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Intervention and Assistive Technology

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In years past, however, it often took a great deal of time before a child was tested for disabilities, and then even more time to properly diagnose the disability and create an individual education plan designed to help the student get back on track academically and socially. This is time wasted that can never be claim. In addition, students are all to often incorrectly diagnosed as having a disability, creating a stigma that is long lasting and causing academic and social difficulties for the student. Response to Intervention (RTI) is that methodology that seeks to solve this issue. The aim of RTI is to provide testing and services to students with disabilities as quickly as possible in an effort to get valuable rehabilitation services set in motion. This paper seeks to explain the process and its importance on the field of education, particularly in the area of special education. Summary of Response to Intervention In essence, response to intervention (RTI) is a multilayered system that can prevent academic and social failure before a student is unnecessarily or prematurely identified as having a disability (Beard, Carpenter, amp. Johnston, 2011, p. 28). Children today suffer from enough pressure that educators should be cautious about adding to that. Often times, young people have difficulty learning, but they cannot express what they are feeling. While it is important, as professional educators, to intervene and strive to provide any assistance necessary, it is equally important that the child not feel singled out and threatened. Response to Intervention is designed to improve the process by which students with disabilities are tested, diagnosed, and educated. Simply put, RTI is designed to provide needed assistance to students who are having difficulty learning. Response to Intervention is a methodology that dictates this intervention is to be provided as early as possible and in a systematic manner. The goal is to provide help to students that will enable them to succeed academically, rather than failing because certain learning disabilities go undiagnosed. This is accomplished not only through early intervention, but also through frequent progress updates, and by providing researching-based interventions that are meant to help children who continue to experience difficulty learning. In the early days of diagnosing learning disabilities, the focus was on comparing IQ test scores with academic achievement. If there were a discrepancy noted, then children would be further tested to determine if they have some special needs that needed to be accommodated. The problem with this method was that it could take years to let this strategy run its course, during which time the child would likely continue to fail academically and become increasingly frustrated. In order to shorten the time required to intervene and provide children with much needed assistance, RTI was developed in an effort to quickly locate a specific learning disability much more quickly than the previous model allowed for. In addition, RTI fits well within the parameters of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. Educators must be careful, however, when using RTI to ensure that they are truly identifying students who have learning disabilities, and not simply labeling children as such because they are low achievers. The two are not necessarily related, and improperly