restraint & seclusion

10 RESTRAINT & SECLUSION TIPS FOR PARENTS

2) KNOW THE SIGNS

According to APRAIS and advocate Phyllis Musumeci, students who have been subjected to Restraint & Seclusion practices may exhibit the following warning signs:
::  Bruising or abraded, reddened skin on arms, wrists, or ankles, indicating where a child was held or tied/strapped down (sometimes “handprints” can be seen)
:: Unusual injuries, such as marks from fingernails, rug burns, or unexplained patterns of abrasions and bruises, sometimes hidden under the child’s clothing, which are unlike the scraped knees and elbows children acquire during play.
:: Sudden regressions in behavior, such as seeking comfort through behavior typical of a much younger child (e.g. mouthing objects, clinging to others)
:: The emergence of new and unexplained behavior problems at home such as sleeplessness, nightmares, increased anxiety levels, hypervigilence, or emotional outbursts
:: The appearance of new problem behavior at school, for example hitting, biting, screaming, running away, urinating or defecating on self (bowel and bladder problems are often related to locked seclusion and become a child’s only means of getting out of the lock-up which can be lengthy and highly unpredictable)
:: The appearance or intensification of self-injurious behaviors and/or increased aggression
:: The emergence of a school phobia (especially when the child previously enjoyed attending school) or of a more generalized fear of leaving home
:: Frequent unexplained illnesses, such as headaches or stomachaches
:: Frequently missing school or needing to visit the school nurse due to generalized complaints
:: Emergence of specific fears that may be related to particular aversive, restraint, or seclusion techniques (such as fear of spray bottles, seatbelts, or closets)
:: Acting out of the traumatic experience(s) in play (e.g. a child who experiences physical abuse may begin to play roughly with dolls or peers)
:: A sudden change in weight (either being too stressed to eat, or overeating for comfort)
:: A decrease in sociability; increased withdrawal and unresponsiveness
:: A decreased ability to concentrate on and learn new things; worsening grades and/or progress reports, slowed or no growth in skills development
:: Fear of a particular teacher, aide, substitute, staff member
:: Not wanting to be alone
:: Loss of interest in things he/she use to enjoy
As with any sudden change in a child’s everyday habits and ability to cope, it is important to see a doctor or other professional to rule out other possible causes.
Much of the above content was developed by The Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions & Seclusion (APRAIS), of which NAA is a member. For more in-depth information, visit Tash.org & download its free Parent Toolkit: Shouldn’t School Be Safe?
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