A family's story

Response to Intervention

As I’ve mentioned a time or three before, our oldest son, Jake, has struggles of his own in this world. There are attention deficits, processing delays, SPD, speech/language delays, and a math disability…according to the school district. I have yet to schedule a neuropsych eval…mostly out of fear…but I will.

In early January we met for a new IEP. It was awful, but everything the staff found during evaluation matched our concerns. A new plan was put in place, and it looked like we had buy-in from all parties, even from his “my-way-or-the-highway” homeroom teacher.

Jake has seemed more content and less frustrated with school, especially with math. He sees the resource teacher…which means he gets pulled into a special education room for math only. There are 2 other second graders with him. The teacher can break down the work and spend time with each child so they figure it out. It’s not perfect, but better.

In his IEP, there is an accommodation for MAP testing. He gets extra time, and some help with manipulatives, and the teacher can read it, if he needs help. It’s a standardized computer test. They compete mostly against themselves. The child should show growth and improvement after each test. Jake’s math scores sky-rocketed. The extra time and use of tools helped him immensely. His reading scores, though, stalled out and fell.

This is worrisome…see, last year, Jake was in the reading intervention program, using both the reading computer lab and doing small group with the reading specialist. He made HUGE gains, and his “response to intervention” was amazing. He made such gains that in the first half of second grade, he was only going to lab, no need for small group.

Now he’s falling behind again. We noticed it at home, and I was planning on contacting his homeroom teacher. Then, last week, Jake announced that he went to Mrs. X’s room for small group. I clarified, and he gave me that “woman-are-you-listening-to-the-words-coming-out-of-my-mouth” look. So, I followed up specifically with the reading specialist, Mrs. X.

Sure enough, when his MAP scores dipped, they began assessing Jake’s placement. She asked his various support-team members what would be best for him. Ultimately, they decided to keep him in lab, and add on small group 3 times a week.

My response to intervention here was irritation, but also some relief. I am irritated that he was pulled and moved without us being notified first. But, I am all for intervention, when it is needed, and I am glad that a few members of his team are vigilant and watching out for him. He slipped through the cracks back in kindergarten, and he’s been trying to climb out of that crevice for 2 years now…


Comments on: "Response to Intervention" (4)

  1. Yeah, they really need to involve you in those decisions. I share that reaction when Lily’s teachers take it upon themselves to implement some teaching strategy with her. I know their hearts are in the right place, but . . . I’m the dad. . . “need the info”. . .

  2. Weird how he improved in math and then fell behind in reading! Frustrating too! It reminds me of my own son when sometimes, our ABA tutors tell me he has mastered a skill and a few weeks later, when I try it, his response is as though he’d been taught nothing. It’s scary and I can understand the fear about the neuropsych eval but obviously you can see the value to that as well.

    Hope you get it al straightened out with the school and they “get” that you are a HUGE part of the team and you must be consulted before changes are made. (Stomp those feet woman!) 😉

    • It is frustrating! One step forward, two steps back…and yes, I am worried, but place utmost confidence in the neuropsych…now off to make that appointment…

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