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Determining the Need for an Intervener in Educational Settings

Interveners and Qualified Personnel

HI group, I've been looking for a tool to help teams outline the need for an intervener and came across the Determining Need form, which I like the look of very much. Before I take it out into districts - has anyone used it? Could anyone offer tips for using it? It seems pretty straightforward, but any suggestions would be welcome. Info on other tools folks are using (I've been using the IEP Quality Indicators) would be appreciated too. Thanks!

Martha Veto

Posted Feb 21, 2014 by Martha Veto

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Comments (6)

One other thing I would like to offer. My son is very high functioning deafblind student. He has low vision (sees clearly 3ft.) and has moderate hearing loss. So the forms that are out there to help us determine if a student would benefit from an intervener does not work for my son or others like him. It is at that time that you have to become creative for example he makes noises when not engaged in class due to his sensory/ADHD/DB issues. TSBVI along with some of his teachers noticed that if someone was close by to keep him on task he did not make noises. We had to go to these measures to get him qualified for an intervener. I believe these are the students that may not get an intervener due to there abilities.

Michelle Goodwin

Posted Mar 4, 2014 by Michelle Goodwin

One statement that I used to convince the Director of Special Ed to invest in an intervener for my son two years ago is "The Intervener is a bridge between my son and the teacher, class room, and curriculum ." The intervener has been very successful! His frustration is at a minimum and he is excelling in every class. Now at every ARD when they mention that they don't want him to be pendent on the intervener. I just reply "I don't want to set him up for failure!" Plus I stress that the intervener does not need to sit by him at all times, only when he is needing help or is off task. Good so far and this is our first year in middle school!!

Michelle Goodwin

Posted Mar 4, 2014 by Michelle Goodwin

I find that one of the fears or pretexts districts have in the use of an intervener is the claim that the child could become "too dependent" on this support. I think that it is very important for them and the team to understand what are some of the fundamental characteristics of this type of support. I believe it can be summarized in the motto "do with not for." In 2011 I wrote a fact sheet called, "The Intervener's Motto: Do With, Not For." This document explains in a simple and short way how this motto may look in the practice. It can be found in You'll find a list fact sheets. This one is number 42. Hopefully you'll find it useful. Cheers!

Gloria  Rodriguez-Gil

Posted Mar 4, 2014 by Gloria Rodriguez-Gil

Love the comment, Katie -- to be prepared with examples for everything....

Lyn Ayer

Posted Mar 4, 2014 by Lyn Ayer

I haven't used it, but was thinking it could become a part of a Person Centered Planning process for a child -- MAPS, PATH etc. That way, it will be involved with the "whole child", rather than being a peripheral IEP-related form -- and more persons than just the IEP team can have a say in the process....

Lyn Ayer

Posted Mar 4, 2014 by Lyn Ayer

We recently used quite a bit of information to get the team to determine this service is needed.

The booklet (link below) has a lot of info pertaining to access to education & how an intervener provides this access. I quoted a lot right from this booklet regarding this not just being a need or a want but a right, since the student does not have access to his education. An intervener can provide that access that he has a legal right to have.

We provided the team with the following document from this booklet:

Learning Pyramid - Typical learning vs. Deafblind learning
(Pages 13 – 16 in above booklet)

Also, the following form can be helpful to go through:

“Determining the Need for an Intervener in Educational Settings”

Last but not least, I was ready with specific examples for everything on this form. I also had examples ready for how the student was in a setting (small group, etc.) that required learning to occur via incidental learning & (refer back to the pyramid) how that is not adequate for him to learn. He needs constant direct learning, which neither the teacher nor the para can provide. The para does not have the training &/or skill sets to know how to provide the access.

Good luck!


Katie Sacra

Posted Mar 4, 2014 by Katie Sacra

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