School Psychology Forum

Implementing IDEA 2004 With a Three-Tier Model That Includes Response to Intervention and Cognitive Assessment Methods

James B. Hale

Volume 1 Issue 1

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Abstract: Reauthorized by the U.S. Congress in 2004, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will require ongoing regulatory efforts to determine its operationalization and implementation. School psychologists and other educational professionals are particularly concerned about the guidelines for identification of children with specific learning disabilities (SLD). Although some practitioners may continue to use the ability-achievement discrepancy approach, the response-to-intervention (RTI) approach can now be used to identify children with SLD. Although RTI methods should be encouraged and adopted, a multitiered approach that combines RTI with cognitive assessment should be used to serve all children with learning difficulties. In this best practices model, RTI should be adopted early to ameliorate learning problems, but if interventions efforts are unsuccessful, a comprehensive evaluation of cognitive processes should be undertaken to ensure that a child meets the SLD defini