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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jerry

Simplifying the Intervention Planning Process

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

One of the questions we have been asked is how the revised Responsive Teaching curriculum differs from the first version of RT.

The first version of the Responsive Teaching curriculum (Mahoney & MacDonald, 2007) recommended a menu-based process for developing intervention session plans. For each pivotal behavior intervention objective, providers were asked to develop intervention session plans by choosing one to two Discussion Topics and one to two Responsive Interaction Strategies from a menu of Topics and Strategies that were appropriate for promoting that pivotal behavior. After reviewing videos of hundreds of sessions conducted by professionals who were learning to implement this version of Responsive Teaching, it became clear to us that this menu-based planning process was much more complicated than it needed to be.

In this new version of Responsive Teaching (Mahoney & Perales, 2019), we changed from a menu-based planning process to a structured planning process. To do this we developed four structured session plans for each of the 15 pivotal intervention objectives addressed in this curriculum. These session plans are defined in terms of levels.

· Level I session plans (1) introduce the pivotal behavior that is the child's intervention objective, (2) obtains baseline data on the child's use of this pivotal behavior, and (3) identifies previous Responsive Interaction Strategies parents have been taught that they can use to promote this pivotal behavior. They also introduce one or two new Responsive Interaction Strategies.

· Level 2 and 3 session plans introduce Discussion Topics designed to help parents understand the pivotal behavior they are being asked to promote and how this behavior contributes to their child's developmental progress. These session plans emphasize that parents continue to use RI Strategies that had previously introduced while adding two to four new strategies to help parents promote their child’s use the pivotal behavior intervention objective.

· Level 4 session plans review the content and strategies presented in the previous three levels. They encourage parents to use all RI strategies that have been introduced, and assess the degree to which their child improved their pivotal behavior during the 4+ weeks that the four levels were presented. The four level session plan format provides a coherent sequence of content and strategies presented from Level 1 through Level 3 sessions.

This new format simplifies the planning process. It gives providers the option of choosing which session plan level they want to present without requiring them to develop their own plans. It also provides a repetition of content and strategies presented across intervention sessions, while also presenting new information that is relevant to parents’ concerns regarding their children's development.

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