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(Canada) N.B. 11 year old girl with ASD put in seclusion multiple times; parent not informed

Dec 5, 2019, Global News: ‘I shouldn’t be afraid to send my child to school’: N.B. mother speaks out about seclusion rooms A New Brunswick woman is raising concerns over the use of seclusion rooms in the province. Chantelle Hyde’s daughter Lily is 11-years-old. She has non-verbal autism and developmentally is the age of a toddler. Although she has never consented to the practice and was never told it was being used, Hyde believes that her daughter was repeatedly subjected to a seclusion room while attending John Caldwell School in Grand Falls, N.B…. It all stems back to April 12 when a mother of three children at John Caldwell went to the school to drop off some baked goods to a classroom. While walking in the hallways she saw Lily in a small room struggling to get out…. “There was an adult on the outside of the door holding the handle shut with the full force of their body weight while another little girl in a wheelchair sat by watching.”… ... Parental consent is required and the practice must be a part of a student’s personalized learning plan. Parents must also be informed if a seclusion room is used. Hyde says she has never consented to the practice and that it is not part of Lily’s personalized learning plan. Moreover, the school never told her that Lily had been placed in a seclusion room. Data sheets from April 12 also make no mention of any sort of seclusion room being used. Hyde says that her daughter does sometimes engage in violent behaviour such as biting, scratching or slapping, but usually only under certain stressful situations. The data sheet from April 12 and another from April 11 do make reference to some of those behaviours…. The practice of using seclusion rooms has come under fire by inclusion activists across the country. Alberta moved to ban the practice, but the UCP government scrapped the plan just a week before it was set to come into force, instead placing protocols similar to those in New Brunswick. New Brunswick’s education minister Dominic Cardy says the province has no plans to ban seclusion rooms…. “Generally, seclusion rooms should not be needed. Practices in schools should prevent the use of seclusion rooms,” said Porter…. Porter says there should be better training across the school system and that additional professional support staff like school psychologists would allow for the implementation of interventions that are more effective, and less harmful…. But recruiting school psychologists has not been easy for New Brunswick. Cardy says the department is looking to see if teachers could benefit from additional training, allowing them to better deal with challenging situations, easing the labour shortage it currently faces…. How often seclusion rooms are used in not tracked at either the department or district level. Cardy says it’s something the department could look at to better understand where and why they might be used across the province…. “This never should have happened to my child,” she said. “I shouldn’t be afraid to send my child to school. Nobody should. No child should be afraid to go to school.”


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