3. The Hard Part

Now that you've identified a student's unsolved problems, it's time to solve them. And you've just arrived at the fork in the road.

Once you’ve used the ALSUP to identify a student’s lagging skills and unsolved problems, then you’re ready to solve those problems. Far better for the problem solving to be collaborative rather than unilateral. And that’s going to take some getting used to.

How do you solve problems collaboratively? What if the student won’t or can’t participate?

What if the student is too unstable or seems unable to meet virtually any expectations? What if stabilizing the student is the top priority for now? Here’s Heidi O’Leary, Director of Special Services at Maine Administrative School District #75, describing how she created an in-house therapeutic/stabilization program in her district.

Let’s see what it looks like to solve problems collaboratively. In this video, a 10-year old boy and his parents are doing Plan B for the first time. The boy had endured 120 restraints and locked- or blocked-door seclusions in the three months he’d spent at a “therapeutic” school for kids on the autism spectrum. Complex kid? For sure. Were all those restraints and seclusions necessary? No way. 

RESEARCH: In the first graphic below, you’ll find restraint and seclusion data from a school system in Maine over the last six years. The CPS model was implemented during the 2019-20 school year, resulting in dramatic reductions in the use of both restraint and seclusion.

The second graphic below depicts restraint and seclusion data for the largest school system in Virginia over the past five years. The CPS model was implemented during the 2020-21 school year, again resulting in near-elimination of seclusion and dramatic reductions in restraints. 

Amazing what happens when schools shift from crisis management to True Crisis Prevention. Better for the kids…better for the staff.

boy hand up abstract