Using Restraints in Public Schools

Today’s New York Times runs a shocking story on the use of restraints in public schools on children with special needs — autism, attention deficit disorder, retardation. The article contains a link to an interesting site that advocates for this group: special needs muckraker. Here’s a quote from the article.

In April, a 9-year-old Montreal boy with autism died of suffocation when a special education teacher wrapped him in a weighted blanket to calm him, according to the coroner’s report. Two Michigan public school students with autism have died while being held on the ground in so-called prone restraint.

Local Vicki Forman writes an excellent blog: “about being a writer and a mother and an advocate for my son who has special needs.” So far as I know, they haven’t had to deal with the use of restraints. Forman’s book on her experiences is slated for publication by Houghton Mifflin. You can check out her blog here.

Kalea Chapman, Psy.D.

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