Behavior Specialist and a Rubber Room

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by teacherman1, Jan 5, 2014.

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  1. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    But it isn't punishment No more than holding a child down to give a vaccination. For some students it is a welcome release.
     
  2. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    EdEd, I do agree safety is paramount. If a child is a danger to himself or others, restraint is supposed to be used. I just see it used too often and too often when either it could have been avoided altogether or they jumped in too soon. I doubt it is used as a "punishment" per say most of the time or at least it isn't thought of that way, but it still serves the same purpose when the situations are happening far too often. In some cases it even causes death, which is why they preach the training so much.

    It was explained to me that some of the kids actually like smaller enclosed areas when they are feeling out of control. My child did choose to crawl under a desk in his younger days. But the one time I actually had to come get him out of one, let's just say I have never ever before that point or since that point ever seen his response to it the way I did that day. It was surreal.

    My irritation usually lies in lack of continual reflection by some staffing to try to improve on how they might handle the situations a bit more proactively. I had one school that literally did not understand this word but started using it because they understood it was my buzz word. They couldn't identify a proactive strategy if they tried! They often couldn't see any of the earlier behaviors as warning signs even though they were including them in their story and insisted that he had no warning signs.

    We haven't yet been to a school that didn't have restraint training. I was restraint trained in the school I worked at as well. I also currently have had an updated training to restrain adults for where I currently work. Let's just say there was a much much much stronger emphasis on hands off unless you absolutely have to in the adult training and it wasn't for your safety. It was for their rights. I found that interesting.

    My experience has been people jump to it far too quick and even in settings that have no other children around. I never forget him being in a safe room that was not needed by another class and the VP wanted to move him to her office so she could "work" and was thinking she might need to restrain him a bit if he couldn't walk on his own. Really?! That was nothing though. I've seen far more dangerous situations done to him than he has done in reverse and that says a lot because I will say at least a few were needed for safety, especially if they weren't caught or dealt with successfully early enough.

    My thinking is people think it is safe to do so thus there is really no "danger" involved and even though they've been told it should be used as a last resort, they don't see the traumatic part of it. They only see the "safety" of it thus jumping in sooner is perceived as a good thing.
     
  3. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Holding a student down is illegal in my state, unless the restraint is being done by some trained to do so. There is a reason for this. It can cause serious harm (even death) and be terrifying to a child.
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    My point though is that the restraint training language isn't strong enough. I've been through it myself several times. People hide behind the training as if that makes everything they do okay. To be fair, it doesn't really teach much except the holds. Every school, in other areas, that I've discussed the training with focus on the holds. Sure they talk about the escalation and deescalation cycle and "it should be a last resort" kind of thing but it is very brief and it doesn't teach you how to avoid getting to that point all that well. The learning how to recognize and minimize these behaviors before they get to the damage control stage is what I view as missing from a lot of places.
     
  5. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Thanks EdEd for your comments.
    In 98% of the cases I saw, *restraint was not used. But only a person trained in restraint could actually drag/lift/convey a punching-kicking-biting-scratching child out of the room.

    That was the point. They were removed from the room so that the teacher could get back to teaching.

    And the door of the rubber room was never locked. It had no lock. The worst case I saw was Mr. Bill holding his foot against the base of the door as a swearing and flailing kid smashed up against it. Luckily, it was rubber or this kid would have really injured himself.

    Oh, and at the same time the kid was smashing against the door, Mr. Bill was calmly talking to another "offender" he had just fetched from a classroom.

    * I've only seen true "restraint" done one or two times, and that was in a different school. The teacher would sit on the floor with her back against a wall and embrace the child on her lap - almost a "hug". There was no yelling or threatening on the part of the teacher at all. In fact, she whispered reassurances into his ear as she embraced him. She told me later that sometimes she would have to continue this for 10-20 minutes before the child calmed down.

    It wasn't violent and callous. On the contrary, this teacher was loving, caring individual who was simply doing her best to keep others from getting hurt....
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    It depends on how the child reacts to that. It's still being held against their will when they are already feeling not in control of their environment and themselves. Some children don't see that as loving. It makes them more upset. Eventually they do calm down. The adult isn't being "callous" but it isn't necessarily non-traumatic either.

    All I'm trying to point out to everyone is that both sides have to be weighed. There are times when this is necessary but there are times when adults do contribute to the problem and jump in far too soon in the name of doing the right thing.

    From YOUR perspective, it looks fine because she's calm and has the right intentions in mind. Try being the person being held by someone much larger you were supposed to trust. I've seen kids go from mildly fighting to flight or fight response when this threat was on them. I find it understandable.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 5, 2014

    :hugs:, cut.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I realize I'm repeating about half of what I'm saying. I haven't slept in about 36 hours. We were at Epcot all day yesterday and then on the road all night and morning. By the time I got home, you would have thought I would have crashed but I missed my bathtub and ended up giving myself a spa treatment instead. Now I'm trying to stay awake for a little bit longer hoping I will sleep solidly through the night. Gotta work tomorrow.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    But physically dragging/lifting/conveying a person IS restraint. And holding a door closed with a foot IS seclusion.
     
