Saturday, April 25, 2015

Restraint and Seclusion / Light it up TRUE April 25

Its very sobering to leave your 4 year old in a therapy center knowing that they will restrain him if he misbehaves.  They didn't until a month or so before we stopped attending that center (and I witnessed it and nearly lost my mind), but the knowledge that they could was deeply disturbing.  They would have done it to protect him from himself and to protect other children from him, but still - deeply disturbing.

The alternative school that is in our city has seclusion rooms.  They are about what the sound like - and they made me queasy when I saw them in a tour.  They are small, padded rooms with no doorknob on the inside and no furniture.  Children having meltdowns are placed in the rooms, alone, until they can calm themselves down.

Dominic, to my knowledge, has never been restrained or placed in seclusion in his current school district placement.  In fact, the one time I insisted upon a behavioral plan (to protect him), the social worker couldn't find any behaviors to mitigate after observing him for a month.

The use of restraint and seclusion is controversial and I believe inhumane. There are regularly videos of children being abused by teachers/para's who are "restraining" them fairly violently showing up on the internet.  I would be in jail if anyone did that to Dominic.   There are children who come home with unexplained bruises - non verbal children who cannot tell their parents what happened.   Our children are not animals, they are physically ill.  They are having meltdowns because they are in pain, overwhelmed, and it is simply the only way they have to communicate their needs.

No comments: