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Response 1

Compare the use of Response to Intervention (RTI) as a method for identifying learning disabilities to at least one other method.

· RTI: With the RTI model, all children are universally benchmarked several times a year in various academic skill areas. This data helps determine which children are below average compared to their peers and measures the rate of growth across the year. Tiers of instruction are created using this data. Tier 1 includes general education curriculum. Tier 2 is extra help for students who score low. Small group instructional support is provided in addition to the tier 1. If progress is made the child will stay at tier 2 level, if not they will move on to tier 3. This will include a discussion with administrators, school psychologist, support staff and parents. This model allows the child to start receiving help before they have failed. 

· The IQ-Achievement Discrepancy Model: With this model, educational teams, usually lead by a school psychologist show a discrepancy between overall intelligence and skill achievement. This discrepancy needs to be greater than 30 points. A child with an overall intelligence score of 100 as measured by a standardized test, but a skill performance of 70 would qualify as being learning disabled. With this model a child would have to be failing in order to receive extra help at school.  

Identify which model you prefer and explain why.  

· I would prefer the RTI model. This model it gives the student the opportunity to pull their grades up before they fail. The teacher does not have to wait to give help and the tiers are specific for each student. What’s best about this model is that it forces the teacher to pay attention to the students and not just the ones that are passing but the ones that may have learning disabilities also. 

Explain how RTI can be used as a method for preventing learning challenges in students who are at risk.

· By using the tier 1, 2, & 3 methods, teachers will be able to distinguish which students are at risk for learning challenges. If students do well with the first two tiers and does not need to advance to the last tier, learning challenges can possibly be prevented. The tier method allows for teachers to recognize the students that are more at risk for learning challenges than others. 


Preschern, J. (2014). Methods of Identifying Learning Disabilities: RTI vs. IQ-Achievement Model

Ripp, A., Jean-Pierre, P., and Fergus, E. (2019). Promising Examples of RTI Practices for Urban Schools

Special Education Guide (2019). Effective RTI Strategies for Teachers

Special Education Guide (2019). Response to Intervention

Response 2

Discussion 1, Week 7: Learning Disabilities 

        As discussed, within the United States every child is mandated to enter formal schooling by the age of six. Some students, however, may struggle due to the development of learning disabilities. As a result, there are several methods used for identifying learning disabilities. Methods such as the discrepancy model and response to intervention (RTI). The following discussion makes a comparison between RTI as a method for identifying learning disabilities to the ability achievement discrepancy model. Additionally, the preferred method of identification was presented and an explanation as to why it was selected was also presented. Finally, included was a brief explanation of how RTI can be used as a method for preventing learning challenges in students at risk.

Response to Intervention Compared to Discrepancy Model

Response to intervention looks at the reading, writing, and math skills of all students early within the school year providing targeted support for struggling students (Fletcher & Vaughn, 2009). Subsequently, students who do not respond to the increase in support will be considered for special education thereafter. The benefits of such a method allows for students to receive intervention prior to having to wait for evidence of eligibility to receive learning assistance. Modifications to the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) permitted alternatives to the discrepancy model (United States Department of Education, 2004) not previously available. 

        Conversely, in the instance of discrepancies between a student’s various sets of scores (IQ and academic achievement), should a difference exist, the evidence as to the potential underlying condition is considered (Fletcher, Denton, & Francis, 2005). As part of IDEA, this method was created a means for identifying those students eligible for special education. Initially required to be utilized within the educational system, the state may now determine whether such a method is appropriate for use or they may incorporate the method for use with other models (United States Department of Education, 2004).

Preferred Method 

As an academic support teacher for English Language Arts (ELA), the preferred method is the RTI model. Such a model is preferred as it allows for a very thorough observation of student abilities at the onset of the new school year. The required assessing of every student affords an additional benefit of observing each student individually to evaluate reading, writing and comprehension skills. The evidence is reviewed for the processes underlying to RTI which includes both screening and progress monitoring assessments, evidence based interventions, and a schoolwide coordination and implementation of multi-tiered instruction (Fletcher & Vaughn, 2009). Despite the additional time required to address these screenings and the tracking of progress monitoring, validation is determined through the accuracy in identifying those students in need of academic support. Thereafter, such students will receive academic services according to their required intensity level prior to reassessing the student progress. Subsequently, success will be marked through academic growth via academic measuring assessments.

Preventive Measures

The primary goal of the RTI model is to improve upon the academic and behavioral outcomes for all students. The emphasis placed upon early intervention services and the required specified provision allows districts to adapt how such services are to be delivered thus placing the focus upon the student’s response to the intervention (Fletcher & Vaughn, 2009). Response to intervention therefore allows access to struggling students. Early intervention may therefore provide the academic supplement needed for the student to perform according to his/her academic level. In addition, such a model will monitor the progress of children at risk for difficulties in academic and behavioral areas as well as the making of provisions for increasingly intense interventions based on the response to progress monitoring assessments (Vaughn & Fuchs, 2003). 


Fletcher, J. M., Denton, C., & Francis, D. J. (2005) Validity of alternative approaches for the 

        identification of learning disabilities: Operationalizing unexpected 

        underachievement. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38(6), 545–552. 

Fletcher, J. M., & Vaughn, S. (2009). Response to intervention: Preventing and remediating 

        academic difficulties. Child Development Perspectives, 3(1), 30–37. 

U.S. Department of Education. (2004). Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act of 2004, 

        Pub. L. 108-466. Federal Register, 70, 35802–35803.

Vaughn, S., & Fuchs, L. S. (2003). Redefining learning disabilities as inadequate response to 

        instruction: The promise and potential problems. Learning Disabilities Research and 

        Practice, 18, 137–146.

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