Young people are born ready and wired to learn. When there is a problem, the best time to learn or re-learn something is during those childhood years when the developing brain is open and receptive.  But that time is precious and at Pace we don’t believe in wasting a moment of it.  For this reason, Pace is committed to using only instructional and behavioral practices that have been researched and proven to work and to use data to drive our instructional and behavioral decision making. By doing so, we choose the intervention that is most likely to succeed first and follow that up by demonstrating effectiveness and making alterations if necessary.

What is Evidence-based Practice?

Evidence-based practice (EBP) in medicine is defined as: “the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise, and patient values.” (Sackett et al, 2000)

EBP at Pace is a decision-making approach that places emphasis on evidence to:

  • Assess the functional challenges for the child educationally and clinically.
  • Guide decisions about which interventions to use for each individual child based on their needs; and
  • Evaluate the effects of the intervention

Families are faced with an overwhelming amount of information that is very difficult to navigate.  The early learning years are short and precious so is critical to provide a framework for families to evaluate treatment claims and decide which will be most effective for their child. Pace will guide families every step of the way to ensure that Evidence Based claims are evaluated and explained.

 

What is Evidence Based Practice in Special Education?

The federal Individual with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) has placed scientifically based/evidence based interventions at the center of special educational policy and practices. IDEIA specifically mandates:

  1. Scientifically based early reading programs, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and early intervention services to reduce the need to label children as disabled in order to address the learning and behavioral needs of such children.
  2. Pre-service and professional development for all who work with students with disabilities to ensure such personnel have the skills and knowledge necessary to improve the academic achievement and functional performance of children with disabilities, including the use of scientifically based instructional practices to the maximum extent possible.
  3. In determining if a child has a specific learning disability, a local education agency may use a process that determines if a child responds to a scientific, research-based intervention as part of the evaluation procedures.
  4. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) shall include a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practicable, to be provided to the child, or on behalf of the child, and a statement of the program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided for the child.

The Department of Education and other credible sources provide resources to identify evidence based practices that meet these standards.  You can find more information at:

www.dww.ed.gov (Doing What Works)

www.w-w-c.org  (What Works Clearinghouse)

What is evidenced-based mental health care for children?

When parents look for mental health treatment for their child or adolescent, it is common to look for someone who they like, who is available to see their child, and who provides a treatment that parents think will suit their child.

But parents should be aware that not all mental or behavioral healthcare treatments are equally effective. Some therapies work better than others.

Professionals that provide mental health care for child may have different approaches to helping young people. Some of these approaches are based on strong scientific evidence that indicates the best way to relieve symptoms in their patients. Others rely on methods that are not based on strong evidence or for which no credible evidence exists. Providing treatment that is based on scientific evidence of effectiveness is referred to as “evidenced-based practice” or EBP.

Pace offers EBP for mental health problems that our patients exhibit at school, with peers, or at home. In addition, mental health therapists at Pace match interventions to a child’s particular problems rather than to a broad diagnostic category.