Why is it important to make changes in a systematic way when adapting interventions for students with intensive needs?

Question: Why is it important to make changes in a systematic way when adapting interventions for students with intensive needs? 

Answer: One really important aspect of data based individualization is that you make decisions and make changes in a systematic way. So, if you begin an intervention that you have thought through with a team, and you begin to feel like it’s not exactly what you wanted, it’s not getting the effect achieved, you should probably stick with it for about four weeks to see whether or not it is improving a student’s academic performance at the rate you anticipated. If it isn’t, you should change it. But it’s important not to move things around too quickly because if you do that, then you aren’t certain whether or not the changes you are getting are due to, which part of it you have changed. So you want to make these changes in a systematic way and changing things in a systematic way means you need to make a decision and stick with it for at least four weeks to see whether or not the student is at the aim line, above it or below it. And if they are below it, then you should make the change that you have. Now of course, if the student is sort of dive-bombing in their performance where they were doing ok and we are seeing this huge problem as a result of the intervention, then you should stop it. But it’s pretty rare that that would occur, so it’s important to sort of stick with your decision and see how it plays out.

Developed By: 
National Center on Intensive Intervention