Share Your Story

While they can be difficult to share, our stories are critical for influencing change. Our stories help others to realize that they are not alone and that they too can influence change. Our stories can influence members of the media to investigate and write articles that can inspire change. Our stories can connect with lawmakers who can change the law to protect our children and our loved ones. Please share your story and let us know how we can use it to influence change.

Read stories from others

Here are stories from parents, advocates, educators and others related to the use of restraint and seclusion.

Supporting Youth in Residential Care: Healing Through Relational Safety  

Residential care for youth in the child welfare system is one of the longest-existing systems of care in the United States. Residential programs in the US offer systems of caring professionals that support youth that have been removed from their homes for a variety of reasons, most through no fault of their own. Youth in…

First, do no harm: “Unschooling” a Neurodivergent Child (Part 4)

Homeschooling always raises questions about socialization. Many of my children’s friends were other homeschooled students they met through group activities and summer camps. One of my children played varsity sport for her local high school while homeschooling, which meant she made many friends on her team. My children weren’t lonely.

First, do no harm: “Unschooling” a Neurodivergent Child (Part 3)

Unschooling and using standard educational materials are not mutually exclusive if the child chooses to engage with the subject matter. My family has experimented with a wide spectrum of learning tools, and different approaches seemed to work well for different children at different times. Many years ago, when I began homeschooling my children, few virtual…

First, do no harm: “Unschooling” a Neurodivergent Child (Part 2)

Unschooling can work very well for people on the spectrum. Autistic people often have intense “special interests” that lead to deep and comprehensive learning. In my daughter’s case, I often found it most productive to provide her with educational materials in subjects that fascinated her and then to get out of her way.

An Open Letter to Harwood Unified Union School District from an Educator

The only reason I have heard from the administration and board for keeping seclusion is “advice from legal counsel” and “liability.” These reasons only protect the adults. What about the students? Are hypothetical scenarios about the district being held liable really worth secluding children? I would say protecting students with disability’s civil rights is worth…

First, do no harm: “Unschooling” a Neurodivergent Child (Part 1)

A Breach of Trust Today’s guest author is Ann Gaydos.  Ann worked in the software industry in a former life, but she decided to homeschool her four children after her daughter Paige was abused by a teacher within the Cupertino Union School District in California, and she could get no help from the administration or…

Once upon a time, a tale of seclusion and restraint

School is an overwhelming place when you have sensory needs. You see, all day this little girl had to self regulate as she would easily become overstimulated. Loud sounds, bustling children, echoey gyms. Every day she tried to understand rules and assignments. Doing her best so that she would be considered a good little girl.

I wish I had known then what I know now

Around 2011, I was hired to be a para at a school in Utah for disabled children with what the district termed “severe behaviors.” These were the kids, teens, and adults that special education teachers in typical schools refused to work with; many of the students were dumped at this school and effectively abandoned by…


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