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Large collection of resources available here: http://specialeducation.wikia.com/wiki/SPED-Restraint-Resources
I support the ban on prone restraints in the proposed updates to DESE regulations on restraint and seclusion. Prone restraints are exceedingly harmful to children and carry a risk of death by asphyxiation. For medical evidence of the danger from prone restraints, see: Media:DRCA_Prone_restraint_report.pdf and attached.
For additional peer reviewed medical studies which document the reduction in cardiac functioning due to being placed in the prone position, see: Haemodynamic effects of the prone position by Sudheer PS1, Logan SW, Ateleanu B, Hall JE.
"We conclude that turning healthy patients prone produces a clinically significant reduction in cardiac output"
Dozens more medical citations are available from the national expert on this issue, Dr Janice Lebel of Mass Department of Mental Health: Dr. Janice Lebel. There is consensus in the medical community that the prone position negatively impacts cardiac and pulmonary functioning.
In addition, the US Department of Education Restraint and Seclusion Resource Document from 2012 specifically recommends against the use of prone restraints as one of the 15 guiding principles: "Prone (i.e., lying face down) restraints or other restraints that restrict breathing should never be used because they can cause serious injury or death." From Page 16, principle number 7: Media:Restraints-and-seclusion-resources.pdf and attached.
Eleven states have already banned the use of prone restraint. See Recent Changes in State Policies and Legislation Regarding Restraint or Seclusion, Council For Exceptional Children, Figure 4 page 7. Media:EC_SR_Policy.pdf and attached.
In addition to the risk of death, prone restraints can be overwhelming and stressful for many children, especially those on the autism spectrum. The lack of control, constant physical contact and inability to communicate during a prone restraint often lead to escalation and long term psychological damage to children.
Insert any personal experience (from your family, what you have seen at school, people you have talked to or people you know, like me)
For example, my personal note is here:
I have seen children held in prone restraint and know first hand how it quickly pushes vulnerable young kids in to desperation and suicidal ideation. Too many times I have rescued a child from a prone restraint and helped them recover from the effects including strained arms, bruises around the head and neck, and severe, diagnosed depression expressed by suicidal language and actions.
The emotional stress and recovery process takes years and has a devastating impact on children and families. I have heard a child say they could not breath when held in prone restraint and the child knows that means they were a few short minutes from death by asphyxiation. The physical experience of near suffocation leads to emotional trauma which impacts a child and their family forever.
That's not the self-serving opinion of some for-profit crisis management corporation. It's the reality that hundreds of Mass families like mine live with every day. I urge you to maintain the ban on prone restraints to prevent unnecessary suffering of hundreds more families in the coming years.