Response to intervention (RTI) is a multi-dimensional process that deals with identifying and supporting those students that have behavioral and learning needs. This process usually starts with a universal screening and high-quality instructions to all children in a general education classroom. The rate of learning of the struggling children is accelerated with some interventions hence increasing the rate of intensity. The interventions provided to increase the rate of intensity of the children with behavioral and learning needs are provided by a specialist, special educators and general education teachers. The level of the performance of the individual student and the learning rate is assessed by closely monitoring the progress of the individual student. The duration and the intensity of the educational decisions made are based on the response of the individual student in regard to the instructions given. Both the special and general education make use of response to intervention to establish appropriate educational instructions and integrating the system which is solely based on the student's outcomes to help in the intervention process.
How Response to Intervention Relates to Special Education
Response to intervention is very helpful to general education teachers despite the fact that it is not part of the special education program. The teachers in the general education can familiarize with the early signs of learning issues and deal with them appropriately. Response to intervention enables the school to know the actual students that are eligible for special education services by use of the process that determines if the child responds to the science-based research intervention (Cook & Odom, 2013). This aspect has encouraged many states around the world to make use of response to intervention.
Also, still in the process of understanding the relationship between special education and response to intervention, first, it is worth to note that response to intervention does not help to reduce the childs workload as such kind of modifications can only be made for special education students but not to general education students. According to Cook & Odom (2013), a parent should not hesitate to request for special education evaluation because their child is benefiting from the response to intervention process as they have a right to demand the same at any time. According to the Federal Department of Education, it is clearly outlined that no evaluation should be denied or delayed simply because of the response to intervention. Third, the school during the evaluation process has the right to collect any useful information from the various response to intervention processes such as instructional adequacy data, progress monitoring and screening. However, all the data to be collected has to follow all the laid guidelines which include the approved time frame to complete the initial evaluation within the first 60 days.
Benefits of Response to Intervention
Response to intervention is formulated in such a way that children can progress from their initial grade-level expectations too much higher better levels at the same time improving their learning skills (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2017). All the adjustments made are based on the individual response and not on a small group or the whole class response hence making it be an effective process.
The other benefit that makes parents uphold response to intervention is that learners can get their core instructions from the general education setting (Werts et al., 2014). If the first intervention does not work, it means that there exist other options facilitated by the increase in the levels of support and response to intervention is not a wait to see approach since the school takes a step further to help the child meet his learning needs. On the other hand, the school undertakes thorough progress monitoring which goes along with documentation of the instructions that have been helpful to the child in the past.
According to Fuchs & Fuchs (2017), schools are advocated to use the response to intervention as it increases the number of successful students in the general education setting. On the other hand, the response to intervention lowers the number of students to be admitted to special education evaluations because not all students who perform below the grade level have learning disabilities. It has also been proven that students can make progress without being referred to individualized teaching which is most expensive to cater for.
RTI Three-Tier Model
High-quality intervention, screening and group intervention takes place within tier 1. At this juncture, scientifically based instructions which are of high quality are offered to the students as a way to ensure that their needs and difficulties are met by the instructions. The high-quality instructions are given by qualified individuals as a way to ensure that the students progress well and do not face any difficulty due to inadequacy in instructions given. To familiarize with the struggling students and come up with a behavioral and academic baseline, all the students involved are screened on a regular basis (Ekstam et al., 2015). This helps to provide any necessary support that the students may need at any particular point. On the other hand, supplemental instructions are provided to all those students who are believed to be at a high risk of encountering problems which are identified through universal screening. In addition, district-wide tests also help to identify those students who are at a high risk of coming cross-learning and behavioral problems. The whole testing process should be done as quickly as possible and this should not exceed a period of 8 weeks. Curriculum-based measurement is one of the main validated screening systems that is used to closely monitor the progress of the students. All those students who may have been discovered to lack the required progress are taken to tier 2 while those who show adequate progress are taken back to the regular classroom program.
