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Evidence-Based Interventions for Children and Youth with Disabilities

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Presentation on theme: "Evidence-Based Interventions for Children and Youth with Disabilities"— Presentation transcript:

1 Evidence-Based Interventions for Children and Youth with Disabilities
Mitchell L. Yell, Ph.D. University of South Carolina Tri-State Regional Special Education Law Conference

2 Why use Evidence-Based Practices?
The drive to improve outcomes for students with disabilities (SWD) Because there are many factors that may inhibit outcomes for SWD, special educators have focused on the one determinate in which they have primary control-Teaching practices Unfortunately many teachers of SWD use teaching practices that have little effect on student outcomes

3 What are Evidence-Based Practices?
A driving force in special education research has been: To develop strategies, practices, and interventions that have empirical or research support, and To determine how to support teachers in adopting and maintaining the use of effective interventions All interventions are not equal; some are much more likely to lead to positive educational outcomes for SWD

4 The Importance of EBPs Despite the considerable interest in basing instruction on evidence-based practices (EBP), there is not a systematic process for identifying EBPs Determining EBPs is not without controversy Controversy about the general endeavor of identifying EBPS Controversy about the particular standards & criteria for determining EBPs

5 Identifying Interventions
Internet is not a source for evidence-based practices Example: term “autism cure” Google search 2 time points (Feb Feb Oct. 2012) Change in number of web pages—530,000 to 5,300,000 to 7,888,000 Most, “cures” are not evaluated nor provide reliable information about their claims (or outcomes) Legitimate organizations attracted by sensational but bogus claims (National news & facilitated communication) Training programs (for practitioners) do not consistently disseminate evidence-based practices

6 CECs EBP Initiative Berliner (2002): “Education is not a hard science but it is the hardest-to-do science” What type of evidence is acceptable? What Works Clearinghouse and the “Gold Standard” CEC Division of Research (2003) Different types of research questions require different types of research methodologies Establish quality indicators for four types of methodologies

7 CECs EBP Initiative Identifying evidence-based practices using:
Correlational research Group experimental & quasi-experimental research Single subject research Qualitative studies

8 The Law & EBPs Rod Paige-U.S. Secretary of Education, 2001-2005
“we insist that states pay attention to research…we're insisting on evidence driven classroom methods that really work. No fads, no good feeling stuff, no fluff. Good solid instruction based on science.”(p. 14) President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education “The current system does not always embrace or implement evidence-based practices…” (p. 8) “The Commission recommends…that regulations must be issued that are consistent with the best scientific evidence to assist parents, educators, and administrators in serving students with disabilities” (p. 27)

9 NCLB & Scientifically-Based Research
Scientifically based research is "research that involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to education activities and programs.” (NCLB, 2002) Six criteria for SBR

10 Six Criteria for SBR

11 Evidenced-Based Practices
Instructional practices or strategies that: are based on high quality research over a range of different students, in a range of places, and over a range of behavior have been shown to result in measurable educational, social, or behavioral benefit

IEPs must include ”a statement of special education services and supplementary aids and services based on peer reviewed research to the extent practicable. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004) Mitchell L. Yell, Ph.D.

13 PRR also applies to: Individualized family service plans (IFSPs) in Part C of the IDEA. 20 USC 1436 (d)(4); 34 CFR Sec (d) Non-academic areas, such as behavioral interventions. 71 Fed. Reg. 46,683 (2006). The SBR Requirement also applies to professional development activities 71 Fed. Reg. 46,627 (2006). Mitchell L. Yell, Ph.D.

14 To the extent practicable:
The phrase "to the extent practicable,'' as used in this context, generally means that services and supports should be based on peer-reviewed research to the extent that it is possible, given the availability of peer- reviewed research. 71 Fed. Reg. 46,665 (2006).

