The Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion (APRAIS) was established in 2004 by leading education, research and advocacy organizations with a common goal: to eliminate the use of dangerous and dehumanizing practices as a means of managing challenging behavior. Led by TASH, APRAIS seeks to end of use of unnecessary and dangerous interventions in schools, treatment programs and residential facilities.
The use of aversive interventions, restraint and seclusion have been demonstrated to result in emotional and physical trauma, serious injury and even death. There is no evidence of the therapeutic or educational value of their use. They are practices that are neither ethical nor beneficial, and often cause a spiraling effect in which additional unwanted behaviors may arise. Further, there is an existing and growing body of evidence in support of positive alternatives in addressing challenging behaviors.
APRAIS believes that all children with disabilities should grow up free from the use of aversive interventions, restraints and seclusion to respond to or control their behavior, and free from the fear that these forms of behavior management will be used on themselves, their siblings or their friends.
In an effort to eliminate the use of aversive interventions, restraint and seclusion, APRAIS members have united to protect children with disabilities and encourage positive outcomes through the following initiatives:
- Raising awareness of the dangers of aversive interventions, restraint and seclusion among parents, educators, health care providers, policymakers and the public through education, research and advocacy.
- Educating families of children with disabilities about Positive Behavior Support and helping them to understand their rights and the steps they can take to protect their children from abusive practices.
- Eliminating loopholes in current legislation and regulations that permit the use of aversive interventions, restraint and seclusion in schools and treatment facilities and proposing alternative language that promotes Positive Behavior Support.
- Encouraging nation-wide adoption of laws and regulations to strengthen school-based monitoring, reporting and investigation into illegal and dangerous practices and providing support for enforcement through the federally-mandated Protection & Advocacy Systems.
- Chair of APRAIS – Ruthie-Marie Beckwith
- Co-chairs of APRAIS Legislative Working Group – Amanda Lowe (NDRN) and Cindy Smith (NACDD)
- Co-chairs of Education Working Group – Tonia Ferguson (Autism Society) and Annie Acosta (The Arc)
Stop Hurting Kids Campaign
Stop Hurting Kids (www.stophurtingkids.com) is the national advocacy campaign to end restraint and seclusion abuse in schools. Stop Hurting Kids was created specifically to generate widespread public awareness and action to bring about change in our schools.
Stop Hurting Kids was developed through the combined efforts of advocacy, disability, social justice and mental health organizations. Led by TASH and members of the APRAIS coalition, the campaign’s partners are united in their resolve to eliminate restraint and seclusion abuse in schools, and in bringing greater awareness to this issue through national advocacy.
Visit the Stop Hurting Kids website to learn more and find helpful resources for parents, educators, administrators and policy makers. You can also take action by joining the campaign, contacting members of congress and sharing your story. Be sure to watch the film, Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories, which was filmed during the 2012 TASH Conference in Long Beach, California.