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Response to Intervention and the Identification of Specific Learning Disabilities

Reschly, Daniel J.

doi: 10.1097/TLD.0000000000000003
Original Articles

The use of response-to-intervention (RTI) to identify children and youth with specific learning disabilities (SLDs) is described with multiple illustrations. Essential components of the RTI process are specified at multiple tiers of intervention, each essential to valid SLD identification. The RTI goals are prevention in general education, early identification and intervention, and intensive treatment of children with severe and chronic achievement and behavioral challenges. Identification of SLD is described as a series of stages culminating in a comprehensive evaluation that meets requirements of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. During the comprehensive evaluation, the need for screening in at least 12 domains is stressed, followed by an in-depth assessment in domains in which the possibility of educationally related deficits exists. Advantages of RTI-based SLD identification are discussed.

Departments of Education and Psychology, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Corresponding Author: Daniel J. Reschly, PhD, 1402 Lille Ct., Franklin, TN 37067 (

This article is an extensive rewrite and updating of Reschly and Bergstrom (2009).

The author has indicated that he has no financial and no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

© 2014Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins