In the world of pediatric, school-based therapy, there are many different systems, approaches, and models. Our team at Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS) is here to explain three of the most prominent and influential ones: Integrated System of Supports, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), and Response to Instruction and Intervention (RtII).
Discover the differences and learn how we apply various models to general and special education programs in the schools we partner with!
Key Differences: Integrated System of Support vs MTSS vs RtII
Approaches to education are ever evolving to better support individual students, along with entire classrooms. At PTS, we apply proven principles and models to both general and special education settings in our partnering districts to support the greatest number of students in the LRE. In the table below, you can see some of the key differences between three core approaches:
|Integrated System of Support||Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)||Response to Instruction & Intervention (RtII)|
|Model designed to address each student’s academic and non-academic needs. Benefits children with multiple areas of concern, as well as the entire class.||A cross-disciplinary framework with 3 tiers of academic, behavioral, and social-emotional supports. Acts as a functional safety net for all students.||Precursor to MTSS’s tiered interventions. An assessment process/methodology for determining eligibility of specific learning disability criteria.|
What Are RtII Solutions?
Before the introduction and implementation of MTSS, RtII solutions were primarily used to evaluate student performance and determine eligibility of specific learning disability criteria. They also laid the foundation for fostering interdisciplinary collaboration.
What Is the MTSS Approach/Model?
The MTSS Model developed out of RtII. This data-driven, cross-disciplinary approach is designed to create academic equity and enhance the quality of classroom-based support. It effectively triages students to the right level of support, building capacity, not dependency. Students receive support via three distinct tiers…
- Tier 1: Available to all students at the general education level.
- Tier 2: Short-term, small-group strategies that support multiple students struggling in the same areas.
- Tier 3: More intensive, individualized support and interventions for individual students on a therapy caseload.
By implementing a range of in-classroom interventions that address common concerns, the MTSS approach ensures no student falls through the cracks, while filtering out students who don’t require an evaluation or need to be on a therapy caseload.
PTS Applies the MTSS Model to Related Services
Though historically used to support students struggling in multiple academic areas, PTS applies this model to related services, including occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), speech-language pathology (SLP), and more. Using an MTSS approach in this context:
- Reduces therapy referrals.
- Contains therapy caseloads.
- Leads to improved treatment.
Therapists and teachers can lead classroom-level interventions, while paraprofessionals can lead small-group interventions. This gives students who need an extra boost the support they need without requiring an evaluation.
What Is the Integrated System of Support Model?
Even if a student gets matched with the right levels of support, they may continue to struggle and fall behind if their targeted interventions are done separately. To address this, the consultive Integrated System of Support model calls for educational strategies to be integrated across disciplines and treatment sessions.
Though developed to support students with multiple areas of concern, the Integrated System of Support model benefits all students by giving them more practice and support. Ultimately, the goal of this approach is to create more inclusive interventions and classrooms in which all children thrive.
Help Students Build Capacity With MTSS & Integrated System of Support Models
At PTS, we apply both the MTSS Approach and the Integrated System of Support Model to related services in all our partnering schools. We have seen real results that help more students, while remaining within budget. If you would like to learn more, please explore our website or contact us today!