School-based Supports for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Challenging Behaviors: Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

School-based Supports for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Challenging Behaviors: Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)


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Archived Recording
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Webinar

Webinar Descriptions:

Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) is a research-based, person-centered framework focused on decreasing problem behaviors and increasing quality of life in individuals across the lifespan. Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is the three-tiered model for PBS implementation in school settings as a means to prevent and promote positive behaviors for ALL children and intervene with children with challenging behaviors. Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)(formerly RTI) is defined as "the practice of providing high-quality instruction and interventions matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make decisions about changes in instruction or goals, and applying child response data to important educational decisions" (Batsche et al., 2005). MTSS and PBIS are grounded in differentiated instruction with each approach delineating critical factors and components to be in place at the universal (Tier 1), targeted group (Tier 2), and individual (Tier 3) levels.

Multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) has focused on removing barriers to learning from an academic and behavioral perspective together in addition to providing appropriate supports for children and youth with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities. This presentation will provide an overview of the key components of a Multi-Tiered System of Support framework to promote behavioral success for all children and youth, but with particular focus on children and youth with IDD. Within the tiered framework, methods for assessment, data-based decision-making and intervention strategies will be outlined.


  1. Participants will be able to identify key components of a Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) to promote academic and behavioral success for ALL children and youth.
  2. Participants will be able to identify data-based decision-making processes for use across all tiers for selecting appropriate evidence-based programs.
  3. Participants will be able to identify how to match rigor of assessment to severity of concern for students. 
  4. Participants will be able to identify strategies/interventions to support children and youth with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities across all three tiers of support.

A Webinar from AUCDs Mental Health Aspects of I/DD SIG.


Brenda Bassingthwaite, Ph.D.

Brenda Bassingthwaite, Ph.D., is the Manager of the Biobehavioral Outreach Service at the Center for Disabililies and Development (CDD) at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.

Dr. Bassingthwaite earned her specialist degree from Iowa State University in 1998 and her doctorate degree from University of Iowa in 2007, both in school psychology.  She is a Licensed Psychologist and a Healthcare Service Provider.  She has worked as a school psychologist for Heartland Area Education Agency in Iowa; has directed behavioral outpatient and diagnostic clinics at University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital; has been a behavioral specialist at Center Point-Urbana Community Schools; and has consulted with numerous school districts regarding students with challenging behaviors. 

In 2011, Brenda started the Biobehavioral Outreach Service at the CDD, allowing her to work with school systems.  She and her team implement behavioral training and consultation, with a primary contract being from the Iowa Department of Education to support the training of school-based behavior teams in functional behavior assessments ( In the state of Iowa, Brenda and her team have trained 9 Challenging Behavior teams from Area Education Agencies in the state and 1 team from a school district to graduation criteria.  Her team continues to provide hands-on training to 6 other school district behavior teams in the state.  Out-of-state, Brenda and her team have consulted with the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Autism Center for Excellence in the Virginia Commonwealth about how to improve behavior assessment in school settings.  

Brenda enjoys using behavioral principles to teach students the value of advocating for their needs rather than engaging in aggressive, disruptive, or other problematic behaviors to get what they want or avoid what they don't want.   But, the best moments come when the school team and caregivers recognize that she wasn't performing magic, and that they too can have the same success when using behavioral principles. 

Brenda enjoys spending time with her golden retrievers, traveling to visit her 5 nieces, and improving her photography skills.  


Anne Katona-Linn, M.Ed, BCBA,

Anne Katona-Linn, M.Ed, BCBA, is the State Project Co-Director for the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Partnership. The Pennsylvania Safe Schools/Healthy Students Partnership was developed through a SAMHSA Grant awarded to Pennsylvania for 2013-2017. The goal of the partnership is to create safe and supportive schools and communities in 3 Local Education Agencies and their partner Systems of Care counties (Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21/Lehigh County, Northeastern School District/York County, PENNCREST School District/Crawford County), and ultimately throughout Pennsylvania.

Anne has also been an Instructor at Bloomsburg University of PA in the Dept. of Exceptionalities training future teachers in Special Education and was the Team Leader/Educational Consultant in the area of Behavior, and Educational Consultant in the area of Autism with PaTTAN in Harrisburg from 2003-2010.  Anne was also a Coordinator of the PA Positive Behavior Support Network (  She worked with six other Coordinators to develop and implement a Statewide PBIS Technical Assistance framework to implement PBIS in schools across the Commonwealth of PA.

Anne has received her M.Ed. in Special Education from Lehigh University, is a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst, and she will be defending her doctoral research in Educational Psychology at West Virginia University by December 2017.

Anne enjoys spending time with her husband Mark paddle boarding on whitewater and spending time with family and friends, especially her step-children Sarah and Nate and their families (especially twin granddaughters Emily and Claire).


Please Note: 

  • There is NO cost for this webinar.
  • CEUs are not offered for this webinar.
  • For disability accommodations email Anna Costalas or call 301-588-8252 a minimum of five days in advance.
  • This webinar will be archived.