Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Restraints - Handcuffs on 6 year old is a sign of failure and #cultofcompliance

In Georgia, a 6 year old with special needs was placed in handcuffs:
When a Georgia mother arrived at her 6-year-old son’s school last week in response to a call that he was misbehaving, she was greeted by a shocking surprise: Her first grader was in handcuffs.

Lakaisha Reid’s 6-year-old son Patrick is a special needs student at Pine Ridge Elementary in Stone Mountain, Ga. On the morning of December 5, Reid got a call from the school asking her to pick up her son and bring him home early. “They said he wasn’t having a good day,” Reid tells Yahoo Parenting. “My husband and I walked into the school and heard my son yelling and screaming.” The couple found him in a room on his knees with his hands cuffed behind his back. The school resource officer was standing behind Patrick, holding him in place.
In Washington, a 6 year old with special needs has been told he can't ride the bus without, basically, a straitjacket. 
Dean's son, Wyatt, is a first grade student the Hood Canal School in Skokomish. The 6-year old was diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, a behavioral issue, when he was younger, Dean says, and has had discipline issues on the school bus.
The family now faces a tough decision: allow Wyatt to be restrained on the bus or find alternate transportation to school.
"It just flat-out violates everything as far as any civil rights I would think anybody would ever have," Dean said.
The district calls the restraints a "safety vest," and says it only uses them after multiple discussions with both a child and the parents, Superintendent Shawn Batstone said Tuesday. Parents must sign off on use of the restraints before they are deployed.
Behavioral issues can be really challenging for everyone, including the child in question. I don't know all the specifics of either case. I wonder, though, why there isn't a 1:1 aide for Wyatt on the bus? Why use a transportation system that requires the bus driver to do anything but drive? My son does not have specific behavioral disorders, but for the first year he had an aide on the bus every day (we put him on the regular bus as a means of increasing his degree of inclusion).

Mostly, I just want to say this: Any intervention, accommodation, or response to special needs that ends up with handcuffs on a six year old is a FAILED INTERVENTION.