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Reston, VA: ASD student isolated in school "almost every day for four years"

Mar 15, 2019, ABC13, Norfolk, VA: 'Why do we treat autistic children like criminals?' | Advocates push to end seclusion in schools A Virginia mom says her autistic son was put in seclusion almost every day for four years. RESTON, Va. — When a special-needs child behaves badly in school, the child may be put in "seclusion" -- a room by him or herself. Jennifer Tidd of Reston has a 12-year-old son Quinton with bright eyes and blond hair. He also has autism and is unable to use spoken words. His emotional age is three. Tidd admits that Quinton can be a handful with difficult behavior. When he was seven, "seclusion" forms started coming home. … "They are emergency seclusion reports that the school has to fill out and send home every time he's in seclusion," said Tidd. "Some are door-open, some are closed." A Reston mom says her autistic son was put in seclusion almost every day for four years. Tidd said Quinton was in seclusion more than 100 times a year almost every day he was at school for four years. She and her husband did not realize it then, but they believe being put in seclusion and the constant threat of seclusion traumatized Quinton. Tidd said a psychologist has since diagnosed Quinton with PTSD. "He would strip down naked, he would defecate, urinate. He would do things that he knew if he did them, he would be removed from the room. He was so desperate," said Tidd. When the FCPS school wasn't working out, they moved him to a private school in Maryland. There, he was put in seclusion more often. … Virginia Rep. Don Byer is working on legislation that would prohibit seclusion in schools. In response to WUSA9's question about using seclusion in schools, FCPS sent this statement: • FCPS is committed to ensuring that all school-based personnel trained in the use of seclusion/restraint understand explicitly the appropriate use of seclusion/restraint to manage extremely challenging student behaviors in emergency situations. • We believe seclusion/restraint in the management of severe student behavior is being used appropriately. • Under FCPS guidelines, the practice is prohibited unless there is a dangerous situation and seclusion/restraint is necessary to protect the student or another person or persons. • FCPS is also committed to improving the documentation and reporting of seclusion/restraint at the school level and in the data submitted to OCR.


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