PARENTS in KANSAS............anyone know if there is a law against restraint in preschools? I live in Topeka and my son attends a preschool that is for special needs and typically developing children. My son has ASD and is the only one with a special wooden chair with a lap belt that is used thought out the day when no other children do. It used to be for hours each week and has decreased as he has gotten older but still… read more
There are some legal case precedents, I'm guessing the school had the chair in their behavioral management portion of his IEP? If they are extinguishing its use, that is a good thing. It's really tricky in "restraint" use for any age group/population. Ask to observe the class with your son and observe interactions yourself. Teachers generally want prior clearances for this, and do not want interruptions/disruptions to class time or routines...so you will have to arrange this according to the policies of the school and generally through the principal or administrator. Questions to ask of the teacher and to observe(set up a meeting for AFTER your in-class observation): is the belt used for his safety, or for what reason? If it is a restraint device are they trained to use the "lap belt" (by whom, how, who monitors)? Is he being checked at specific intervals for circulation, color, etc...Is he being let out of the chair for bathroom breaks, snacks and meals, emergencies, physical activities, interactions with others, etc? Is he being targeted by other children for the differences in the use of the chair? Are the other students acceptable of the chair's use? What are some of the comments the students make about the chair? Does it upset them---is it seen as something that degrades him to the others or is it seen as special treatment? Are they upset that he isn't being allowed up with the rest of them? Are they afraid of him when he is out of the chair? Are they afraid for him when he is in the chair? If any of that data is of concern to you, then contact an attorney to advise you of state specific laws. DHS/DFCS/DCS/DSS generally monitor state licensed preschools, so they would have to have something on file with these entities in regards to his disability and the interventions being used. Schools generally strive to "Least Restrictive Environment", so check out their short and long term plans with him.......
Oh my, here in California that is not allowed. If the child really needs to be restrained for any reason he or she is in a different school altogether, where the people there are trained with that sort of thing. In a regular school they are not trained for that. Also, does your son have an aide in the classroom? Here we have them for each child with special needs. The aide is responsible for keeping the child in check. If the child needs restraining, or is fidgeting, the aide will calmly take that child outside for a long walk, this is a great way to redirect the childs thoughts. Good Luck.
Thank you for the information. He is restrained in the chair for a majority of activities, lunch and beginning and end of the day when others have free time. He is not a self harmer or hurts others. He does not have any motor issues either. The doors shur and lock but he generally doesnt go for the door unless its open. Safety is not an issue, its primarilly because the teachers feel its needed. However the teachers and therapists that work with him at the preschool but they are afiliated through the preschool have a problem with it and thy continually pop in and check on hi because they feel that his learning has a barrier because of the restraint. They dont like how he is pushed from one activity to the next in his chair like he is incapeable of walking being show how to follow directions. Its just a limitation for him and it doesnt feel necessary.
Sounds like you are speaking of a Rifken (sp) chair. Our school district used it with our son when he was in Kindergarten basically to keep him from wandering off. That was 7 years ago and they are no longer used.
Depends on the state/district and the form of restraint used.
I know in wis (KUSD specifically) that the use of restraints on chairs can only be used for positioning purposes. IE their core muscles are weak.
Also in wis the use of seclusion rooms can only be used for short periods for behavioral purposes with a door that doesn't lock. IE he child is acting out and is at risk of harming himself or others if allowed to continue.