Minimizing Restraint and Seclusion in Schools: A Response to Beaudoin and Moore

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Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities






American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

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Increasing efforts have been made in the field of special education to identify positive, evidence-based practices (EBPs) to meet the needs of students who engage in problem behavior, with a major goal being to eliminate or limit the use of reactive measures such as restraint and seclusion (Snell & Walker, 2014). Various stakeholders, including families and self-advocates, have voiced concerns about the dangers of restraint and seclusion and the lack of protection afforded to students who engage in severe problem behavior. In the previous article in this issue of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Beaudoin and Moore (2018) echo these concerns in their account of a family's experience with restraint as told from the perspective of a father whose son was subjected to restraint, resulting in a number of adverse short- and long-term consequences that affected the entire family. In response to Beaudoin and Moore, we provide readers with a brief review of the current status of restraint and seclusion in school settings and evidence-based strategies that can be used to address severe problem behavior and reduce the need for restraint and seclusion. For readers interested in exploring restraint and seclusion in greater depth, we suggest recent work by Trader and colleagues (2017). We also have outlined guidelines for behavior support planning that should be considered by various stakeholders as educators work toward establishing safe and supportive school environments that address a wide range of student behavioral needs.

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