1Chapter 3 Reading Remediation: State of the Art
The state of the art in reading remediation is prevention and early intervention. The word-recognition skills of students with identified reading disabilities can be normalized with effective interventions. However, normalizing the fluency and comprehension skills of these students has proven extremely difficult. Because of the difficulty of remediating older students and the relative success of early intervention efforts, policy in the United States has shifted to encourage prevention. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act of 2004, districts are allowed to use up to 15% of special education funds for prevention and early intervention. This shift in federal law allows districts to use funds to provide intervention to struggling readers before they fail to meet grade-level achievement standards. In addition, the new law provides an alternative to the previous requirement that a student’s low achievement be unexpected (i.e., discrepant) relative to their intelligence in order to qualify them for special education services. The alternative approach, called response to intervention (RTI), means that a local education agency “may use a process that determines if the child responds to scientific, research-based intervention as a part of the evaluation procedures” (Pub. L. No. 108-446 § 614 [b][A]; § 614 [b] [2 & 3]).