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End Seclusion Podcast
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End Seclusion Podcast

Author: The Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint

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A podcast from the Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint
42 Episodes
A special presentation with Julie Roberts, a neurodivergence-affirming therapist, and founder of the Therapist Neurodiversity Collective: “Shifting Therapies towards an empathetic and respectful Neurodiversity Paradigm”.Why does therapy need to change? (Whole body listening, social communication expectations, compliance-based therapies, and outcomes, pathologizing natural autistic ways of interacting and communicating, tolerance, or the 'extinguishing' of sensory issues.)In what ways are the majority of therapists "behind" in contemporary Autism research knowledge? (Autism research that is done in conjunction with and by autistic researchers, Monotropism, Autistic Masking, and Camouflage, The Double Empathy Problem, Diversity in Social Intelligence)How do neurodivergence-affirming therapies reduce situations that lead to restraint and seclusion? (Therapy becomes about reaching the person where they are, goals become less about compliance and more about increasing personal agency and self-determination.)Julie Roberts is a licensed, ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist and the Founder of Therapist Neurodiversity Collective who has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a frequent presenter on overviews of Autism and Neurodiversity, and why Social Skills Training is an ableist therapy model (based on contemporary research and autistic lived experiences). A frequent blogger who writes articles on disability rights, empathetic therapy practices, and advocacy efforts, Julie is a passionate and tireless patient/client/student rights advocate and activist.
Restorative Justice and its implementation is often misunderstood in schools. However when done correctly, it can be the golden panacea to building a relational school.In this presentation I will share my successes and challenges of implementation in various school settings as well as sharing how it can be successfully used with all students, including those from a trauma background, ADHD and ASD.I will also provide some practical tips that can be used in all classrooms and schools.I have been an educator for 35 years, working in a multitude of roles including teacher, Behaviour support consultant, Head of Special Needs and Principal. My Principal role has been in low socioeconomic areas and Northern Territory in the remote end of Australia working with our indigenous communities.I am passionate about shaping our schools to ensure that EVERY student is understood, safe and able to succeed no matter what their need.I am a Doctorate Candidate with QUT researching the intersection between Complex Trauma and Developmental Disabilities in school settings.
How can you move past teaching compliance towards teaching self-determination and self-advocacy? Many programs that specialize in education for Neurodivergent children are rooted in compliance-based techniques and behavioral control. This talk explores the history of behaviorism in schooling for neurodivergent kids and will offer alternative ways to think about and respond to student behavior. Robin Roscigno is a scholar/practicioner specializing in education for Neurodivergent children. She is a PhD candidate at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education and consults with school districts and parents on a range of topics. Most recently, Robin was awarded the Irving K. Zola Award for Emerging Scholar in Disabiliy Studies from the Society for Disability Studies for her article “Semiotic Stalemate: Resisting Restraint and Seclusion through Guattari’s Micropolitics of Desire” which combined her scholarly interests with her anti-restraint and seclusion activism.
Mike Hipple is a man with cerebral palsy and uses Augmentative Alternative Communication. He was misplaced in a behavioral classroom known as EBD for 8 long years, just because he couldn't communicate his needs and wants. Somehow he got out and now he is on the mission to educate and to advocate for families, students, and professionals that children who is nonverbal and " having challenging behaviors" don't need to be in a behavioral program and or cognitive program just because they are having behaviors. Mr. Hipple serves on the education committee and the membership committee for United States Society of Alternative and Augmentative Communication {USSAAC} and he is the founder of Wisconsin AAC Network. He is a member of Wisconsin Autism Society and Autism Society of America.
Our special guest will once again be Mona Delahooke, Ph.D. for this special interview.Mona Delahooke, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of experience caring for children and their families. She is a senior faculty member of the Profectum Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting families of neurodiverse children, adolescents and adults.Dr. Delahooke holds the highest level of endorsement in the field of infant and toddler mental health in California, as a Reflective Practice Mentor (RPM). She is a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant to parents, organizations, schools, and public agencies. Dr. Delahooke has dedicated her career to promoting compassionate, relationship-based neurodevelopmental interventions for children with developmental, behavioral, emotional, and learning differences. She is the author of Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children’s Behavioral Challenges (PESI, 2019), and Social and Emotional Development in Early Intervention: A Skills Guide for Working with Children (PESI, 2017). Her popular blog, at covers a range of topics useful for caregivers and childhood providers.
