Occasionally, individuals with autism exhibit impulsive and/or aggressive physical behaviors that may cause injury to themselves or others. In such circumstances, when all reasonable methods to de-escalate the situation are exhausted, professionals need to employ other strategies. Little Star Center’s clinical team periodically encounters such challenging situations with its learners and has a plan in place when the need arises. They employ highly-regarded CALM methods.
Little Star Center’s Research & Training Director Tim Courtney said, “Our clinical staff is trained in physical management techniques developed by the New England Center for Children (NECC) in Boston. In fact, nine staff members underwent training this past Saturday.”
NECC is a nonprofit autism research and education center at the forefront of conducting and publishing research to further the understanding and treatment of autism and related disabilities. It has developed proven techniques to help de-escalate and maintain safety in volatile situations. Known as CALM, the set of procedures is designed to safely prevent physical altercations or de-escalate physical confrontation if the avoidance process is ineffective. Because it requires some physical contact between staff and learners, doctors review the actions which are considered safe when implemented exactly as taught. CALM was specifically developed for professionals working with children with autism and is intended to be used with children five years of age and older.
“I want to reassure families that CALM procedures have an exceptional reputation and were developed for children with autism. All of the other de-escalation and physical management packages on the market today were developed for adults and non-autistic population,” said Little Star Executive Director Mary Rosswurm. “NECC has worked with children and adults with autism for more than 35 years, so it was a no-brainer that we adopt their tried-and-true procedures. Little Star was NECC’s first Indiana client and I am proud to say that other Indiana companies have seen the benefit to CALM and are using it in their facilities as well.”