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.

Help! I’m trapped in the “safe room”

Kindergarten and First grade were challenging. My son, who is biracial and autistic, was suspended regularly and I took him out of school for the last two months of Kindergarten, as they were unable to support him. By the end of First Grade, he spent most of his days working one on one with an aide, at a table in a corner of the hallway. He was fine with this arrangement, but being publicly isolated is not ideal. Sometimes he ran out of the classroom, and once or twice he left the building, ran around, and came back in. School staff made it clear that if he left the campus, which was next to a busy street, they would have no choice but to call the police to get help catching a 6-year-old child.

Reflections on my childhood: Locked in the principal’s office

Today’s guest author is Jennifer Abbanat. Jennifer is a wife and mom to 3 kids ages 18, 16, and 13. Jennifer is an advocate and voice for her neurodiverse children. She and her family live in Northern California.

Advocating for change in Billerica Massachusetts

Today’s guest author is Carole Reardon.  Carole is an advocate and parent from Billerica Massachusetts. Currently, she is a stay at home mother, however, she spent over 20 years in the education field and has an undergraduate degree in human development, with a minor in early childhood education. Additionally, Carole has a Master’s degree in curriculum and … Continue reading Advocating for change in Billerica Massachusetts

The power of believing in children

Today’s guest author is Amy Welch. Amy is a paraprofessional who has experience working with students on the Autism spectrum and those with behavior disorders. A lot of what she does with her students comes from her own personal experiences with her son. She was forced to become a well-educated advocate for him after facing some ill-informed teachers early in his school years. Seeing first hand what was happening in schools, Amy shifted from a career in design to education so she could advocate for students who were having similar challenges.

Making Positive Change Through Negative Experiences

The Story of Sam Maloney Today’s guest author is Debra Pierce Bellare.  Debra has a background in education with a focus on alternative learning. Over the last ten years, she has been advocating to stop the harmful practice of restraint and seclusion used in the public and private school systems in New York State. Her son Sam, … Continue reading Making Positive Change Through Negative Experiences

Compassion and positive relationships – not restraint

I am a special education teacher of 15 years and have seen and experienced many challenging behaviors in children with disabilities. For many years, my job was working with severely disabled students. In the past year, I have been working with children with lower support needs. These are academically capable students some of whom might be considered twice-exceptional. Many of my co-workers contend that these children should “know better” when it comes to challenging behavior. I am required to be trained to restrain and write behavior intervention plans.

Nightmares from the “the naughty room”

I often tell people that when our son Cole was born thirteen years ago with Down syndrome, that he flipped our world upside down in the best way. His love of life and ability to appreciate the moment is something we can all learn from. He has always been a loving, kind and funny little boy, just as he was when he was ten years old and started to be restrained and secluded at his school in Central Massachusetts.

Is your child being locked up at school in Canada?

With the help of Silas Brown of Global News, we are finally able to tell our story, and to warn other parents about what happened to our non-verbal, autistic daughter Lily, at her old school.

Segregation and Restraint

A family’s journey Today’s guest author is Amber Dawn.  Amber is a resident of Des Moines, Iowa. Amber is an advocate for better teacher-parent relationships in the education system. Amber is a parent who’s willing to stand up for her son and others. It all started in Kindergarten, a teacher told me something was wrong with my … Continue reading Segregation and Restraint


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