*The letter is intentionally obscure. I am trying to approach this slowly and systematically. It is too important. I do not think demanding that seclusion rooms are eliminated is the correct approach, even though that's how I feel.
*A seclusion room is a padded room the size of a small hall closet, has a solid door, and a small window. There is also a light and a drain. According to Bubba, it was also "stinky, cold, and scary."
*I haven't yet researched my state's stand on the use of these rooms.
*Brackets indicate words changed for privacy.
*The seclusion room was in Bubba's IEP crisis plan for less than a month, as part of his FIRST behavior intervention plan created after his FIRST functional behavior assessment. We were led to believe it was the only viable option for when he was explosive. This was not the case. We also thought it would only be used in a crisis situation. This was not the case. I do not know if I will ever forgive myself for putting Bubba in this situation. Hubby and I didn't feel right about the seclusion room the minute it was brought up. But in desperation, we agreed to it anyhow. Just because we were afraid he would get kicked out of school. Ridiculous.
Seclusion room (time out room) use at [XXXXXXX], Feb. 2006
Dear Ms. [XXXXXXXX],
It has been nearly two years since [our] family experienced the seclusion room at [school] Elementary. I believe the seclusion room was incorrectly used (in its intent of use, the procedure, and the documentation) in our child's case. I'm not sure how much you remember about the situation, but I do recall you stating the documentation was not the documentation of which you were familiar.
It has taken me this long (and many half-started e-mails!) to address this issue because I wanted to address it rationally rather than emotionally. I would really like to discuss our specific experience with the seclusion room at [the school] as well as my concern of this type of procedure being regulated per site rather than by the district (at least this is how it appears to be "regulated"). As I am sure you are aware, there is significant potential for misuse of the seclusion room along with the potential for serious consequences.
I would like to meet with you, [XXXXXXXXX], [Sped Director], and [Superintendent] to discuss the use of seclusion rooms in the district (if there are other coordinators that have experience with seclusion rooms, I value their input as well). I do not wish to meet with the [school] staff at this time. My concern is not specifically what [the school] does (or did), but the district's view and training and enforcement of said view on the use, procedure, and documentation of said use of the seclusion room specific to special education students.
If there is an official district policy on the use of the seclusion room that I have not been made aware of, please let me know. I would like to review any such information prior to meeting with you.
As a reminder, [Bubba] has an educational diagnosis of OHI and a medical diagnosis of agenesis of the corpus callosum and PDD-NOS. He had just turned 6 years old at the time the seclusion room was used. I encourage you to review his file regarding his developmental and progress history (he has been receiving special education services in [the district] since the age of 3).