Multitiered Systems of Supports

Authored by: Karrie A. Shogren , Michael L. Wehmeyer , Kathleen Lynne Lane , Carol Quirk

Handbook of Research-Based Practices for Educating Students with Intellectual Disability

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138832091
eBook ISBN: 9781315736198
Adobe ISBN: 9781317566243


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Multitiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) are defined by their emphasis on the provision of high-quality supports for all students across multiple domains (i.e., academic, behavioral, social-emotional), with increasingly specialized supports for students who need them in a particular domain at a particular point in time. As such, MTSS models provide a framework that can be utilized to support all students, including students with intellectual disability, to access high-quality educational opportunities. MTSS models are consistent with functional, strengths-based approaches to understanding intellectual disability (see Chapter 2) as they emphasize (a) providing all students with access to research-based supports across critical domains (i.e., academic, behavioral, and social-emotional); (b) identifying additional supports students need to be successful; and (c) systematically implementing more intensive interventions and supports to address those specific needs. In this chapter, we will provide an overview of the history of MTSS and their relationship to other approaches that focus on the provision of high-quality support to all students, such as positive behavior support (PBS) and response to intervention (RtI). We will then introduce a Comprehensive, Integrated, Three-Tiered (Ci3T) model of prevention that brings together RtI for academics, PBS for meeting students’ behavioral needs, and a validated curriculum to teach core social skills (e.g., conflict-resolution skills, character, or bullying-prevention skills). Finally, we will discuss emerging directions within the context of MTSS for students with intellectual disability, with an emphasis on applications that have the potential to enhance the inclusion of and access to the general education curriculum for students with intellectual disability and to embed issues related to self-determination in the context of MTSS.

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