The Indiana Commission on Autism, on which Little Star Executive Director Mary Rosswurm serves, is preparing a bill to be presented to the legislature that provides a policy for Indiana schools on child restraint and/or seclusion in the event of unsafe behavior.

“This is a critical issue that needs to be addressed in Indiana,” said Kim Dodson, associate executive director of the ARC of Indiana, which provides information, referral and advocacy to assist and guide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in the areas of community connections, employment, vocational rehabilitation, self-advocacy, understanding and applying for government programs such as Medicaid, Medicaid Waivers, SSI and Vocational Rehabilitation.

Dodson was one of several concerned citizens who addressed members of the Indiana Commission on Autism during a recent meeting discussing the issue of child restraint and seclusion in the school setting. “Every school corporation in Indiana has different policies or no policy on this subject,” she said. ”Indiana is one of 19 states in the nation with no statute on restraint or seclusion for children in school systems. Teachers need a clear policy that addresses training, parental notification, and school documentation.”

Rosswurm said, “Senator Randy Head, who is leading the effort to draft the bill, is working very hard to accommodate the concerns of parents, teachers, and the children themselves so everybody is protected.  This bill will assure that teachers have the tools they need to not only handle a crisis, but de-escalate a situation.”

Commission members will incorporate the concerns of those who attended the meeting and recommend a policy for ALL students, whether or not they have a disability.