Current Developmental Disorders Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 200–205 | Cite as

Screening Children through Response to Intervention and Dynamic Performance Analysis: The Example of Partnering for Change

  • Wenonah Campbell
  • Jennifer Kennedy
  • Nancy Pollock
  • Cheryl Missiuna
Screening (J Cairney, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Screening


Early identification and intervention for children with special needs is essential for the prevention of secondary consequences. Partnering for Change (P4C) is a service delivery model that facilitates developmental surveillance and screening, thus supporting identification of children who require rehabilitation services to participate at school. Using a tiered, needs-based approach based on response to intervention (RtI), P4C therapists provide services at differing levels of intensity—from those that are universal to those that are individualized. Universal services are delivered to whole classrooms and permit therapists to monitor children’s performance and developmental needs over time. Embedded within the RtI approach, P4C therapists use dynamic performance analysis (DPA) to iteratively assess, intervene, and monitor children’s response to services of varying intensity. Specifically, P4C therapists use their clinical knowledge and skills to develop hypotheses and generate specific strategies to support children’s participation within different school contexts. Responses to any strategies that have been implemented are monitored and adjustments made until successful participation is achieved. Collaboration with, and coaching of, educators and parents supports knowledge translation and ongoing strategy implementation. In this paper, we describe RtI and DPA in their traditional forms, provide comparisons with the P4C approach, and highlight this model’s unique blending of DPA and RtI.


Evidence-based practice Intervention Screening Developmental surveillance Children with disabilities Children with special needs Response to intervention Partnering for Change P4C School-based service delivery Service delivery model Rehabilitation Dynamic assessment Dynamic performance analysis DPA 



We would like to recognize all members of the Partnering for Change research team, past and present, on whose behalf we have prepared this article. The authors thank the Ontario Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care and Education for funding of the 2-year study, to the Central West and Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Community Care Access Centers for funding of the occupational therapy services, and to the partners and stakeholders who provided leadership and contributed to the research activities. The authors are grateful to the health care decision-makers, educators and school communities, children and families, occupational therapists, and team members who contributed to this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Wenonah Campbell, Jennifer Kennedy, Nancy Pollock, and Cheryl Missiuna declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenonah Campbell
    • 1
  • Jennifer Kennedy
    • 2
  • Nancy Pollock
    • 2
  • Cheryl Missiuna
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Rehabilitation Science, CanChild, INCH LabMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.School of Rehabilitation Science, CanChildMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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