Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Restraint and Seclusion

I'm on an email list that consists mostly of parents of children with Fragile X, and I can't stress enough how informative it's been.  It's been heart-wrenching at times as well, since we all share our bad times right along with the good.

Anyway, this past Sunday, one of the emails contained a link to a blog that lists school in the US, alphabetically by state, that have been cited for using abusive restraint practices.  Here it is:

Notice how insanely long the Minnesota list is.  Notice too that Sky Oaks, the school Zack & AJ might attend, is on the list.  I tried not to panic and sent the email immediately to the boys' teacher, Sarah, who is such a great and caring advocate.  I love her, whatever they are paying her, it's not enough.  She responded almost immediately on Sunday night (did I mention how devoted and tireless she is) and said that it seemed to her they had listed all the schools in MN that have a seclusion room, whether it is used or not.  They didn't cite specific abuse allegations, just listed that these schools do in fact have a seclusion room.  Sarah said that that while it's true that Sky Oaks has a seclusion room, they don't use it -- they know that seclusion and "time outs" don't work with our kids with autism.

Which did make me feel better, although clearly I've got to investigate this further.  Because I know my boys can get aggressive, and I know they don't mean to hurt anyone but Zack will bite someone who makes him nervous or upset.  And almost everyone he doesn't know makes him nervous and upset!  I have seen how our ABA therapists deal with the boys' attempts to bite; they just turn away, basically they seclude themselves as much as they can.  Because any response at all to that kind of behavior is the incorrect one.  You just have to ignore it as much as possible.  I'd hate for Zack to scream and try to bite someone at kindergarten next year and end up restrained or in a seclusion room, alone.  I'll have to ask Sarah again when I might find out exactly which school the boys will attend so I can start asking questions about their restraint and seclusion policies.


Ange said...

I ask all parents to advocate for regulation regardless if the school states they don't use seclusion or restraint. If it exists, it can be used. What if that teacher or an understanding administrator leaves the school and someone with less knowledge or understanding takes their place? My son had this happen to him in kindergarten, I would've told anyone they were crazy if they suggested it could. But I work tirelessly to try and make sure no other families have to experience the trauma of misuse seclusion and restraint.

The mark up of the fed bill is tomorrow. Please contact your legislators:

Ange (Missouri)

Floridamom said...

URGENT - Your help is needed on the federal bill!

Dear Advocates,

Trouble looms with the minority members on the Education and Labor Committee regarding the Seclusion and Restraints Bill that is scheduled for mark up tomorrow morning. Please call the Republican Committee members below tomorrow morning Thursday 02/04/2010 and ask them to please support the Restraint and Seclusion Bill (H.R. 4247).

Please pass this information on to other advocates, friends and family members and ask them to please help make calls tomorrow morning.

John Kline (Minnesota)
Washington, D.C. Office
1210 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2271
Fax: (202) 225-2595

Michael Castle (Delaware)
Washington Office 1233 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
p: 202.225.4165
f: 202.225.2291

Brett Guthrie (Kentucky)
Washington, DC Office
510 Cannon H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3501
Fax: (202) 226-2019

Bill Cassidy (Louisiana)
Washington DC Office
506 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3901
Fax: (202) 225-7313

Vernon Ehlers (Michigan)
Washington Office
2182 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
voice (202) 225-3831
fax (202) 225-5144

Judy Biggert (Illinois)
Washington, DC Office
1034 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-3515
Fax: 202-225-9420

Thank you!


Families Against Restraint and Seclusion

Your children are counting on you to keep them safe.


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