Intensive Intervention for Students With Mathematics Disabilities: Seven Principles of Effective Practice


In third grade, serious mathematics deficits become clearly established, and identification of mathematics disabilities typically begins to occur. This article provides background information on two aspects of mathematical cognition that present major challenges for students in the primary grades: number combinations and story problems. The article then focuses on seven principles of effective intervention. First, the authors describe a validated, intensive remedial intervention for number combinations and another for story problems. Then, the authors use these interventions to illustrate the first six principles for designing intensive tutoring protocols for students with mathematics disabilities. Next, using the same validated interventions, the authors report the percentage of students whose learning outcomes were inadequate despite the overall efficacy of the interventions and explain how ongoing progress monitoring represents a seventh, and perhaps most essential, principle of intensive intervention. The article concludes by identifying issues and directions for future research in the primary and later grades.


Fuchs, L. S., Fuchs, D., Powell, S. R., Seethaler, P. M., Cirino, P. T., & Fletcher, J. M. (2008). Intensive intervention for students with mathematics disabilities: Seven principles of effective practice. Learning Disability Quarterly, 31(2), 79–92.