The RTI Process and How It Fails Children

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Millions of school-age children experience difficulties with learning for a myriad of reasons. A learning difference can make learning difficult for a child. For years, schools have attempted to provide these students assistance. The current focus to help struggling students is known as Response to Intervention (RTI). This isn’t a particular program, but a way to assess the help students may need in order to succeed. However, to be part of these programs, children need to qualify for Individualized Education Program (IEP) services and accommodations.

Understanding the RTI Process

On the surface, RTI is a systematic way of identifying struggling students. You might also encounter this process with other names, such as Responsiveness to Intervention or Multi-Tier System of Supports (MRSS). In essence, RTI provides:

  • Services and interventions to help students who struggle with learning
  • Improve the early identification and support of students with learning and behavioral needs

Ideally, schools engage in screening at the beginning of each school year, beginning in kindergarten through grade 2. Unfortunately, due to the way this process works, most children with dyslexia are not identified until age 7 or 8.

Switching Gears Earlier

At The Learning Lab, we know that for children who learn differently, earlier interventions are critical for their success. Instead of waiting for RTI, we believe in screening before the 1st grade. 

Close Gaps

Learning gaps can be closed when children are exposed to the appropriate type of instruction early. These learners need a personalized learning approach and a different instruction method. At The Learning Lab, we identify these differences early to address them in a timely manner. This helps us to effectively address concerns and close learning gaps for children who learn differently. 

Fight the Dyslexia Paradox

While dyslexia affects 5 to 10 percent of the population, its diagnosis currently follows a failure method: a child must first try and fail to read for years before being screened. Most children in the US don’t get diagnosed until the end of their second year or the beginning of the third.

That’s what’s known as the dyslexia paradox. 

Research shows that reading interventions are most successful in kindergarten and first grade, so waiting for the RTI process is failing children. By the time a child reaches third grade, many may be behind their peers and often feel discouraged to catch up.

Prevent Downsides of Waiting

When parents wait too long, children are likely to feel less confident, develop a negative relationship with the school, and their learning gaps widen. These are some of the downsides of waiting for intervention. 

Earlier interventions can give children specialized instruction early enough to breach the gap and feel confident enough to catch up with their peers. With the right support and guidance, children can learn the appropriate strategies and skills needed to succeed, no matter their grade. 

The Learning Lab Alternative

At The Learning Lab, we believe that early interventions are vital for helping students explore their true potential. Time and time again, the ‘wait to see’ approach has proven to fail children. Instead, we focus on a proactive approach that relies on positive ways to change children’s feelings about learning. 

From our small group homework labs to our individualized instruction labs, The Learning Lab has the right structure to help your child reshape their relationship with learning and explore their true potential.

Learn more about our services today and speak with a specialized tutor to discover what’s the best way to help your child succeed in the classroom and beyond.