RTI Question/Changing Labels

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Sheila, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    Feb 4, 2011

    My son goes to a private school on a county scholarship. He was recently re-evaluated and the county wanted to dismiss him from EBD because on "paper" he doesn't meet the criteria anymore. However, we are now in the process of getting a more accurate ASD label. His school has never done the RTi process but is willing to do it for him. They are going to need research based interventions and progress monitoring tools for Aspergers. Does anyone know of any interventions/monitoring pieces? I am trying to help his school because the county liasion is being very vague with us. Any help in this matter would be very much appreciated.

    Vicki
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 4, 2011

    If they want to dismiss him from EBD, is he not having emotional or behavioral problems in the class anymore?

    Many of our students on the spectrum qualify under OHI. Is the Asperger's still impacting his education?

    It really depends what the unique qualities about your son are to find interventions. Assistive technology could be an intervention, social stories/scripts, role playing, a buddy system, calming cards/rule cards, visual supports, added wait time, use of manipulatives....it really depends on your child.

    Monitoring also depends on your child. The school could do a trials, interval, instances...depending on behavior.
     
  4. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Feb 6, 2011

    I'll private message you a link to an advocacy forum, they can help you
     
  5. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Feb 19, 2011

    Hi Vicki! I typically look at people's profiles when I think about state/local specific info, and I saw you're from Tampa. The good news is that a lot of school psychologists in the area went to USF, and they have an excellent program related to RtI - they are actually leading progress statewide, and actually are involved in national consultation as well. I'd find out if anyone you're working with has any affiliations/history there.

    My first question is about the timing of all of this - are they talking about exiting your son from services before you are able to have the ASD evaluation completed? If you will be able to have that eval completed before the next meeting, it may be easier to try to qualify him using the more traditional method of that county typically uses to qualify kids in that area. The RtI process can be a bit longer, and truthfully hasn't been used a whole lot in areas outside academic areas like "learning disabilities." Florida is doing some good work in the behavioral realm of RtI, but even qualifying a child with an ASD type diagnosis through RtI seems like that would be fairly atypical. In addition, RtI typically is implemented on a schoolwide basis - for example, there usually needs to be data collection on a schoolwide basis (data collected for every student) to be able to make decisions using an RtI approach. The reason I bring this up is not to discourage you, or to say the idea isn't a good one, but just to say you may run into resistance if it has to be approved by the county. Not sure how it is now, but Hillsborough County used to be more of a traditional county when it comes to things like this, and they are also big and bureaucratic in some ways. Has the county agreed to accepting an RtI approach to continue services?

    Also, addressing a fundamental issue with RtI in your son's current setting - is he currently being served in a special education setting? If so, how much? The reason I ask is that RtI is, in part, about demonstrating that a particular child's needs in a general education setting cannot be met - in other words, that a child's "response to intervention" in a general education setting is not providing that child with an "appropriate" education as defined by law. If you child is already in a more restrictive setting, it will be hard to measure the child's response to intervention in a general education setting unless you actually move that child to a general education setting, remove all supports provided by special education, and then monitor progress.

    In addition, if the district may say that the general education setting at the private school is not sufficient or equal to that of a public school, so making a claim that poor response to intervention in a private school is not valid because the private school's general education is not supportive enough. In other words, the district may claim that its not responsible for making up for a private school's lower level of general education support by providing special education. They may want the child to show "poor response to intervention" in a publically supported school first. I have no history with this, but its just a thought that crossed my mind. Something to at least think about before you embark on what could be a long journey.

    I guess the overall point of the last few paragraphs is that using RtI to qualify a child with an ASD diagnosis is somewhat in unchartered territory, and there may be a number of reasons why the district could reject evidence generated through an RtI model if it wants to. Have you consulted with someone who understands that system, both from an educational and legal standpoint, and are confident that it will pass the district's scrutiny?

    I have more thoughts on intervention ideas and progress monitoring, including a few more issues that may arise in the monitoring area, but it would be helpful to know a bit more about the areas I described above.

    Without going into a lot of detail, Florida is using RtI in the behavioral realm a bit, and I believe is currently using Office Discipline Referrals as a means of measurement. Again, without going into detail, one thing you'd have to show in this model is that your son is receiving more referrals than other children, that research-based, reasonable interventions have been tried to address these behavioral issues and reduce referrals, and that the only way to effectively provide support and reduce the number of referrals would be through more intensive (i.e., special education) services.

    Referrals are what I believe is being used in Florida right not, but there are better ways of showing behavioral progress (or lack thereof) with a particular child, assuming you don't have to have the same kind of data on the rest of the kids in the class and school (which you often do have to have when it comes to RtI - you have to show a need above that of average-behaving kids). I could certainly point you to some resources that would help with this data collection, but there would need to be someone qualified at the school to lead this effort - its probably a little to much to design a system of progress monitoring for a child with ASD without that background.

    In terms of interventions, I would definitely consult with a local therapist/psychologist who could lend their name (and credibility) the efforts. Keep in mind that, with RtI, the general education setting is not required to provide THERAPY or the best services out there - simply that, given available resources that are research-based, the general education setting cannot provide an appropriate education. A therapist could help identify specific supports for your son that would be reasonable in a general education setting, but I agree with the comment that interventions tend to be highly specific to the individual child and his needs, so a knowledge of your son would be required before giving specific intervention recommendations.

    Overall, I think it is simply so amazing that you are willing to go to such lengths to help your son - to think creatively, and outside the box, to get him what he needs. To be most effective, I think bringing some folks on board that know more about RtI, and specifically how it interfaces with your sons current placement in a private school - legally and educationally - will be a huge advantage before you go to far.

    Finally, I just downloaded the Florida special ed regulations, and there is a specific category for Autism Spectrum Disorders in the regulations. If your son is found to fall in this category, I would imagine it to be substantially easier to get him qualified for services in this area than through an RtI process.
     
  6. CanukTeach

    CanukTeach Companion

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    Feb 19, 2011

    Hi Shelia,

    I agree with Mopar in terms of the types of interventions. If they need something more formalized, in Ontario schools are required to provide ABA/IBI. A very good person for this specific topic is Jed Baker. He presented in Ontario this summer (but I believe he is American) and he was excellent for students with ASD. He works privately and with school districts. Another person you can email (who will email you in return) is Tony Attwood. He is from Australia but is probably the leading specialist on Aspergers in the world. He recommended Canadian colleagues to me.

    Could you tell us what has changed that he no longer meets the criteria? What are the criteria? What criteria is he no longer meeting?
     

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