The AASR team is conducting research to better understand alternative approaches and better ways of working with children. These articles are more in depth and may include policy recommendations.

About seclusion and restraint

Physical Restraint is exactly what it sounds like, it is a personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the ability of a student to move his or her torso, arms, legs or head freely. Seclusion is the involuntary confinement of a student alone in a room or area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving.

What are the alternatives to restraint and seclusion?

A common question from school staff, administrators, and members of local school boards is “if not restraint and seclusion then what?” In this article, we will address how the current approaches to behaviors of concern are failing and leading to the use of restraint and seclusion.

A twenty-first-century approach to supporting all students

Over the past forty years, there has been an explosion of research in multiple disciplines that have vastly increased the knowledge base about the brain and nervous system and human development and behavior.  Changes include an understanding of the role of toxic stress and trauma on the structure of the developing brain and on functioning. 

Restraint and Seclusion Data Survey

We are working with Michela (Micky) Marinelli an Associate Professor at the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin to collect and analyze data related disciplinary actions. We are working to compile data on the number and types of disciplinary actions across schools, to assess the link between these data and the type of behavioral intervention employed by each school.

Education or Incarceration? Ending America’s school-to-prison pipeline

The purpose of this paper is to review the events and processes that have occurred over the past decades that have led to the changes in how the behaviors of children and youth are perceived and treated, the rise in disproportionality of disciplinary responses, and the efforts to reverse the trend to criminalize children.

Selected References

Conducting your own research or looking for references about the use of restraint and seclusion? This page contains numerous resources and links that might be helpful to anyone conducting research on the use of restraint and seclusion.

The problem with behaviorism: There are better ways to work with behaviorally challenging children

In this document Beth Tolley tells the history of positive behavior intervention and supports, the approach chosen by the national technical assistance center (, and the harm and contribution that approach is making to the disproportionate discipline rates for children with disabilities.


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