restraint & seclusion

10 RESTRAINT & SECLUSION TIPS FOR PARENTS

3) KNOW THE SCHOOL

Research shows that the prevention of restraint and seclusion depends on a healthy school culture fostered through committed, values-based leadership. It also suggests that certain types of school attitudes and practices are likely to encourage R/S use. If your child’s school or program demonstrates the warning signs below, parents should be especially involved and vigilant to improve school culture and help ensure student safety:
::  Are parents of students with disabilities treated differently than the other parents?
:: Does the school maintain segregated programs and require students with disabilities to be removed from the rest of the student population for most or all of the day (e.g. kept in the classroom to eat lunch instead of going to the cafeteria, etc.)?
:: Do school staff encourage - or even require -- parents of children with disabilities to give permission for the use of “restrictive procedures” on their child?
:: Is the school complacent about bullying, and reluctant to get involved in its active prevention (i.e. school-wide training, playground mentoring programs, posters advising positive behavior, accepting and investigating complaints, both formal and informal)?
:: Does the school have a designated “504 official” who is knowledgeable about harassment and discrimination on the basis of disability, and does that person have forms handy and available for students, teachers, or parents to make concerns known to the school?
:: Do staff lack training or interest in the provision of Positive Behavior Supports (PBS)? Do school staff express the opinion that PBS “don’t work for everyone”?
:: Do staff respond to challenging behavior as “bad” rather than as communicative?
:: Do staff advise parents repeatedly of their child’s problem behavior instead of improving the child’s PBS plan? Are parents blamed for or expected to take responsibility for changing their child’s in-school behavior?
:: Do parents of students in special education feel unwelcome or “second class” when it comes to engagement in school activities, PTO, etc.?
:: Are parents of students in special education prevented or discouraged from meeting or talking with each other?
:: Are parents discouraged from visiting or observing their child’s classes?
:: Does the school honor and reward students without disabilities while ignoring the achievements of students receiving services/supports through special education?
:: Is teacher communication to parents kept to a minimum, with information on a student’s progress hard to obtain?
:: Are aides and/or auxiliary staff prohibited from speaking to parents?
:: Does school leadership condone or ignore negative or complacent attitudes among the staff?
:: Do teachers and school administration have a practice of solving problems by moving them outside the school, e.g. through expulsion or calling police?
:: Does the school respond rigidly and harshly to challenges that arise? Do school staff appear to lack training in crisis prevention and de-escalation?
:: Does the school have problems attracting and retaining highly qualified teachers?
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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