PBIS is an acronym for Positive Behaviors & Intervention Supports. This law applies to all general education and special education students in Ohio enrolled in grades K-12. The purpose of the law is to reduce and eliminate the need for restraint and seclusion in school.
Restraining and/or secluding a student is dangerous and traumatic for students. The spirit of PBIS is to eradicate this harmful and dangerous practice. Your child’s behavior will communicate to you if the implementation of PBIS is successful or not in school. If your child continues to exhibit challenging behavior or the behaviors worsen then you need to bring your concerns to the attention of the school immediately! If your child is already on an IEP then the IEP is not appropriately meeting your child’s needs and it should be revised. If your child is not on an IEP, then you need to request that the school evaluate your child. Remember, there is a reason/function for challenging behaviors. We must be detectives, follow the clues and figure it out.
When a student reaches three incidences of restraint or seclusion the district is required to meet with you to develop a plan to address your child’s needs. I recommend asking for a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). The FBA should be conducted by a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). A BCBA is trained and licensed to conduct a FBA. I also recommend requesting a report that uses the Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence or “ABC” method of collecting data. The antecedent is what triggered the behavior. B is the behavior (or how your child communicated). Did they hit, scream, try to escape? Find out what happened. And, lastly C is the consequence for the behavior. You need to find out what happened immediately after the behavior. An inappropriate consequence can reinforce the challenging behavior.
Sometimes, as a parent you must take action to make yourself heard with the district. You can file a complaint with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). Here is a link to the ODE website: Restraint and Seclusion Complaint Information: Frequently Asked Questions | Ohio Department of Education
Remember, it is imperative that you have professionals that have the expertise and training to address challenging behaviors with your child. When staff do not have the appropriate expertise, they can unintentionally reinforce challenging behaviors or cause the behavior to intensify. Behavior is communication. Challenging behavior requires us to be our best selves. We must listen intently to our child and understand.
Helpful Resources & Links:
Resource: FINAL-Parent-Notification-restraint-seclusion-8-19-21.pdf.aspx (ohio.gov)
PBIS for Families | Ohio Department of Education
Rule: Positive Behavior Interventions and Support and Restraint and Seclusion | Ohio Department of Education