New Law Protects Special Needs Children

Bill S1163/A501 for protecting students with disabilities from harmful restraint and seclusion has finally been signed into law by state governor Chris Christie. This bill was introduced in early 2016 and establishes protections for students with special needs.

The law helps both special needs children and their educators by providing guidance on how restraint and seclusion should be used. Although special needs children can engage in challenging behavior, this behavior can leave them open to abuse, which this law guards against

About the Law

The new law makes immediate notification of parents via phone or email when restraint or seclusion is used on their child to ensure his/her safety or the safety of others in the classroom. It also requires the submission of a written report within 48 hours detailing what kind of behavior modification was used and why.

Finally, the law requires oversight of this process, such as written physician authorization for use of prone restraints, staff training, annual recertification and the requirement of a review process for restraint and seclusion use.

The executive director of Autism NJ, Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, said “There is currently no state policy that regulates the use of restraint and seclusion for students with disabilities… . This bill provides the guidance needed.”

Contact Our Palm Springs Special Needs Lawyer

This new law will include long-needed monitoring and documentation of restraint and seclusion used on special needs children and protect them. If you have any questions, you are encouraged to contact our Palm Springs special needs lawyer to discuss your case.