• Read the DPI document “Directives for the Appropriate Use of Seclusion and Physical Restraint in Special Education Programs”, available on-line at . These directives are the professional standard in the state. Use of physical restraint must be in accordance with these directives.
  • Is there an immediate danger to the student and/or others? If not, restraint should not be initiated. Restraint is not to be used for verbal misbehavior (e.g., swearing or yelling) or non-compliance (e.g., refusing to do work, not bringing in homework). If the student is threatening, then the threat is assessed to determine whether the student has the immediate means to carry it out (example: scissors or broken glass in hand as weapons).
  • This applies only to physical/manual restraint; mechanical restraints are not permitted.
  • The IEP must include positive interventions and strategies, and address replacement behaviors. Short-term objectives or benchmarks may be used and are often helpful in task-analyzing the steps to the goal and for measuring progress toward the goal.
  • There must be a continuum of interventions, with physical restraint being a very restrictive last-resort option.
  • Be aware of district procedures such as keeping a log or incident report, notifying parents and administrators, etc.
  • Where in the IEP might restraint be included?
    • On a separate IEP page headed “BIP” if the district uses one
    • In the program summary (I-14) section on special education
    • On the special factors page
    • Bottom line: somewhere in the IEP

IEP Language:

  1. Describe student behavior that will result in the use of restraint. Be specific (e.g., when Mary kicks, bites, slaps or punches; when Bobby is about to cut or scratch himself with a pen, scissors, or other sharp object) about what a person would see or hear to know that restraint should be initiated. Avoid words open to interpretation such as “appropriate”, “inappropriate”, “disruptive”, “aggressive”, “out of control”, etc.
  2. What specific restraint technique will be used (example: child control position as taught by CPI. Use the terminology used by the training program)? Describe what behavior must be seen and/or heard in order for the restraint to end.
  3. What’s Plan B? ? It is good practice to discuss some of the “what ifs”: What if the student continues to escalate, or is not calming down? What if the student briefly calms down, but then re-escalates once the restraint has ended? What if key people (e.g., the principal, the special education teacher or paraprofessional) are not available (out of the building at a meeting, ill, etc.)?



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