Response to Intervention

Response to Intervention (RtI)

The IDEA 2004 regulations incorporate requirements regarding identifying children with specific learning disabilities (SLD) and early intervening services (EIS). With regard to identifying children with SLD, the regulations:

(1) allow a school district to consider a student’s response to scientific, research-based intervention as part of the SLD determination process;

(2) allow States to use other alternative research-based procedures for determining whether a child has a SLD; (3) provide that States may not require the use of a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement to determine whether a child has a SLD; and (4) require a public agency to use the State criteria in determining whether a child has a SLD and discuss the role that response to scientific research-based interventions plays in a comprehensive evaluation process.

Above is from:

The IDEA Partnership website defines Response to Intervention (RtI) as “…the practice of providing high-quality instruction/intervention matched to student needs and using learning rate over time and level of performance to inform educational decision-making.   RTI provides an improved process and structure for school teams to design, implement, and evaluate both daily instruction and specific interventions.  Some elements of RTI have been used informally in practice for many years with varying degrees of success. 


The focus of RtI is on focus is on improving outcomes for every student which may result in overall school improvement. Therefore, some of the same tools may be used to measure school improvement under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 provides states and districts the opportunity to use a "process of responsiveness to intervention" as part of the specific learning disability evaluation process. Response to Intervention is a multi-tiered and evidence-based approach to general education.


Find out more at the IDEA Partnership website


AOTA has resources on RtI outlining the potential role of occupational therapy. These resources can be accessed at and include:


~Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind: Opportunities for OT by Ahsley Opp from OT Practice online, 9/24/07 

~Under Practice Areas, Children and Youth 7/11/08 AOTA has a statement titled: New Resource: response to Intervention

~FAQ on Response to Intervention for School-Based Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants, 2007

More Resources for RtI


Questions & Answers on Response to Intervention (RtI) and Early Intervening Services (EIS),root,dynamic,QaCorner,8,


”Embracing Response to Intervention: The Heartland Area Education Agency in Iowa is Helping School Districts Adopt the Framework as Good Instructional Practice”  Article by Christina A. Samuels


What You Need to Know about IDEA 2004: Response to Intervention (RTI):
New Ways to Identify Specific Learning Disabilities



How many schools do you cover?

one - 9.7%
two - 32.3%
three - 25.8%
four - 12.9%
five or more - 19.4%

Total votes: 31
The voting for this poll has ended on: November 17, 2013

Get Involved with

Ask an Expert

Ask our PSOT Expert a Question!