Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version



Published in EDUCATION AND TREATMENT OF CHILDREN Vol. 14, No.3, August 1991. Copyright 1991 Pressley Ridge School.


There is a national trend toward requiring prereferral intervention procedures prior to placing students in special education programs. A review of the research associated with prereferral intervention is presented. Findings suggest that prereferral intervention approaches can have positive impact on special education service delivery practices. The findings also indicate that such interventions can increase the abilities of teachers to educate students who are experiencing difficulty and improve the attitudes of teachers toward such students. Furthermore, the interventions implemented under the prereferral intervention approaches appear to produce the desired student performance, which decreases the overidentification of students as having handicaps. In sum, prereferral intervention may be a viable option to more traditional general and special education service delivery practices. Caveats to such conclusions and future research needs are discussed.