I've received dozens of emails from parents, teachers and leaders in special education asking me about seclusion rooms and special education in the state of Illinois. (In case you don't know, Illinois is my home.)
I've tried to put together an answer that makes sense because yes, I've seen seclusion rooms that are inappropriate with my very own eyes. It's a real problem.
Whether it was a school I was working at, a client family I was helping or a school tour I was viewing as a Master IEP Coach... my stomach felt physically ill when I saw the rooms and knew they were being misused.
The reality is that it takes media and big voices to get big changes in special education and that is exactly what is happening right now in IL.
However, I am not new to the special education system and it would be foolish for me to believe that a ban on these rooms being used inappropriately is going to stop the misuse.
Let's get serious. There's no way that every staff member is going to be magically trained on how to follow through on a proper behavior plan, just because the state says so.
There's a lot of work to be done.
That's where I get motivated. There are things that can be done and should be done, everyday, to make sure a child is receiving an appropriate education, even on the tough days.
I've been taking on this challenge to change special education for 20+ years and over the past 3 years we've built a community, called Master IEP Coaches, and we get results.
We don't fight the school system. We work with the school system. We help teachers and teams get the training they need. We help parents and families know what a good IEP looks like. We help everyone understand behavior plans so the scary use of seclusion rooms doesn't have to happen.
I get why they seclusion rooms existed in the 1970's, but there's no excuse now.
When you know better, you do better.
Master IEP Coaches are on a mission, together, to help more people know better.
So we could sit around all day and talk about the horrors of seclusion rooms or we could work together, in the trenches, to make them go away.
If you know in your gut that you are meant to help parents & teachers in special education, then it's your time to become a Master IEP Coach.
Seclusion rooms are a serious issue. You can be part of the solution by learning how to create better behavior plans. I'll teach you how inside of the Master IEP Coach mentorship.
We can do this together. Our children need us.
See you in the mentorship....
Catherine Whitcher, M.Ed
IMPORTANT: Enrollment for the next Master IEP Coach Mentorship is open and it will be the LAST mentorship of this school year. EVERYONE who enrolls in the mentorship will get a BONUS BEHAVIOR PLAN TRAINING. ENROLL HERE to get the Behavior Plan Bonus training for parents, teachers, and IEP teams.
If you sit at an IEP table, this checklist is for you! Parents, teachers, therapists and support team members... you can all use this tool for your next IEP meeting!