Your child's teacher may suggest trying some different teaching strategies, or interventions to see if that helps your child make progress.
Sometimes these are called Response to Intervention (RTI). This approach can help students in the classroom before referring them for special education services.
- It could be that a child does not have a learning disability, and the reason they are struggling is because of poor instruction or preparation for school. If that's the case, this process will try to improve the instruction they get and may solve the problem.
- RTI has different levels of interventions. One example of an intervention: the teacher may have your child work in a small reading group to get more intensive instruction.
- The teacher will start with the lowest level and move up to a higher level if there are no changes in your child's behavior or learning.
- The school should monitor your child's progress carefully to see if the interventions are helping.
- If the interventions don't help, then the school will refer your child for an evaluation. But you still have the right to ask for one at any time.
Here's what you can do:
- Keep track of your child's progress carefully. Askthe teacher how they are assessing your child from week to week. They should have a system in place to do this, and you should be seeing the results.
- If the interventions are not helping your child, talk to their teacher. Ask them to adjust the intervention.
- If your child is not making progress soon, ask for an evaluation. You can do this while the RTI interventions are going on.
- Don't wait too long. The interventions can last up to 8 weeks, but you don't have to wait until the end.
To learn more, see this 8-page booklet: A Family Guide to Response to Intervention. (Click on it to open it in a new window.)