Targeted interventions occur at tier 2. At this level, there is an increase in intensive instructions that are provided to all those students who show inadequate progress in tier 1. It has been noted that the intensive instructions given must at all times correlate with the rate of progress and the level of performance. In addition, the intensity of the instructions given must be based on the level of intervention or training of professional to handle the students with behavioral and learning needs, frequency and the duration of intervention and the group size. All the interventions provided to the students must be in line with general curriculum and the existing small-group setting. For example, at kindergarten, the intervention concentrates on math and areas of reading. The tier 2 may require a longer period for all the instructions to be clearly conveyed to the students but the time should not exceed the grading period (Grosche & Volpe, 2013). Once all the assessments have been done, all those students who show the signs of very little progress are directed to the tier 3 which provides more intensive interventions to enhance the progress of the learner.
Intensive interventions and comprehensive evaluation take place at tier 3. Educators at this level have been advised to provide intensive and more individualized interventions which aim to serve or meet the students skill deficit. If some of the students at this juncture seem not to meet the intended level of progress, then there exists no other option than to administer comprehensive evaluations. According to Ekstam et al. (2015), the comprehensive evaluations are very important as they aim at fulfillings the eligibility of the special education services which is stipulated in the Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. All the eligible decision made have to be based on the data that has been collected in tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3. However, all the intervention instructions do not fully depend on the educators, but parents are also allowed to request for formal evaluation so as to enhance the eligibility of the special education.
Response to Intervention Models
There are various models used during response to intervention. All the models used are solely based on the history of the beginnings in various research areas such as effective teaching curriculum-based measurement, precision teaching and applied behavioral analysis (Marston et al., 2016). Each type of model used results from the various categories of response to intervention implementation available.
The first response to intervention model used is the problem-solving model. The problem-solving model gives information on the learning problems by using a school-based team that familiarizes with the student performance information. According to Cavendish & Espinosa (2013), the student performance information obtained helps to define the learning problems and adopt relevant measures to the same. On the other hand, the problem-solving model also helps in evaluating the problems and coming up with the most effective interventions to solve the problems. To evaluate and manage system information, to implement and evaluate the individual interventions and prioritize the targets, the problem-solving model has proved to be the most efficient of all models. Although the procedures for applying the problem-solving model are not clearly outlined, the model has been proved to be the most efficient since its decision-making criteria are very flexible (Feiker Hollenbeck & Patrikakou, 2014). Having more than one team based groups, different problems can be handled at one time. For example, one group can deal with collecting of information about the student performance while the other group can evaluate the teacher report on student performance under different conditions. For that reason, the model has come out to be very effective since it helps to know the actual cause of the problem and outline the appropriate measures to deal with the same. Researchers in the past have emphasized that the outcomes of the process solely depends on the problem-solving procedures used hence the procedures should be as flexible as possible to prevent the occurrence of unreliable effects.
Functional assessment model is another model which is derived from the works of Daly and colleagues. Most of the procedures used in the model are almost similar with those used in the functional behavior assessment since appropriate interventions come after a thorough student performance assessment (Marston et al., 2016). Once a thorough student performance assessment has been done, it now becomes easier to perform a test as a way to distinguish the effects certain interventions will bring forth on the students learning. The necessary conditions that must be available during the tests include providing incentives for improved performance, providing practice responding and providing easier materials for improved performance. All the conditions provided for intervention must in one way or another improve the student performance. One weakness on the functional assessment models is that they provide insufficient information and guidance on how to identify those students who are in great need of intervention and the decisions to be made to deal with the problem. In addition, the model fails to outline how the interventions applied will be measured whether they have resolved the problem or not. However, in most cases, the functional assessment models have been proved to be effective as they offer adequate information to clarify that indeed a student is in need of some interventions.
Standard protocol models are derived from the works of Torgesen who undertook well-funded research trials and imp...
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