Monday, December 14, 2009

More on Seclusion and Restraint Legislation

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 28:  U.S. Rep. Cathy McMo...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

As we mentioned last week, the House of Representatives has introduced legislation to curb the abuses of seclusion and restraints. Here is an NPR report on the legislation. Here is a CNN opinion piece by Rep. George Miller (D. CA), the chairman of the powerful House Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R- WA) who cosponsors the bipartisan legislation.

The legislation is the result of the schocking reports by the National Disability Rights Network and the Government Accountability Office as well as congressional hearings on the issue. Previous posts on this blog have presented these abuses of school kids, most of whom have disabilities.

Another issue here is whether the special education law, IDEA should be amended to include beefed up provisions on positive behavior interventions and supports as better tools for dealing with behavior issues for children with disabilities. At present, IDEA only requires functional behavior analysis or behavior intervention plans when a disciplinary change of placement is prevented by a finding that the misconduct was a manifestation of a child's disability. IDEA § 615 (k)(1)(F). The only reference to Positive Behavior Supports is the section on IEP development which requires in general that when the IEP team believes that the student's behavior impedes his own learning or the learning of other students, the team should then consider PBS or other strategies. IDEA § 614 (d)(3)(B)(1). Despite the paucity of references to PBS in the Act, OSEP does have a technical assistance center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.

What do you think? Should IDEA be beefed up on the technique of positive behavior supports?

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