Once you begin to spend any time in special education circles, you will undoubtedly encounter some confusing terminology. When parents and their children make the transition to Lake Michigan Academy, one of the most frequent questions we receive is: “What is the difference between intervention and remediation?” Following that, we often get asked, “Which is the best option for my child?”

While we firmly believe that each and every student is an individual with specific needs, and we aim to meet the needs of each child attending Lake Michigan Academy through small class sizes and specialized curricula (including IEPs), so we can’t guarantee that all of your questions will be answered in this blog post, we can clarify some general distinctions between intervention and remediation.

Remedial Intervention

Remedial intervention, more commonly referred to simply as intervention, is often used in special education classrooms in order to teach material in a different and fresh way. Intervention is highly effective at teaching basic math and problem-solving skills by introducing challenging concepts in a more student-focused environment.

Many students, particularly those with dyscalculia, ADD, or a central auditory processing disorder, find math challenging in the traditional education system, but thrive with remedial intervention. According to one study, students with learning disabilities are frequently successful at learning mathematical concepts when they are presented through interventional means.


Intervention is typically used to target specific learning disabilities and is thus tailored for each individual student. Remediation is slightly different in that it is appropriate for virtually any student who has not yet mastered a particular concept, typically related to math or reading.

Remediation is also colloquially known as “re-teaching,” as it assumes that the student has been introduced to concepts previously but has not yet mastered them. Remediation enables teachers to spot blind spots in students’ learning and quickly assess and correct them. Like intervention, it is a highly student-oriented process with the same fundamental goal: mastery of a specific concept.

Most of our students come to Lake Michigan Academy from the traditional education system, seeking an alternative that can help them achieve academic success on their own terms. If your child is facing challenges, reach out to us for more information or come visit our Grand Rapids campus.