Interventions and Supports for Struggling Learners

Did you know that CNNH sponsors a representative from the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) in our Voorhees office to work exclusively with all CNNH patients? This invaluable resource educates our patients on available resources and funding options.

Students who may be struggling academically and/or behaviorally can often benefit from early and intensive supports. Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tiered process of providing educational support and instruction to struggling learners. Individual progress is monitored and results are used to make decisions about further instruction and intervention. RTI is most commonly used in addressing problems with reading, math, and behavior, but it can also be used in other areas. The RTI process is flexible and is designed by school districts to meet the needs of their students.

It typically has three tiers, each tier providing differing levels of support:

  • Tier I – All students receive high quality curriculum and instruction in regular education classrooms. The teacher assists all learners.
  • Tier II – The school provides interventions to students who need more support than they are receiving from the general education curriculum.
  • Tier III – Students are given individualized instruction.

A key component to the RTI process is progress monitoring. Progress is measured by observations, tests, and other formal and informal assessments that help determine whether an intervention is successful or needs to be changed. Formal guidelines for progress monitoring should be developed by the school that detail how long a child will receive a particular intervention and how they will determine whether the intervention is helping the child.

When the child meets the goals set forth by the school, the intervention is no longer needed and the child continues to receive support from the general education curriculum. When progress monitoring shows that the child is not responding to intervention, another approach or intervention may be tried. When a higher level of support is needed, children are given individualized instruction which may include a referral for special education. RTI does not replace special education and it may not be used to delay or deny the evaluation for receiving special education services. So, any time a parent feels their child has educational needs that may require special education services, they have the right to request an evaluation.

Click on the links below for more information about RTI, including what questions parents can ask about how RTI works in their child’s school and how parents can be involved in the RTI process:

Community in Maine Gets the CNNH Treatment

Pictured left to right: Mark Mintz, Pnina Mintz, Laura Szklarski, George Niemann, Cindy MacDonald & David Heath

CNNH recently traveled to the Midcoast area of Maine in an effort to expand access to CNNH’s unique services in areas with limited access to specialty services. Spearheaded through a collaboration with David Heath, Executive Director of the Seton School, Camden, Maine, children with complex neurodevelopmental, neurological and neuropsychiatric issues were comprehensively evaluated by Mark Mintz, M.D., along with digital Dense Array Electroencephalography (dEEG) administered by Neurotechnology Specialist, Laura Szklarski. The results are being used to prescribe long-term solutions for the difficulties these children are experiencing.

The visit has engendered the kind of collaboration among local physicians and other clinicians that is needed to deliver the multidisciplinary treatment programs that will be so vital to helping these children achieve their maximum potential. In addition, the visit presented an opportunity for interaction between CNNH and the staff of the Seton School, setting a platform for telemedicine and future visits for other underserved and needy children.

Funding for the evaluations was provided by donations made to the Seton School by several dedicated supporters. We also give thanks to Midcoast Family Medicine of Rockport, Maine for their generous support, including the donation for use of examination rooms and office space.