School psychologists and other school personnel are tasked with addressing the unique learning needs of students with specific learning disabilities (SLD) and difficulties. Most school personnel struggle to find interventions that meet students’ learning needs. There are several reasons why: 1) The What Works Clearing House (WWC; managed by the US Department of Education’s Institute of Educational Science) shows that there is very little empirical evidence to support the effectiveness of remedial academic intervention programs for students with SLD; 2) Assessment specialists often lack the training needed to link their assessment findings to interventions that have a high probability of resulting in positive outcomes for students; and 3) school personnel who work with students with unique learning needs often do not know how to address their cognitive weaknesses when delivering instruction.
Many academic remedial programs are ineffective for students with SLD because they are being delivered without consideration of students’ specific cognitive weaknesses. This is due, in part, to gaps in training programs regarding the assessment-intervention connection. Most recommendations offered by assessment specialists are not implemented because they are inappropriate for one reason or another (e.g., not clear why the intervention is important or necessary; no guidance on how to implement the intervention). Assessment specialists often struggle with the “recommendations” section of their psychological reports due to lack of training. Moreover, they often do not have time to find and tailor interventions, strategies, resources, and supports for students to effectively answer a key question in evaluations of students with learning needs: “How can I help?”
To facilitate the process of linking assessment findings to interventions, this workshop introduces a new tool: Intervention Library: Finding Interventions and Resources for Students and Teachers (IL:FIRST®). The Intervention Library is a compilation of over 1000 entries that are uniquely organized into six categories, including Instructional, Environmental, Curricular, Skill-Building Techniques, Remediation Programs, and Compensatory Strategies. A wide variety of interventions are included in each of these categories to address a student’s unique learning needs across 10 cognitive abilities and processes and the eight academic areas listed in IDEA.
Examples of interventions in these categories is presented as they apply to each of the eight areas of SLD (e.g., Basic Reading Skills, Math Calculation, Written Expression). In addition, this workshop demonstrates how to minimize the effects of students’ cognitive weaknesses to allow them greater access to instruction, the curriculum, and intervention. Links to websites that are included in the library are also provided. Many contain downloadable materials and printables that can be used in practice immediately. Links throughout the library provide information about the benefits of and research evidence for the intervention as well how to implement it. Tailoring interventions is described with attention to intervention type (e.g., remedial, compensatory), grade level (e.g., elementary, MS, HS), and delivery method (e.g., small group, individual). Participants learn the elements of a recommendation that are necessary to make it accessible to and feasible for teachers and parents. The better tailored the interventions, the greater the likelihood of positive outcomes.
BIO: Dr. Dawn P. Flanagan is Professor of Psychology at St. John's University in Queens, NY. She is also an Affiliate Clinical Professor at Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. She teaches graduate level courses on psychoeducational assessment for intervention and diagnosis and treatment of specific learning disabilities (SLD). She serves as an expert witness, SLD consultant, and test/measurement consultant and trainer for organizations both nationally and internationally. She is a widely published author as well as a co-developer of the Cross-Battery Assessment approach and its corresponding software system (X-BASS). Her most recent books includeContemporary Intellectual Assessment: Theories, Tests, and Issues – 4th edition; Essentials of Specific Learning Disability Identification – 2nd edition; Essentials of WISC-V Assessment; Clinical Use and Interpretation of the WJ IV: Scientist-Practitioner Perspectives and Essentials of Planning, Selecting, and Tailoring Interventions for Unique Learners. Dr. Flanagan’s recent awards include APA’s Contributions to Practice Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award given at the 13th annual national School Neuropsychology conference.
Dawn P. Flanagan, Ph.D.
St. John’s University – Queens, NY
*Note: Each participant is required to register on their own. For CPD participants, in order to receive CPDs you must have your video on and be present during the presentation. Please make sure your internet options will allow for this. Members earn free CPDs for all events. CPDs are not available to non members. Registration will occur 8:30-9 with the session starting promptly at 9am.
View in Browser