Book Studies

We greatly value learning and connection at the Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint. We have a fantastic opportunity if you want to learn more and connect with like-minded individuals. In 2023, we started a book study program, which has been an incredible success. Our book studies an opportunity to learn and discuss books on a range of topics related to our mission with other parents, educators, and self-advocates.

Each book study focuses on a book or multiple books in the case of the children’s program. Over the course of four weeks, participants meet for an hour each week on Zoom with our facilitators to discuss the book. We invite the authors to join us for the final session for a Q&A with the participants. It is an incredible experience.

Here is some feedback we heard from our recent book studies.

“The group is great feels like a supportive community with varied experiences and commonalities coming together. Also getting to chat and hear from the authors themselves is amazing.”

Book Study Participant

As much as our participants enjoy the book studies, our facilitators seem to enjoy them even more. If you are interested in helping to facilitate a future book, please consider volunteering for the Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint. 

“It’s a hard topic to learn about in isolation, but the study made it possible to hear others’ input and ideas and reflect on my own journey in different ways.”

Book Study Participant

The Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint is a small nonprofit on a mission to inform changes in policy and practice to reduce and eliminate the use of punitive discipline and outdated behavioral management approaches and end the school-to-prison pipeline. We ask for a small donation when you sign up for a book study to help support our work. If you are unable to make a small donation but would like to attend, please reach out to us at to learn about scholarship opportunities.

Space is limited. We recommend you sign up early and get these on your calendar.

Here are our upcoming opportunities:

2024 Book Study Program

This is our flagship book study program, and it is designed for everyone. Parents, teachers, self-advocates, related professionals, students, and others are all invited to participate. That is part of the beauty of this program, you can hear the experiences and perspectives of others. We have four amazing books lined up for 2024, and we hope you can join us.

Just Human: The Quest for Disability Wisdom, Respect, and Inclusion

Born without sight, Dr. Arielle Silverman has never missed the visual. Being blind never bothered her much, but as she grew, she discovered others saw her blindness very differently. Many people saw her as either helpless or inspirational, but rarely did they see her as just human with the same capacities and desires as her peers.

In Just Human, she reflects on her formative years and presents unique anecdotes from her life that carry teachable moments for all of us. She recalls the feel of her mother’s embrace, the smell of her grandparents’ brisket, the inner sensations of a preteen crush, the music on her wedding day, and scholarly lessons from her dissertation research. Her words paint pictures from her mind’s eye: a vision of a world where we can radically accept ourselves and our fellow humans while at the same time working to change systems of inequality.

Dates: January 17th, 24th, 31st and February 7th
Time: 7 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Purchase the Book
Register for Book Study

One Rule Improv: The Fast, Easy, No Fear Approach to Teaching, Learning and Applying Improv

One Rule Improv presents a fast and easy approach to understanding improv, so anyone who wants to learn, teach, or apply improv to their lives or in the workplace can do so with confidence. This approach works for both the performer and the non-performer, the extrovert and introvert, the enthusiastic participant, and for the person uninterested or apprehensive about improv. One Rule Improv will help you:

  • Explain what improv is and how and why it works
  • Teach, facilitate, and play the games so the many benefits are achieved
  • Apply improv skills and concepts so the benefits of improv are sustained

Dates: March 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th
Time: 7 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Purchase the Book
Register for Book Study

Raising Kids with Big, Baffling Behaviors

“All behavior makes sense”
‘”It most certainly does not!”, is probably your first reaction.

Parenting and neuroscience expert Robyn Gobbel is here to reveal how all behavior, no matter how baffling, can be explained and remedied. You just need to look past the behavior and understand what’s going on inside.

Robyn decodes the latest brain science into easy-to-understand principles and metaphors to help you become an expert in your child’s behavior. She reveals simple ways to help you regulate and connect with your child, with brain-, body- and sensory-based strategies to overcome day-to-day challenges. She also provides you with the knowledge to understand and regulate your own brain so that you don’t flip your lid when your child flips theirs.

Let this be your lifeline for parenting or caring for any child with baffling behaviors and hidden challenges, including kids who have experienced adversity or with additional needs.

