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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

As I write today's post, I am watching a story on CNN. It is about a boy in Florida who was being restrained at school. It appeared that he was restrained after flipping his desk. I am not posting this to lay blame. However, Florida does have laws that say restraint can only be used when the child is in danger or hurting themself or others. Flipping a desk (by itself) is not a danger that would require restraint. I work in Texas and Texas has a similar law. In just a few weeks, our teachers will be returning to school. One of the things I do at the beginning of each school year is meet (along with the Speech Pathologist) with every teacher and aide who has a student with an autism spectrum disorder in their classroom and we train them about autism spectrum disorders. I also (along with the other Licensed Specialist in School Psychology) do restraint training for staff. We use CPI (www.aincici) as our method. The whole point of telling you this is to say that we do actually do the training at the district I work for. I also check in with staff throughout the school year. This does not give any absolute guarantees but it does help protect the kids. When school starts, please check with your teacher and make sure that they have some background and training. If they do not fully understand your child, then request an ARD meeting to ask that training be written into the IEP. Please let me know what your experiences have been and how your district handles training.

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