There are many types of interventions that can be used with individuals who struggle in school. I approach all learners with Multifaceted Approach to School Success (MASSive) (Ofiesh, 1998, 2015). The MASSive approach is designed to provide opportunities for massive success by considering all facets of learning support. Not all learners need all of these! The key is to consider each facet and determine if it is right for an individual learner.
The MASSive philosophy includes consideration of:
Remediation: Research-based techniques to improve basic skills in reading, writing, math, handwriting, study and organizational skills, as well as executive functioning.
Compensatory and Learning Strategies: Strategies that keep children and adults "afloat" while remediation occurs. Because remediation doesn't happen overnight, learners need strategies to stay on top of grade-level or class material despite their weaknesses.Learning strategies can be taught to improve memory, test taking, planning, written expression, proofreading, math recall for tests, time management, and more.
Assistive Technology (AT): AT can often be the best compensatory strategy or an additional tool to help learners excel.
Collaboration: Good intervention should not happen in isolation. Opening lines of communication with other practitioners who are involved in a case is often a critical ingredient to success.
Accommodations: Many individuals genuinely benefit from accommodations such as extended test time, a scribe, alternative test formats, etc.
Self-Awareness and Counseling: We have all heard the expression: Know Thyself. For students with learning differences an awareness of one's strengths as well as needs is critical. All students should know what their gifts and talents are in order to stay resilient despite academic challenges. Some students have experienced such significant struggle at school, they have become reluctant learners who feel like success is unattainable. Others feel that there is something inherently wrong with them as a whole person, and do not realize that school achievement is one part of life that does not reflect who they are as a whole person. In these cases, a referral is made to a licensed clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, or clinical psychologist for short-term therapy to help an individual become aware that with the right tools, they can indeed manage stress, anxiety, or depression, and succeed in school and life.