This text-based course is a written transcript of the event, “ARtIC Lab: RtI Models for Speech Pathologists”, presented by JoAnn Wiechmann on January 16, 2012.
>> Amy: Good afternoon to all of you and welcome to today's Expert Seminar., “ARtIC Lab: RtI Models for Speech Pathologists” with JoAnn Wiechmann. This event is in cooperation for SuperDuper. JoAnn Wiechmann is a licensed certified speech language pathologist, serving 17 years in several districts in Texas and Oklahoma. For the past six years she has served as a supervisor of speech language pathology services in Pasadena, Texas, managing over 50 speech‑language positions. She has spent her most recent years researching and developing interventions for narrative language. So welcome, JoAnn and thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us today.
>> JoAnn: Good morning or afternoon depending where you are living. I appreciate you spending some time today showing your interest in the area of RtI in particular the area of articulation. We will begin with some quick reminders about RtI and where it came from and why we are even involved in this process.
RtI was birthed out of the federal laws due to several reasons:
- One being an over-identification of the high incidence of disability areas. Two of those include learning disabilities and speech impairment which are high incidence populations. When you look at your data for your district or state for prevalence of disabilities, you will most likely find that LD and SI are the top two disability areas identified.
- Another issue that the RtI concept was trying to address in No Child Left Behind in IDEA is the problem with inappropriate referrals to special education. Oftentimes not knowing what to do with the student, educators assume the appropriate thing would be to refer them to special education services.
- A third thing is over-identification of minorities with disabilities. That has been an ongoing issue in special education for quite a number of years now.
- The last reason is simply the need for scientifically-based instruction. This requirement in RtI came from looking at data to analyze how well special ed. services were doing and how well children were responding to those services. We discovered the gap was widening between where the special ed. student was performing versus their same age peers rather than closing that gap.
So the concept of RtI was birthed out of those several areas of concerns as an effort to pump a lot of services (intensive services, I might add) into the students before we refer them directly to special ed.
A few quick reminders:
- Adopt an RtI process. I would highly recommend that you look at your district’s RtI process and make sure it is a comprehensive process. This means it needs to address not only academics and behavior but also include speech and language concerns. You want to have a comprehensive process rolled into one RtI or intervention process, so that you don't have two separate processes - one addressing speech and language and one addressing other concerns for students.
- The other critical reminder is that we need to make sure there is a balance between Child Find activities and the intervention process. In other words, we do not want to use RtI as a delay for an evaluation or identification of disabilities. This means you would be delaying the provision of special education services for students who really have disabilities. This requires careful monitoring of the progress of students and looking at the student's needs in order to ensure that this balance occurs.