In an average classroom, teachers have a specific syllabus to complete within a particular period of time (which could range from a few weeks to even multiple months). Often the syllabi are designed with the average learning rate of the classroom in mind which means that a majority of these children should be served adequately by these lessons.
However, not every child is the same: some might find a particular concept easy while someone else might struggle to even understand it on a basic level. This is exactly where remedial interventions come in for those with a range of Learning Disabilities (LDs) such as Dysgraphia, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia and Autism. It’s how the gaps between what students know and what they’re expected to know are bridged. This is typically done through the re-teaching of core skills that they might be expected to know in order to progress.
While some older children may require them for areas such as social studies and science, a vast majority of remedial interventions centre around the fields of literacy and numeracy. In order to help those in remedial classes catch up with their peers, teachers typically keep the batch sizes small so they can focus on the specific needs of each child.
What happens next? The teacher teaches them the same core skills and concepts they’re required to know at their academic level, except, unlike in a regular class, the smaller batch sizes and increased focus on each and every student result in the teacher becoming attuned to the individual requirements of every student, particularly those with differential needs.
While remedial interventions can indeed be quite helpful for children with special needs, it’s important to remember that remedial interventions aren’t the same as special education. Aside from the fact that remedial interventions can benefit anyone (neurotypical or otherwise), the most crucial distinction is that where remedial interventions focus on core concepts to help with academic progress, special education focuses more on overall development through specifically-tailored learning plans. In fact, if a student is found to be lagging behind in remedial classes, they are assessed for a Learning Disability.
In many advanced schools, post-remediation, candidates for special education are often chosen through frameworks known as Response To Interventions (RTI), described by Understood.org as “comprehensive, multi-step process that closely monitors how the student is responding to different types of services and instruction.”
There are various different kinds of remedial interventions, the major ones of which have been listed here: