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Expert Connection

TeachingLD provides answers to common questions about teaching students with learning disabilities. We solicit questions (submit your own question), select those that are of general interest, and ask professionals with expertise about those specific aspects of learning disabilities to summarize—in practical terms—the research relevant to those questions. The Editors of TeachingLD have been supported by the un-compensated assistance of people with substantial knowledge and experience in preparing answers.

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What Does Responsiveness to Intervention Mean for Me?—Douglas Fuchs

Q:I have a case load of more than 24 middle school students and I have been doing a lot of inclusion during English, social studies, and math for them. Lately though, most of what I'm hearing about is response-to-intervention teams and plans, which leaves me curious about what role a special education teacher like me will play. What should I know and be ready to do?—Chuck, Washington, DC.

We asked Dr. Douglas Fuchs to be our Expert for this question. Dr. Fuchs, who is a professor at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College and is the co-director of the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities, has contributed to the Division for Learning Disabilities in many ways over the years and TLD appreciates him taking the time to help with this question.—Eds.

A:Chuck, I'm not surprised that you've heard a lot about responsiveness-to-intervention (RTI). It's been a popular topic in many circles the last few years. There has been a lot said and written about it, and much of what has been said and written is conflicting. Given the ambiguity, I can understand your question about what role you, and other special educators, will play in an RTI context. My Answer: Not much of one. Why? Read the rest of Dr. Fuchs' response here.