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The Source® for RTI
Ages: 5-18   Grades: K-Adult         

How does RTI affect SLP servicesWhat is my roleWhere do I start?  Find answers in this Source that discusses the principles and implementation of RTI, then brings it down to the real world with examples of appropriate interventions for specific speech-language conditions at each tier.


  • Apply the RTI model to everyday work
  • Provide effective interventions within the RTI framework
  • Understand the SLP's roles within the RTI framework
  • Understand special education eligibility determination
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This resource brings the RTI issues together in an easy-to-understand format.  You'll learn:

  • why the RTI movement started and why it's important in special education
  • specific implications for SLPs
  • eight core principles of RTI that are essential for developing a strong school infrastructure and providing effective instruction for every student
  • about RTI and the Three-Tier Model of School Support, including the key elements that need to be included at each tier and activities SLPs can implement at each tier
  • about RTI and data-driven decisions, including how to use data from assessments to make decisions about intervention, the importance of integrated data management tools, which data is best to use at each tier, and the SLP's role in RTI data
  • how RTI problem-solving teams work, how to staff them, activities to use in a problem-solving process, and the role of the SLP in problem solving
  • about RTI and special education eligibility determination, including specific information about speech-language evaluations and how to determine the appropriate amount of intervention
  • the range of speech and language services, both direct and indirect, that may be considered in a three-tier RTI model
  • special education services with RTI, the four critical components needed to improve teaching and learning in schools, the impact of continuous improvement plans on student performance in special education, school case studies, and the impact of continuous improvement in speech-language pathology

Copy the activity pages or print them from the FREE CD.  Extra helps include:

  • intervention and progress-monitoring forms
  • referral, scheduling, and evaluation forms
  • decision trees
  • classroom analysis worksheets

Copyright © 2008

157-page book plus a CD of reproducible pages, 41 pages of organizational forms

Assistance Paper, Responsiveness to Intervention: New Roles for Speech-Language Pathologists (2006,, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) Response to Intervention: Policy Considerations and Implementation (2005), and the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities (NRCLD) Core Concepts of RTI (2007, ), the following response to intervention principles are supported:

  • We can effectively teach all children.
  • Intervene early.
  • Use a multi-tier model of service delivery.
  • Use a problem-solving method to make decisions.
  • Use research-based, scientifically validated instruction and intervention.
  • Monitor student progress to shape instruction.
  • Make decisions by using student performance data.
  • Use assessment for a variety of purposes.

The information, models, and interventions in this book incorporate these principles and are based on expert professional practice.


Judy Rudebusch


Judy Rudebusch, M.A., Ed.D., CCC-SLP, holds a doctorate in education administration and has a keen interest in the application of systems theory and best practices for continuous improvement.  For over two decades, Judy has applied continuous improvement models to school-based speech-language pathology.  She has served as a campus SLP, a program specialist for speech and language services, a special education director, and is currently the division director for special services in a school district in North Texas.  Judy participates in national and state initiatives to improve services in schools and is a frequent presenter at workshops and conferences in Texas and across the country.

The Source for RTI is Judy's second publication with LinguiSystems.  She is also the author of LinguiSystems Guide to RTI.


Response to intervention is a well-integrated system that connects general, compensatory, gifted, and special education in providing high-quality, standards-based instruction and intervention.  This instruction and intervention is matched to students' academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs.

The SLP and RTI
The speech-language pathologist (SLP) can play a number of important roles in an RTI framework:

  • team member
  • technical assistance provider
  • curriculum and instruction advisor
  • problem solver
  • direct service provider for assessment and intervention activities

The Source for RTI provides information for the SLP:

  • to become familiar with the essential components of effective RTI models
  • to design SLP services that are easy to integrate into a multi-tier model of school support

Overview of Content
The standards-based reform and accountability movements are changing conditions in America's schools.  Chapter 1 describes the context for change within which RTI evolved, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation, and the over-identification of children with learning disabilities (LD).

There are eight core principles outlined in chapter 2 that guide and define the structure of an RTI framework.  Effective instruction, just-in-time intervention when students fall behind in the grade-level curriculum, and data-driven decisions using student performance data are at the heart of the RTI framework.

RTI models have two or more tiers of increasingly intense, scientific, research-based intervention. Intensity increases from tier to tier through changes in duration, frequency, and time of intervention; group size; and instructor skill level to meet the needs of all students.  A three-tier model of school support is described in chapter 3.  Pivot points for change, types of speech and language activities for a three-tier model, and tools to facilitate change to RTI are included.

RTI instruction and intervention are based largely on student performance data.  Formative assessments (e.g., universal screening and curriculum-based measures) provide ongoing monitoring of students' progress through the curriculum.  Chapter 4 provides basic information on curriculum-based measures and use of percentiles for determining which students need additional support and intervention.

Analysis of data for the purposes of improving instruction, aligning curriculum to state standards, and making informed decisions about intervention for individual students is an essential component of the RTI framework.  Chapter 5 describes a team problem-solving model for RTI decisions as well as a variety of ways SLPs can participate meaningfully in the RTI problem-solving process.

RTI models include the capacity for substantive changes to traditional methods and procedures that determine eligibility for special education and related services.  Chapter 6 presents procedures for SLPs to use RTI data for eligibility recommendations.

There are important roles and responsibilities for SLPs throughout the RTI framework that contribute to the three-prong purpose of RTI–prevention, intervention, and identification.  Chapter 7 describes the range of speech and language services, both direct and indirect, that may be considered in an RTI model.

Chapter 8 presents the big picture, describing an integrated RTI framework that serves as a system to connect general, compensatory, gifted, and special education (specifically speech and language services).  All students have access to instruction and intervention at all tiers in the three-tier system of school support.  Whether a student is in general education or in a special program, each is provided with the essential components of RTI: research- and evidence-based instruction, frequent progress monitoring to measure the student's response to the instruction/intervention, and adjustments to the instruction/intervention if the student does not respond.

A wide variety of sample forms, decision matrices, rubrics, and problem-solving tools are presented in the appendixes to help put the key features of RTI into practice.

Response to Intervention is a relatively new approach for schools to help students who struggle to meet grade-level expectations.  RTI has deep roots in research in the areas of effective intervention, especially in early reading skills and curriculum-based measures.  I sincerely hope you will find The Source for RTI an informative, comprehensive, and practical resource that guides your participation in RTI.