Why Does an Intervention (Response to Intervention) Take so Long?

The Response to Intervention (RtI) process seems to slow down the ability to get an IEP.  Do you have any suggestions for speeding the process up?

The goal of Response to Intervention process is a step-by-step systematic problem solving process.  It includes interventions and monitoring progress, in the general education environment, to make sure that learning and/or behavior problems are not due to a lack of appropriate instruction.  A child experiencing problems will be referred to a Student Intervention team.  The team will review the progress to date and interventions will be chosen to bring the child up to an academic level of their peers.

If a team, including you as the parent, meet and determine interventions are needed because your child is struggling, a plan will be written with specific interventions, modifications and time lines for monitoring.  By graphing the response to those interventions, a team can quickly see if the intervention is working and the child will continue to grow and “catch up” to their peers with the continuation of the intervention.  If your child is not improving with those interventions, other interventions as well as evaluations may be implemented.  This is an on-going process and you are involved with the team at every review.

There are 3 tiers to RtI, each tier should provide a different level of intervention depending on the needs of the child.  However, this is not supposed to be a year long process.  6-8 weeks is a standard amount of time to collect data for the different levels of RtI.  In other words, if your child started in tier 1 but was not making suffient progress with interventions within 6-8 weeks, they would then move to level 2.  If they were unsuccessful still with interventions over another 6-8 weeks, they are then moved to level 3.  Same applies for level 3.  If your child is not making improvements with their educational progress or behavior then they should be considered for special education services.

A parent may request an evaluation at anytime and evaluations can occur during the same time that RtI is being implemented. However, if the school has not documented or tried general education interventions, the child cannot be placed in a special education program.

Your ultimate goal should be to have your child receive the necessary strategies to receive success in school.