring, Screening, and Instructional Programs.
Florida Pilot Program
Problem Solving and Response to Intervention