15 What is PRR? Peer-reviewed research generally refers to research that is reviewed by qualified and independent reviewers to ensure that the quality of the information meets standards of the field before the research is published. Determining whether a particular early intervention service is based on peer-reviewed research may require a review of literature or other information that reports on the use of evidence-based practices by peer providers. Letter to Kane, 55 IDELR 203 (OSEP 2010).

16 States, school districts, and school personnel must, therefore, select and use methods that research has shown to be effective, to the extent that methods based on peer-reviewed research are available. This does not mean that the service with the greatest body of research is the service necessarily required for a child to receive FAPE. Likewise, there is nothing in the Act to suggest that the failure of a public agency to provide services based on peer-reviewed research would automatically result in a denial of FAPE. The final decision about the special education and related services, and supplementary aids and services that are to be provided to a child must be made by the child’s IEP Team based on the child’s individual needs. (U.S. Dept. of Ed. Fed. Register, Vol. 71, No 156, pp )

17 What Does This Mean? Special education teachers should adopt and use scientifically based approaches for which there is supporting research in peer-reviewed journals Educators should: Use research-validated educational practices to the extent research is available Know the research behind the procedures Implement peer-reviewed researched (PRR) procedures with fidelity Mitchell L. Yell, Ph.D.

18 According to the U.S. Department of Education the IDEA does not refer to "evidence-based practices'' or "emerging best practices,'' which are generally terms of art that may or may not be based on peer- reviewed research. It therefore declined to change 34 CFR (a)(4) to include language such as "peer-reviewed research, evidence-based practices, and emerging best practices." 71 Fed. Reg. 46,665 (2006).

19 Court Cases & PRR Waukee Community School District & Heartland Area Education Agency (2008) Joshua A. v. Rocklin Unified School District (2008) Ridley School District v. M.R. and J.R. (2012)

20 PROGRAMMING CAUTIONS Ask what research or evidence are the special education practices based on Too often special education programs are often not based on evidence-based practices If parents have a research-based method they have legitimate information on-Discuss it Mitchell L. Yell, Ph.D.

21 Finding EBPs Peer-reviewed journals
Exceptional Children Focus on Autism and other Developmental Disabilities Behavioral Disorders Approved by an Independent Panel of Experts What Works Clearinghouse National Autism Center

22 U.S. Department of Education Technical Assistance Centers

23 Websites Sponsored by OSEP
National Center on Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports National Center of Response to Intervention National Center on Intensive Interventions National Professional Development Center of Autism Spectrum Disorders National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)

24 Two Important Considerations when using EBPs
Fidelity of Implementation Progress-Monitoring

25 Fidelity of Implementation
Fidelity of implementation is the delivery of instruction & interventions in the ways that they were designed to be delivered (Gresham, et al., 2000). If teachers do not implement instruction the way it was designed, then the most highly researched and effective curricula may not be beneficial to students (Reschly, 2008). If interventions are not implemented as intended it is impossible to determine whether poor student outcomes result from an ineffective intervention or an effective intervention that is poorly implemented (Sanetti & Kratochwill, 2009).

26 Progress Monitoring Use progress monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness on instruction or intervention “We recommend the continuous monitoring of student progress…which research has shown enhances instructional outcomes and results for children.” President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education (P. 26, Nov., 2001) Easy CBM ( Intervention Central (

27 Implications for Educators
Keep up with and understand the research in your area. Be prepared to discuss PRR in IEP meetings. Be able to explain the research behind the educational methodologies that you use. Acknowledge and discuss research that parents bring up at IEP meetings. If research does not support a particular procedure, be prepared to discuss that. Choose academic and behavioral interventions based on PRR, to the extent that PRR exists. This is especially important in areas in which there is established and clear research (e.g., teaching reading). Implement interventions with fidelity. This means that teachers should implement interventions in accordance with they were designed or intended to be implemented. Use progress monitoring to determine the effectiveness of interventions. The IDEA requires that student progress toward their goals be monitored on a frequent and systematic basis. Structure and provide professional development activities in which training on new and emerging research is provided.

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