TASH’s Executive Director, Barb Trader, led representatives of APRAIS (Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion) in a productive meeting last week with Alexa Posny, Assistant Secretary of Education and Rehabilitative Services and Melody Musgrove, Director, Office of Special Education Programs and several of their senior staff members. The meeting’s purpose was to discuss the Department’s planned communication about restraint and seclusion in schools, characterized by Department officials as a resource to the field. A first time data collection on incidence of use in schools will be available later this fall from the Office of Civil Rights. The Department of Education is working closely with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, HHS (SAMHSA) to benefit from their years of systematic reduction of restraint and seclusion use in mental health facilities.
APRAIS members reviewed and explained our recommendations for contents of the planned resource. The discussion was positive and encouraging, and TASH parents, teachers, and advocates should be on the alert for the eventual release of this new resource later this fall.