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What You Can Do if This is Happening to Your Child

In order to create change, we must all band together to fight this as a group. We cannot do this alone. If you or someone you love has been restrained or placed in seclusion, or if you want the overuse and abuse of restraint and seclusion to stop, here are some things you can do:

1. Join the Yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RESTRAINT_INFO/ to find information, support, and how you can sign up to be a state leader, co-leader, or helper.

2. Write a letter and try to obtain at least 6-8 signatures requesting your State Protection and Advocacy agency to open an investigation on public schools in regards to the over-use and unnecessary use of restraint and seclusion. Address the letter to the person in charge of your state State Protection and Advocacy group.

3. If your child has been physically restrained in school, file written complaints with your state Department of Education about your situation in regards to your child being restrained or put in seclusion. This may not do much but at least it will be documented and on file. This will create a paper trail.

4. If your state does not have real policies, make a request to the Department of Education to create policies and procedures for all public schools in your state to follow. Make sure you request a monitoring system be created as part of the policy.

5. If your state has policies in place (Missouri) and the schools are not following them, write a letter to the State Protection and Advocacy agency and your local legislators (copy the Department of Education) requesting their help in getting the Department of Education to follow the state policy.

6. Work with legislators (see side bar for links) to help you make the policies part of state statutes.

7. Contact your local legislatures (see side bar for links) and educate them about what is going on in the public school system. Work with your legislatures to change current laws and create new laws to protect children with disabilities in the public school system. WE ALL HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE AND CREATE NEW LAWS.

8. Contact the media and share your story. If you are afraid of retaliation, there are a number of ways your identity can be protected.

9. Report abuse to your local Child Protection Agency if your child has been injured physically or mentally.

10. Encourage parents to follow these tips for what to do if their child has been or is suspected to have been restrained or placed in seclusion at school.

Please remember, if you do nothing then nothing will ever change.

1 comment:

Mrs. C said...

THANK YOU!! I so wish I had seen this entry two years ago when they locked "Elf" (age six at the time) in a closet on a regular basis. They call it a "safe room."

We're homeschooling now here in Missouri. Keep this blog going; these things are SO NECESSARY! I will bookmark you. I still have an older autistic child in public school.

Bless ya.