  10. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    I think (though I could be wrong) that Teacherman's point was that those were exceptions
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's possible that's what he meant, but it's not how I read it. I read it as this big guy coming in to physically take a kid by the arm and pull him out of a room doesn't count as a restraint because the kid isn't in a bucket hold or something like that.
     
  12. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I agree. The goal is to prevent behaviors from escalating in the first place. What I've gotten from some of the posts in this thread is that some districts do not educate their staff about how to manage severe behavior. By the time a student is being put in a "rubber room", the behavior has been allowed to escalate out of control. I can't imagine one of these rooms being used except in specific situations by behavior specialists with intensive training on how to safely and humanely de-escalate behavior.
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    A school I've subbed in has a padded room- it is like gym padding. This school has a SpEd room for kids with extreme emotional and behavioral problems- it is a social adjustment room. I think there are only 3-4 kids in the room. They all have a 1:1 plus the teacher. The room gets used a few times a week. It is more of a safe place for them to go when they are losing control.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Only skimmed through this thread...

    All the schools I've worked in have some sort of rubber or safe room. And I think that's wonderful. I've taught a few severely dangerous students who were always in and out of special care facilities. When at school and they become enraged, it is NOT OKAY to risk the safety of all other adults and children...so something must be done immediately to ensure everyone, including the student with behavior issues, remains safe.

    I would describe one student I taught as "evil". Maybe that's inappropriate, but it best describes his personality and behavior. This doesn't mean I think he's worthless or bad, but he was so disturbed. It was scary. When he "switched", I am thankful that he was placed in that room until his parent or police could remove him from school property.
     
  15. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    It depends on how it's being used. Giving someone $100 could be punishment if they hate money :). Joking aside, the point is that punishment is about intent and ultimate result of the behavior, not necessarily what's done. So, if a child is not out of control and is restrained as a consequence for bad behavior, it's punishment. If a child is demonstrating imminent threat to self/others and it's the best way to keep folks safe, it's not.
     
  16. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Definitely agreed. Great observations. It's definitely used too quickly in some settings, and yes - staff reflection, prevention, and problem-solving need to occur much more intensively if a restraint is becoming routine for a child.
     
  17. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    I definitely see restraint as being part of a healthy and effective behavior management system, and I definitely agree that it can be done in a safe and loving way, though it's often not perceived as such by kids, in my experience.

    I think the take home point I'm hearing from everyone, or that I sense everyone would agree with, is restraint as a last resort, but use it if absolutely necessary.
     
  18. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Agreed.....
    And the real point of this thread was that a good supportive administration should
    and could remove a disruptive child from the classroom so that teaching can resume.

    Think about it....
    If a teacher has finally resorted:eek: to calling the office for :help:, that help should be provided immediately.

    Isn't that what happens in the real world?
    If you witness a driver weaving all over the road, you call the cops.
    If you're at an airport and someone is acting strangely, you call security.
    If you think you're witnessing a crime taking place in public you get help.
    If you think you're having a stroke or heart attack, you call an ambulance.
    *If a politician (administrator) is trying to give a speech and hecklers (justified or not) cause a major disruption, security is called.

    Depriving the other 34 kids in the classroom of their education is a crime, folks, no matter who's at fault....

    How the behavior is dealt with outside the classroom and whether the call was justified are two other discussions in themselves.

    *I especially like the last one. Imagine being in the auditorium on the 1st day of school to hear the superintendent's BS speech and a whole gaggle of teachers begins taunting him and throwing things around. I'd love to see how he "handles it" without calling for help...
     
  19. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    I agree teacherman with your main point, teacherman.
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    My opinion is that the job of administration requires a different mindset. This mindset and the role that their job requires conflicts with the effectiveness of being able to be a crisis intervention responder, at least on any regular basis.

    I think there needs to be better training and definitely a back up plan and staffing resources for that but I don't agree with the person in this role being the administrator.

    The schools where the administrators did take this role, I found that teachers often decided quickly not to ask for help after a few experiences and that's not ideal either.

    This is not intended as a slam on administrators. A good administrator is a valuable part of these children, their families, and their staff's team but not necessarily as the role of a crisis intervention responder dealing directly with the child's crisis. That's not to say they aren't a part of the crisis decision-making team or don't have to make some of the calls.

    My experience may not be extensive enough to say this is always true and I acknowledge that a large majority of my opinion is based on my experiences and observations but when I think about what their role as an administrator requires, it's easy for me to see why decisions are dealt with the way they are.
     
  21. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    I totally agree, CNG. Here's what I said in my original post:
    "Some people think this is cruel and unusual, but the best system I've ever seen for behavior management was in a school where I did long-term subbing in 1998. They had a full-time BEHAVIOR SPECIALIST..."

    And this BEHAVIOR SPECIALIST was trained to handle basically any situation thrown at him (including restraint, if needed).
    Discipline was not handled directly by administrators - it was delegated to someone who was trained for it and getting paid to handle it. That's how it should be....

    In my humble opinion, a fully trained and easily accessible BEHAVIOR SPECIALIST would be worth his weight in gold in any school. Teachers already have enough on their plates to be dealing with that all the other _ _ _ _ (multiple choice: sh*t, crap, stuff, work)
     
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