Dates: September 11th, 18th, 25th, and October 2nd
Time: 7 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Purchase the Book
Register for Book Study

I Will Die on This Hill: Autistic Adults, Autism Parents, and the Children Who Deserve a Better World

There is a significant divide between autistic advocates and parents of autistic children. Parents may feel attacked for their lack of understanding, and autistic adults who offer insight and guidance are also met with hostility and rejection. 

Meghan Ashburn, a mother of two autistic boys, and Jules Edwards, an autistic parent, were no strangers to this tension and had an adversarial relationship when they first met. Over time, the two resolved their differences and are now co-conspirators in the pursuit of disability justice. 

This book unites both perspectives, exploring the rift between these communities and encouraging them to work towards a common goal. It provides context to dividing issues, and the authors use their experience to illustrate where they’ve messed up, where they’ve got things right, and what they’ve learned along the way.

Dates: October 16th, 23rd, 30th, and November 6th
Time: 7 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Purchase the Book
Register for Book Study

2024 Summer Educator Program

Teachers, paraprofessionals, related professionals, administrators – what are you doing this summer? How about joining us for an educators-only book study? Our Summer Educator Program is a book study for educators and is run by educators. Join us and get some new ideas about things to do in your classroom when you head back to school in the fall.

Connections Over Compliance: Rewiring Our Perceptions of Discipline

The developing brains of our children need to “feel” safe.

Children who carry chronic behavioral challenges are often met with
reactive and punitive practices that can potentially reactivate the developing stress response systems.

This book deeply addresses the need for co-regulatory and relational touch point practices, shifting student-focused behavior management protocols to adult-regulated brain and body states, which are brain-aligned, preventive, and relational discipline protocols. This new lens for discipline benefits all students by reaching for sustainable behavioral changes through brain state awareness rather than compliance and obedience.

Dates: July 24th, 31st, August 7th, and 14th
Time: 7 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Purchase the Book
Register for Book Study

Becoming a Trauma-informed Restorative Educator: Practical Skills to Change Culture and Behavior

Maybe you have heard the terms ‘trauma-informed’ and ‘restorative’ – but how do you go about becoming a trauma-informed, restorative educator?

This practical book outlines the values, ideas, and neuroscience behind trauma-informed restorative practice and its proven effectiveness. It clearly explains key theories relating to shame, trauma, and your autonomic nervous system and explains how to apply this knowledge in practice. Examples and stories of restorative practice feature throughout to inspire and emulate, as do practical protocols, tools, and systems to develop your skills as a trauma-informed educator. Critically, it also explains the personal and professional qualities you need to nurture to truly engage in trauma-informed, restorative practice, with reflection points to aid learning and self-development.

Read this book and take your first steps to creating a trauma-informed, restorative classroom – even if your school isn’t doing it!

Dates: August 14th, 21st, 28th, and September 4th
Time: 7 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Purchase the Book
Register for Book Study

2024 Children’s Book Program

Raising tiny humans is a big and important job. How can we help our kids get a great start in life? Read to them, of course, and better yet, read to them books that will help them grow a thoughtful, empathetic, diverse, and inclusive mindset. In the Children’s Book Program, we will explore four books to help you in your mission.

Listen, Learn, and Grow

Listen, Learn, and Grow is a delightful rhyming story that explores the many ways kids can use their whole body as a listening tool. And here’s a hint: Listening looks different for everyone! (Purchase the Book)

Perfectly Norman

The Big Bright Feelings picture book series provides kid-friendly entry points into emotional intelligence topics — from being true to yourself to dealing with worries, managing anger, and making friends. (Purchase the Book)

My Brother Charlie

From bestselling author and actress Holly Robinson Peete–a heartwarming story about a boy who happens to be autistic, based on Holly’s son, who is autistic. (Purchase the Book)

A Day with No Words

New York Times bestselling picture book and national bestseller!! A Day With No Words invites readers into the life of an Autism Family who communicates just as the child does, without spoken language. (Purchase the Book)

Dates: July 10th, 17th, 24, and 31st
Time: 7 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Register for Book Study

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying book purchases. Links on this page to purchase books from are affliate links.


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