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Disability Rights NC releases report, “Seclusion and Restraint: A Dangerous Education”

The Autism Society of NC applauds the work of Disability Rights NC ( DRNC) on their report on seclusion and restraint issues in NC.

ASNC is working with DRNC to ban the use of prone restraint in schools and to promote the use of Positive Behavior Supports as an important strategy to prevent and manage behavior problems at school.

The DRNC report tells of 4 cases in North Carolina where restraint and seclusion were improperly used and students were injured.

In one of the cases in Wake County Public Schools, a student was restrained over 30 times in one year, hand-cuffed twice, and spent an excessive amount of time (sometimes hours) in the time out room.

The following year, this student moved up to high school, and with the proper support, he no longer even needs a behavior plan. He received an award for academic achievement and went to Prom. To read the full report, click here.

We need more schools like this high school. Where staff understand the core features of autism. Where staff understand that as our children are learning to navigate a world that often confuses and scares them, they need staff who can decipher what their behavior is trying to communicate. We need schools that not only develop effective behavior plans, but also implement them consistently and document the results.

To accomplish this, schools need a team to assure that appropriate training, adequate staffing, and behavioral support expertise are available to teachers and other school personnel.

ASNC is also committed to making changes on the Federal level. Next week, ASNC’s CEO and several Parent Advocates will travel to DC to ask the NC Members of Congress to support the “Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act” (H.R. 4247/S 2860).

The Autism Society of NC supports:

– training for schools in Positive Behavior Supports and other de-escalation techniques to avoid the use of restraint and seclusion

– mandatory training/certification in the proper use of restraint and seclusion

– immediate notification to parents when restraint or seclusion has been implemented

– prohibiting the use of mechanical restraints in schools

– using restraint as a last resort, and only when personal injury is imminent

– collecting data on the use of restraint and seclusion on a State and local level

We urge you to contact your U.S. Senators and your Congressperson and ask them to support the “Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act.”

We ask that you share this DRNC report with your local school board. Ask them to ban the use of prone restraint in schools. Watch the ASNC blog for how you can help us promote Positive Behavior Supports and other effective behavior strategies in our schools.

ASNC Parent Advocates are available across the state to help with issues that your child may be facing at school. If you have any questions, please contact your local Parent Advocate.

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