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http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/12/17/sec...ef=mpstoryview

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But time-out in the boy's north Georgia special education school was spent in something akin to a prison cell -- a concrete room latched from the outside, its tiny window obscured by a piece of paper.
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I can't believe that anybody could do this to a child.

I'm completely disgusted.
 

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These rooms are used in therapeutic and alternative schools in Illinois. I work at an organization that has these rooms in their on-campus school. Mostly the use of the rooms is abused and they put kids in there when there are other options. Not therapeutic at all. Although, sometimes when a child is a danger to others (I mean completely uncontrollable and seriously dangerous to other children or themselves) it does become necessary to put them in there until an ambulance arrives and they can be taken to the hospital.
 

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I'm glad to hear that at least two states have either banned or restricted the use of these rooms. While sometimes it may be necessary to remove a child from a group, the method that was being employed in this instance was, IMO, inhumane and abusive. I can see a need for a child to be in a room alone for small period of time while waiting on help from other agencies in the case of a child physically attacking themselves or others, but that really should be the only use of complete isolation. It's a well-known fact that frequent isolation of child and adults can contribute to and possibly cause both mental health problems and psychological trauma.
 

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This kind of thing should be in the consent forms signed when starting school; however, I am not completely sure if the school has to notify anyone (by law). I do know that if the child is a ward of the state they must be notified, but only after the fact. Here, they are allowed to use the room for 15 minutes AT A TIME. Meaning, that they can put the kid in the room, wait 15 minutes, let him out for 30 seconds, and put him back in for 15. They can actually legally keep the child in the room for longer periods if the child is checked and cleared by a nurse every 15 minutes. Scary.
 

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wow... this is really extreme for a school. in the pysch unit i worked in we had a room where you would put somone who is out of control...to the point of hurting others ... but um it had windows. and it was an inpatient psych unit... not a school.
 

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Wow. DP called me earlier to discuss this. We have another meeting with the school in January and will have it written into ds's IEP (he has autism spectrum) that in the event physical restraint or a seclusion room would be warranted we are to be called BEFORE anything is done and WE will come to the school and deal with it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
Wow. DP called me earlier to discuss this. We have another meeting with the school in January and will have it written into ds's IEP (he has autism spectrum) that in the event physical restraint or a seclusion room would be warranted we are to be called BEFORE anything is done and WE will come to the school and deal with it.
That makes a lot of sense... I don't understand why schools wouldn't make this policy (for all students) to begin with. It seems like a smarter way to get a handle on a problem child than restraining them. It'd be easier on teachers, too, as their job should not be to police or babysit, but to *teach* kids.
 

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Originally Posted by Red_Lil_Mamma View Post
That makes a lot of sense... I don't understand why schools wouldn't make this policy (for all students) to begin with. It seems like a smarter way to get a handle on a problem child than restraining them. It'd be easier on teachers, too, as their job should not be to police or babysit, but to *teach* kids.
I worked with kids with severe emotional issues for 1 year. We had a room like that in our class, but we weren't allowed to lock it so someone was always sitting right by the room holding hte door if need be, and as soon as the student was quiet we went in. Why did we not notify parents before? Some of the times I used the room...

Student throwing desks at other child. Student charged me, student on floor strangling another student. I had kids with *severe* behavior issues. Oh, and my staff ratio was great to. I had 5 students most of the year, there was me and 1 or 2 assistnats at all times (usually 2). Of my 5 students, 3 had the tendency towards these violent outbursts, sometimes daily. My class was the "last stop" lower elementary (I had kids between 6 & 10). If the child couldn't make it in my class, the only more restrictive enviornment was in-patient treatment at the local children's mental health facility.

We had to document everything, and someone was always watching through the window in the room. There was light and carpeting. As soon as the child stopped the out of control raging we went in and helped him / her decompress.
 

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I was put in a 'storage room' when I was a 'behavior problem' at 12 years old. I just spent my whole school day there until I got expelled for not apologizing to the teacher. My grades actually improved while I was there. I wish they had tried other methods of dealing with me than secluding me all day long though.

My DD goes to school now, but this school is quite a bit different then the one I went to.
 

