Living without restraint: One parent's reflections and recommendations for supporting at-risk individuals with developmental disabilities

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In the past several years, there has been an important movement to reduce the utilization of restraint for individuals with developmental disabilities. Legislatures, local and national, are taking on the task of shaping the way that our culture supports people who, up until now, have been often treated in a punitive manner rather than truly supportive in a therapeutic way. Schools and systems of care struggle to identify strategies that offer more positive outcomes to all individuals, even those with challenging behaviors. This article represents the thoughts and recommendations of one parent who has lived with the damage done by restraint to his son. The recommendations are intended to speak to administrators, schools, and caregivers. The intent is not to assign blame, but rather to reflect on our experiences and share some strategies that have worked for us. Although much of what is recommended may not be new, the hope is that this article might provide a fresh way to understand some of the factors that contribute to the use of restraint, in addition to providing some suggestions to proactively address those factors.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities