Preventing the use of restraint and seclusion with young children

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Preventing the Use of Restraint and Seclusion with Young Children: The Role of Effective, Positive Practices is an issue brief from TACSEI, the  Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children. The brief addresses the concerns of recent years regarding the use of restraint and seclusion to control the behavior of children with disabilities and/or challenging behavior.  In May of 2009, for example, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released findings regarding a number of cases in which seclusion and restraint were abused to the point that children were physically and psychologically injured. Some children even died while being restrained. The great potential for abuse and injury has led many school districts, state agencies, and state governments to issue policies, regulations and laws that limit the use of restraint and seclusion. Many of these regulations and statutes effectively prohibit the use of restraint and seclusion except in cases of orthopedic necessity and obvious emergencies in which a child is in imminent danger. Still, there remains uncertainty about what constitutes restraint and seclusion and what should be done as an alternative.The purpose of this document is to review these issues and discuss positive strategies that can be used to prevent behaviors that could lead to considerations of these invasive and potentially-dangerous practices. (Posted April 2011)


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