Research Behind Rethink
There has been a significant gap between research and practice in the field of special education. Rethink bridges this gap by incorporating current research to promote best outcomes for educators and students in the design and implementation of our tools and resources. We are committed to developing our products in alliance with the current evidence base.
Research behind Rethink
Video-Based Professional Development
Video-modeling has a long history as an effective professional development practice in the fields of special education and disability support services. Rethink utilizes video modeling as a professional development resource allowing professionals to observe and learn effective interventions.
  • Training professionals to deliver discrete trial training (Catania, Almeida, Liu Constant & Reed, 2009)
  • Staff acquisition of functional analysis methodology (Moore & Fisher, 2007)
  • Acquisition of respite care skills (Neef, Trachtenberg, Lobe & Sterner, 1991)
Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is an effective intervention methodology utilized for a variety of learners. The intervention techniques incorporated into Rethink are all based upon applied behavior analytic practices. ABA encompasses many teaching techniques and there are thousands of articles documenting effectiveness for a variety of learners with disabilities. Below are research articles that highlight several of the specific ABA intervention techniques that are contained within Rethink.
  • Discrete trial teaching for preschool children (Smith, Groen & Wynn, 2000).
  • Task analysis for literacy instruction with middle school students with moderate and severe disabilities (Browder, Trela & Jimenez, 2007)
  • Reducing problem behavior (Horner, Carr, Strain, Todd & Reid, 2009)
  • Chaining for food preparation (Griffen, Wolery & Schuster, 1992)
  • Chaining for independent academic work skills (Pelios, MacDuff & Axelrod, 2003)
  • Reinforcement for improving socially acceptable behavior in high school (Kay, Harchik & Luiselli, 2006) Increasing speech development in learners with autism (Koegel, O’Dell & Dunlap, 1988).
Standards-based Instruction for Students with Disabilities
Academic content and achievement standards ensure that students have access to and make progress in the general education curriculum. Historically students with disabilities participated primarily in a functional skills curriculum. With the standards based expectations educators must now meaningfully connect their curriculum to academic learning outcomes.
  • Increases expectations of learners with significant disabilities (Browder, Flowers, Ahlgrim-Delzell, Karvonen, Spooner & Algozzine, 2004)
  • Reinforcement for improving socially acceptable behavior in high school (Kay, Harchik & Luiselli, 2006)
  • Increasing speech development in learners with autism (Koegel, O’Dell & Dunlap, 1988).
Positive Behavior Intervention Support
Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) was included in the 1997 IDEA reauthorization act and has become to be recognized as an effective practice to improve individual behavior as well as overall school climate and culture to improve academic and social behavior for all students. PBIS is organized into three levels, primary, secondary and tertiary. The tertiary level focuses on the needs of individuals whom exhibit patterns of problem behavior. Rethink’s Behavior Support tools address the needs of those in the tertiary level of support.
  • Addressing severe and challenging behavior (LaVIgna & Willis, 2012)
  • Increasing academic engagement and work completion (Brooks,Todd, Tofflemyere & Horner, 2003)
  • Improves teachers competence and resilience when educating students with challenging behavior (Stoiber & Gettinger, 2011)
  • Improves inclusion and peer participation (Blair, Umbreit, Dunlap & Jung, 2007)
Participation in the least restrictive environment has been a core component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act since its inception in 1975 as the Education for all Handicapped Children Act in 1975. No Child Left Behind (2001) provided additional emphasis on inclusion with its requirements regarding students with disabilities participation in the general education curriculum. Students with and without disabilities benefit from learning in an inclusive environment. Academic and social gains have been documented for learners in inclusive environments including those with the most significant disabilities.
  • Higher performance in reading and math for individuals with intellectual disabilities (Cole, Waldron & Majd, 2004)
  • Students with severe disabilities have higher levels of academic responses and lower levels of challenging behavior (Mortweet, Utley, Walker, Dawson, Delquadri, Reddy, 1999)
  • Better postschool outcomes in employment and independent living (Wagner,Newman, Cameto, Garza & Levine,2005).
  • Improved outcomes for students without disabilities (Staub & Peck, 1995)
  • Higher frequency of participation in standards based activities than students contained classrooms (Wehmeyer, Lattin, Lapp-Ricnker, Agran, 2003)

Blair, K.C., Umbreit, J., Dunlap, G., & Jung, G.(2007).Promoting inclusion and peer participation through assessment-based intervention. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 27(3), 134-147.

Brooks, A., Todd, A. W., Tofflemoyer, S., & Horner, R. H. (2003). Use of functional assessment and a self-management system to increase academic engagement and work completion. Journal of Positive Behavior Intervention, 5, 144-152.

Browder, D., Trela, K.,& Jimenez, B. (2007) Training teachers to follow a task analysis to engage middle school students with moderate and severe developmental disabilities in grade appropriate literacy. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 22(4), 206-219.

Browder, D.M., Flowers, C., Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., Karvonen, M., Spooner, F., & Algozzine, R. (2004). The alignment of alternate assessment content to academic and functional curricula. The Journal of Special Education, 37, 211-223.

Catainia, C. N., Ameida, D., Liu-Constant B. & Reed, F. D. (2009). Video modeling to train staff to implement discrete trial training. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42, 387-392.

Cole, C.M., Waldron, N., & Majd, M. (2004). Academic progress of students across inclusive and traditional settings. Mental Retardation, 42,136-144.

Griffen, A.K., Wolery, M., & Schuster, J.W. (1992). Triadic instruction of chained food preparation responses: Acquisition and observational learning. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25,193-204.

Horner, R. H., Carr, E. G., Strain, P. S., Todd, A. W., & Reed, H. K. (2002). Problem behavior interventions for young children with autism: A research synthesis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 32, 423-446.

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