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Wow! I once observed at a school where they had a "special" room. It had floor pillows, nothing on the walls, and a window. It was meant for students to have a place to go to calm down or do work with little to no distractions/stimulation. I saw a student request to go in there a couple of times. It was really a voluntary thing. The policy was only one person at a time, and an adult had to be right outside the door if assistance was needed. Any restraining that needed to be done was done in the hall or the office, which I think is better.

This sounds like a nightmare.
 

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Originally Posted by Eavesdrop View Post
I think an awful lot of folks who deal with "difficult" kids get burnt out and start operating in a "punish mode" full-time.
Especially when staff is overworked, underfunded, undersupported, and academic expectations for these students are set at an impossible high.
 

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Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
homeschooling anyone?
Most parents might not feel qualified to homeschool a child with severe emotional and behavioral issues.

However, it might have been better in this case!

"Here, they're very nurtured. Our kids know that they're safe here," he said. (the director)

Students stay at Alpine for a few months or years before returning to a traditional school setting. The most problematic are sometimes re-admitted.

Jonathan was in and out of Alpine three times.

During his final two-month stay, he was put in a seclusion room 19 times, according to court documents.

Although half of those sessions were less than 25 minutes, he was twice put in a room for more than seven hours a day, records show.

According to Howard "Sandy" Addis, director of the Pioneer education agency that oversees Alpine, procedures stated that seclusion rooms be used as therapy - not punishment - and as a last resort. Students also were not to be in the rooms for longer than 15 minutes without administrative approval, but no maximum limit had been implemented, Addis said."

Another article about it
SEVEN HOURS IN ISOLATION IS NOT THERAPEUTIC!!!!!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Red_Lil_Mamma View Post
That makes a lot of sense... I don't understand why schools wouldn't make this policy (for all students) to begin with. It seems like a smarter way to get a handle on a problem child than restraining them. It'd be easier on teachers, too, as their job should not be to police or babysit, but to *teach* kids.
As the mother of an autistic child (who HAS had to be restrained, by me, because he was throwing furniture at his then 7 month old sister), and as a behavior specialist working primarily with children on the autism spectrum (and as someone who worked in residential care with profoundly autistic adults, was trained in restraints, and almost had my ribs broken and my nose broken during a "meltdown" by one of the adults), I can tell you that's not always possible.

-I've had 200 pound autistic adults throw HEAVY institution furniture at me--had staff not reacted, I would have had a concussion or worse long before a parent came to intervene.

-When I was ambushed from behind, thrown in a bathtub, and almost had my ribs cracked by one of my adult clients who we later found out was "sexually obsessed" with me (I was the only female manager on staff in that house), had staff not reacted, I probably could have been paralyzed long before parents came to intervene. Instead, I was almost put on a cane and spent weeks being unable to walk properly. My ribs were bruised and nearly broken, and my nose was cracked.

In a school situation, even with young children, someone could be injured severely unless the parent was waiting outside the door. When you have a student throwing desks at other students (which I've seen happen multiple times), the chances of a parent getting there within 2 minutes is relatively rare. That child has to be removed from the classroom immediately to prevent serious injury to the other children.

Putting a parent on notice is great if your child has minor behavior issues. But serious and aggressive behavior issues need to be dealt with right away.

That being said, I do not agree with the way "quiet rooms" and restraints are done within the school system--very very rarely are teachers properly trained in it (I've walked into the place I worked and saw staff members who I KNOW were not trained in restraints doing a very contriversial restraint IMPROPERLY, which could have resulted in chest injury to the child had I not come in and stopped it). But in the care of someone who is properly trained in ethical use of restraints and quiet rooms, that can mean the difference in severe injury to your child (whether your child is the autistic child or the target) and a safe environment for all.

But in no way should quiet rooms look or even function like padded cells or psychiatric isolation rooms. In my own experience, I've found even removing the child to a quiet, low stimulation, but properly decorated and furnished room with a teacher or aid, where the child had access to things like playdough, books, or other calming activities has equally good results, and you only need 5-15 minutes in it to be considered effective in most cases.
 
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