10 Things Parents Can Do to Decrease Restraint and Seclusion For Their Special Education Child

Are you the parent of a child with autism, pervasive developmental disorder or Aspergers syndrome that has severe behavioral issues at school? Does your child with an emotional disorder also have severe behavioral issues at school? Are you concerned that they may be harmed or emotionally injured by special education personnel that are not trained to deal with the behavior? Then this article is for you! You will learn about 10 things that you can do that are easy and proactive to do to decrease your child’s chances of being restrained or secluded in school.Item 1: Review all of your child’s school records (temporary, permanent, E mails, etc), and see if there are any incident reports in your child’s school file that refers to restraint and seclusion. Look for any other information about your child’s behavior and what positive steps special education personnel are taking to help your child improve their school behavior.Item 2: If you find any evidence in your child’s record that restraint or seclusion has been used, ask for a copy. This will be the beginning of your paper trail documenting this harmful tactic on your child. Make sure that the things copied are dated.Item 3: Immediately start investigating your states laws on seclusion or restraint. Start with your Department of Education and ask for written copies of all state law and policies on the subject. When you receive them immediately go through the laws and policies and take notes.Item 4 : Once you think that you have a working knowledge of your state laws and policies call an IEP meeting to discuss the use of restraint and seclusion on your child, and use of positive supports and plans.Item 5: Begin educating yourself on the appropriate research based way to deal with negative school behavior. This is functional behavioral analysis and developing of a positive behavioral plan to increase your child’s positive school behavior. This is not a punishment plan, as punishment does not work in the long term to positively effect a child’s behavior!Item 6: Write up a No Consent Letter and bring it with you to the IEP meeting (bring copies). Look for the Ezine article that I wrote on what to include in a No Consent Letter.Item 7: Write up a one page parent input statement and also bring that with you to the IEP meeting (bring copies). State in there your concern about the use of restraint and seclusion on your child and that you would like to discuss positive behavioral supports and plans to help your child.Item 8: At the IEP meeting hand the special education person a copy of your parent input statement and also the No Consent Letter and ask them to be attached to your child’s IEP, make sure that they are. Make it clear that if your child becomes injured because special education personnel restrain your child, you will consider legal action.Item 9: Keep track of any restraint issues by checking on your child. If any injuries occur immediately take pictures and seek medical care.Item 10: File a complaint with state and federal agencies. All 50 states have a protection and advocacy system (P&A) that are required to provide protection and advocacy to persons with disabilities. To find yours go to Google and put in your state name and protection and advocacy organization-it should come up.Many police agencies absolutely refuse to get involved when a child is injured or killed at school by the use of restraints. It is so sad that children with disabilities cannot depend on the police to protect vulnerable children!Restraint and Seclusion is responsible for many injuries and deaths in the United States. There has recently been a lot of media attention to this issue, which may help the cause. Do these 10 things and you will be on your way to protecting a child with disabilities that you love from restraint and seclusion!