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What limits exist in special education?

No matter the unique qualities, gifts and talents your child possesses, parenting is challenging. For parents of children with special needs, questions related to safety, inclusion and abilities are often more pronounced.

Special education laws require school districts to provide services for students with a wide range of special needs. Whether your child suffered a birth injury, has a neurological disorder or exhibits undiagnosed atypical behaviors, you rely on educators to help your child improve communication, manage their emotions and decrease escalations. Through it all, you have the right to know, and agree with, the behavioral interventions used when your child is not in your care.

Acceptable behavioral interventions

Regardless of a child’s condition, they deserve to thrive in a safe, educational environment. The proper implementation of positive supports can reduce escalations and improve learning.

Legal interventions neither allow the infliction of pain or trauma nor disregard a student’s privacy or dignity. Although the potential of causing physical harm may make an emergency intervention necessary, does that mean anything goes?

When used, regulations mandate that emergency interventions do not:

  • Immobilize a student’s arms and legs
  • Subject a student to humiliation, abuse or trauma
  • Deny water, food or the use of a restroom
  • Seclude a student in a locked room
  • Deprive one of the student’s senses

As a parent, you must receive timely notification about emergency intervention techniques used or restraints put on your child. If you believe special education staff violated your son or daughter’s rights, you may be able to seek recourse and hold educators accountable.

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