What if my child has behavior problems?
If a child’s behavior problems are the result of their disability, the IEP team must do a functional behavior assessment, also known as an FBA. A functional behavior assessment is a process that identifies how and why a child is misbehaving. It is important to identify what is causing the poor behavior so that the IEP team can find ways to prevent the behavior from happening. After the FBA, a Behavior Intervention Plan, or BIP, is planned. The BIP is a set of steps for what to do when a child with an IEP has a common misbehavior.
Is it mandatory for your child to be restrained if they misbehave?
It is not mandatory for your child to be restrained if they misbehave. Restraints are only permitted when reasonably necessary to control spontaneous behavior that poses an imminent chance of serious harm. In 2015, a law in Washington State increased the difficulty of restraining a student with an IEP by not allowing a restraint to be planned unless all other options are exhausted.
How do you know your child has been restrained?
The principal of the school or an equivalent employee must make a reasonable effort to report all restraints to the district within 24 hours of the incident, and parents or guardians must receive written notification within five weekdays after the restraint occurs.
What happens if your child is secluded?
If your child has been placed in a room alone, they are being secluded. According to the 2015 law, seclusion is when a student is involuntarily kept in a room alone and cannot leave. This seclusion is unjustified unless there is a chance of serious harm, the same justification for restraints. If you believe that your child’s seclusion is unjustified, discuss the seclusion with the special education teacher, and if necessary, call an IEP meeting and try to work it out with the school teachers and administrators. Remember to ask what happened that led to the seclusion and inquire whether this seclusion was necessary. This law only applies to involuntary seclusion-students with IEPs may, and quite often do, choose to have quiet time outside of the classroom.