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February 11, 2011


Sandy Alperstein

Thanks for posting the link to the Our Children Left Behind (OCLB) page. We are a group of volunteer parents fighting to protect our kids - all kids - from these sorts of abuses, and very much appreciate your spotlighting this critical issue!


Great article thank you for raising awareness. Our special needs children need protection. We need Laws & most importantly we need the Laws enforced. Restraint, Seclusion & Aversives are being used in epidemic proportions all across the United States. An education shouldnt hurt or kill.....

"America's Forgotten Children" Restraint & Seclusion Awareness

Please visit Families Against Restraint & Seclusion.


I agree that restraint and hands-on approaches are overused, mostly by staff who lack the skill, knowledge, or self-awareness to use other techniques. That said, there appears to be an inherent contradiction in your blog:
You claim that there are no federal laws on the subject and that state laws are "nonexistent or generally not enforced." If there are no state or federal laws on the subject, how can it be illegal?
It's unethical, and it's wrong. You damage the argument when you argue that it's illegal three sentences after you explain why it isn't.


However, that said, you appear not to have fully read beyond the table. Federal special education law clearly identifies the uses of aversive interventions in the case of special education students, and outlines when seclusion and restraint are appropriate. Washington State (where I live and am director for a school for kids with serious emotional disturbance) has state regulations that mirror the federal guidelines.
Inflammatory statements like "epidemic proportions" and "all across the United States" misrepresent the facts. We can stick to the facts and the ethical principles behind intervention and achieve the same goal. I know. I've done it- a 95% reduction in physical intervention in my school in one year by replacing inadequate staff, training others, and sticking to a hands-off philosophy of intervention.

Susan Montgomery

Restraint and seclusion also make my blood boil. I never knew it was even happening. I never knew it was part of his IEP and if it was that there was or wasnt a conditional release. I dont do these things home alone, nor enjoy them. But if I have had to the circumstances are extreme. Well when I found out most of my son meltdowns were his autism, not violent rages per say, plus putting in holds could trigger his asthma, I tried to redirect him. And usually never had a problem. His school apparenlty diagnosed him with disruptive behavior disorder, and without my consent was giving several restraints and "time-outs" monthly if not daily. they never once asked or informed me. And I guess they say they didnt have to. I am begging to differ on the matter. Especially after my son teacher grabbed him by his shirt leaving strangle marks on both sides of his neck, dropped him to the ground and then restrain so hard and bad it caused him to throw up and left bruised on his chest,it happened before lunch that day, And later he was sent in someone elses clothes. IT was not only embarressing for my son, it was a sensory issue, a bodily harm concern, medical concern not recieving treatment for injuries and asthma pump. And anxiety for him and others who witnessed it. I filed a maltreatment complaint and the police did an interview, and he said although he doesnt take the situation lightly, the law will most likely protect the teacher because my son was a danger to himself and others, therefore the restraint was "justified"...you know what my son was doing? Standing on a table!! He didnt shoot up a gas station and rob people! And a school note came home w/ 5 NCPI alerts. I didnt know what they were until weeks after what that ment. My son is scared of school. And I dont blame him.

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