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Restraint and Seclusion

Autistic students are more likely than other students to be restrained and secluded in school. These harmful disciplinary approaches traumatize and injure students each year, including right here in Montgomery County, MD. For more information, watch a recording of the xMinds webinar Restraint and Seclusion: What Parents of Autistic Children Should Know, presented by Guy Stephens, founder and executive director of the Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint (AASR). (Click here for a Spanish translation of the webinar.)

You'll learn about the danger of these approaches; find out about trauma-informed, neuroscience-aligned alternatives; and get the facts on the limited circumstances in which restraint and seclusion are allowed in Maryland schools. You'll also learn how to stand up for child's rights if they are being restrained or secluded. To help you advocate for your child and find alternatives to restraint and seclusion, AASR recommends the following resources:

General Resources

  • Disability Rights Maryland (DRM) is Maryland’s designated Protection & Advocacy agency. DRM provides free legal services to Marylanders of any age with all types of disabilities.

    Parent Training Resources

        Alternate Approaches

          • Ukeru is a cutting-edge, trauma-informed crisis-training program that offers a physical alternative to restraints and seclusion. 
          • Collaborative & Proactive Solutions is an evidence-based model of psychosocial treatment developed by Ross Greene, Ph.D., designed to improve children’s behavior and their relationships with their caregivers, and reduce or eliminate discipline referrals, suspensions, restraints, and seclusions in schools.

          Useful Forms/Documents for Protecting Students’ Rights

            • No Consent Letter – A general “No Consent Letter,” requesting a school to not employ seclusion, restraint, or corporal punishment against your child. Maryland public schools may not seclude students as a matter of state law (since 2022), but private schools may still use the method, with limits.

            Books for Further Reference

            • Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children's Behavioral Challenges, by Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
            • Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges Are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them, by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.

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