Technology to Guide Data-Driven Intervention Decisions: Effects on Language Growth of Young Children at Risk for Language Delay

Jay Buzhardt, Charles R. Greenwood, Fan Jia, Dale Walker, Naomi Schneider, Anne L. Larson, Maria Valdovinos, Scott R. McConnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Data-driven decision making (DDDM) helps educators identify children not responding to intervention, individualize instruction, and monitor response to intervention in multitiered systems of support (MTSS). More prevalent in K–12 special education, MTSS practices are emerging in early childhood. In previous reports, we described the Making Online Decisions (MOD) web application to guide DDDM for educators serving families with infants and toddlers in Early Head Start home-visiting programs. Findings from randomized control trials indicated that children at risk for language delay achieved significantly larger growth on the Early Communication Indicator formative language measure if their home visitors used the MOD to guide DDDM, compared to children whose home visitors were self-guided in their DDDM. Here, we describe findings from a randomized control trial indicating that these superior MOD effects extend to children’s language growth on standardized, norm-referenced language outcomes administered by assessors who were blind to condition and that parents’ use of language promotion strategies at home mediated these effects. Implications and limitations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalExceptional children
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by federal grants through the Institute of Education Sciences (R324A120365) and the Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at the Life Span Institute of the University of Kansas (NIH No. HD002528). We sincerely value the feedback and comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript from Drs. Dwight Irvin and Alana Schnitz (University of Kansas) as well as intellectual support on the initial design of the MOD by Drs. Howard Goldstein (University of South Florida) and Judith J. Carta (University of Kansas). Finally, this work would not have been possible without the valuable and effective services provided by the participating Early Head Start programs, their home visitors, and the families that they serve.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.

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