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ERIC Number: EJ1088854
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1525-1810
The Time-Out and Seclusion Continuum: A Systematic Analysis of the Case Law
Bon, Susan C.; Zirkel, Perry A.
Journal of Special Education Leadership, v27 n1 p35-45 Mar 2014
During the past two decades, scholars, educators, and special interest organizations, including advocacy groups, have critically examined and debated the ethical and legal use of aversive interventions with individuals with disabilities. These interventions comprise a broad spectrum of behavior management techniques including but not at all limited to restraint and seclusion, for example, time-out, water misting, medication, and mild electric shock. Use of these aversive procedures continues to lead to litigation. The special education literature concerning this case law is limited, with sources specific to the use of time-out and seclusion largely limited to secondary and anecdotal information rather than comprehensive coverage via a systematic framework and analysis. The present study seeks to fill this void with an empirical analysis of court cases on the use of timeout and seclusion procedures for students with disabilities. Further, this article provides a conceptual framework with coordinated gradations and discrete definitions to distinguish the three successively more restrictive forms of time-out from seclusion. It concludes that special education leaders need, as a matter of professional/ethical as well as legal/prophylactic considerations, to advocate and inculcate evidence-based behavioral intervention policies and practices for students with disabilities. Moreover, in the limited situations in which the requisite individualized education program (IEP) process determines that time-out or seclusion is appropriate and necessary, with due consideration to the less restrictive options within this continuum, special education leaders need to provide effective training for the educators and administrators.
Council of Administrators of Special Education. Fort Valley State University, 1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030. Tel: 478-825-7667; Fax: 478-825-7811; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A