Core elements

In seeking to change children’s behaviour through intervention programmes, there are some core elements that an educator should consider (Fuchs, 2012; Fuchs & Fuchs, 2001; Gresham, 2000):

  1. The intervention programme has to be functionally relevant. This means that it must focus on solving the learning problem that the child has.
  2. The intervention programme should be evidence-based(i.e. based on research) and validated to solve the specific learning problem under consideration. It is the responsibility of the programme developers to provide reliable information about the effects and usability of the programme.
  3. The intervention programme should be implemented as instructed(i.e. treatment fidelity). If changes are made in the implementation of the programme, there is a risk that some important elements that are crucial for learning might be missed.
  4. Intervention programmes are often culture dependent(e.g. examples and pictures used in the programme). Thus, they may function differently in terms of their efficacy in different cultures. Cultural suitability should be tested and if possible also published for wider audiences.
  5. Monitoring the learning progressduring the intervention phase is important in order to ascertain whether a child’s behaviour or achievement level changes and, if so, whether the change is due to the intervention.



  • Fuchs, D. & Fuchs, L. S. (2001). Responsiveness-to-intervention: A blueprint for practitioners, policymakers, and parents. Teaching Exceptional Children, 38(1), 57–61.
  • Fuchs, L. S., Fuchs, D., & Compton D. L. (2012). The early prevention of mathematics difficulty: Its power and limitations. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 45(3), 257–269.
  • Gresham, F. M. (2007). Evolution of the response-to-intervention concept: Empirical foundations and recent developments. In S. R. Jimerson, M. K. Burns, & A. M. Van Der Heyden (Eds.), Handbook of response to interventions. The science and practice of assessment and intervention(pp. 10–24). New York, NY: Springer.