Robbyn describes the neurodevelopmental effects of early abuse and neglect, the process of dissociation and hyper-arousal and its effect on the development of the four main areas of function in children (sensory processing, self regulation, relational skills, cognitive capability). She will discuss the continuum of harsh punishment and overt child abuse and the dose rate relationship to negative mental and physical outcomes. She describes effective treatment of self regulation problems often appearing as oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, anxiety, tantrums, bullying behaviors. This workshop covers the overarching principles of positive discipline from a neuro-developmentally informed perspective.Robbyn Peters Bennett, LPC, CMHS is a psychotherapist and activist for children, specializing in the treatment of mental health issues due to child maltreatment. She has directed inpatient and residential treatment programs, worked with families in child protective services, foster care and post adoption. Robbyn is Phase II certified with ChildTrauma Academy in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT). A national speaker, Robbyn’s TED talk frames spanking as domestic violence. She founded, an online parenting resource for parents and clinicians to better understand the harm of hitting children. She is a board member of the U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children leading the movement to end spanking in the USA.
The Keeping All Students Safe Act, introduced by Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08), Sen. Chis Murphy (CT), Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Chair Patty Murray (WA), and Rep. Donald McEachin (VA-04) would make it illegal for any school receiving federal funds to seclude a child or use dangerous restraint practices that restrict breathing, such as prone or supine restraint. The bill would also prohibit schools from physically restraining children, except when necessary to protect the safety of students and staff. Lastly, the bill would better equip school personnel with the training they need to address school- expected behavior with evidence-based proactive strategies.In this session we will be talking with several individuals that experienced restraint and seclusion firsthand. Guest include:Julie Weiner is a graduate student, writer, and disability rights activist and advocate from suburban Philadelphia. She lives with a chronic pain and fatigue condition and uses a wheelchair part-time. She survived restraint and seclusion at an affluent public school in both fourth and sixth grade as a response to her nonviolent dysregulated episodes. In 2019, Julie joined the Alliance Against Restraint and Seclusion’s efforts in fighting restraint and seclusion in the hopes that the next generation of students will not experience the trauma she experienced. She is a 2020 graduate of Muhlenberg College with a B.A. in English and is pursuing an M.A. in student affairs and higher education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Mina (real name: Jennifer) Han is an aspiring creative. During her childhood, she experienced the trauma of restraint and seclusion in school. With her passion for creative writing and art, Mina hopes to encourage self-care in a way to cope with the trauma and heal. As an advocate, she also supports the ban on the use of both restraint and seclusion in schools.Sam is a self-advocate who is against the use of restraint and seclusion and a supporter of the Keeping All Students Safe Act. Sam was diagnosed with autism at age three. Sam was restrained when he was just five years old until he was fourteen. Sam runs his own photography business. Sam also works to shift the way people think about autism: from “awareness” to “acceptance.”At forty eight years old Tom was diagnosed with PTSD. He has had trouble finding treatment since. As Tom would say "I'm still alive, so I guess that I’m a survivor, but I definitely don’t feel like one." Tom's experience with seclusion in special education in the nineteen eighties left him unable to maintain personal and professional relationships, or finish his education. Currently in therapy, Tom finds himself starting his life over at a time when other people his age are sending their kids off to college. 
Kelly Sarah and Rachel Polacek are two educators from Wisconsin. Rachel has been school psychologist for 19 years and is currently in a K-5 elementary school. Kelly has served students as an elementary school counselor for 7 years. Kelly and Rachel will provide an overview on how to incorporate the CPS model into a PBIS system; something they have done successfully in their elementary schools.For more information about infusing collaborative and proactive solutions into PBIS contact Rachel and Kelly at
Dr. Stuart Shanker (D.Phil) is a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Psychology and the CEO of The MEHRIT Centre, Ltd.. His latest books “Reframed: Self-Reg for a Just Society” (University of Toronto Press 2020) and “Self-Reg Schools: A Handbook for Educators” (Pearson 2019) co-authored with Susan Hopkins is a follow-up to “Calm, Alert and Learning: Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation” (Pearson 2012). His book, “Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage With Life” (2016), still garners enthusiastic reviews and media attention throughout North America and has been published in the UK, the US, Poland, Germany, China, South Korea, The Netherlands, and the Czech Republic.In 2012 Dr. Shanker founded The MEHRIT Centre as a Self-Reg learning and information centre. Stuart commits considerable time to bringing the research and science of Self-Reg to parents, early childhood educators, teachers, educational leaders, health practitioners and communities through his writings, presentations, online courses, webinars, social media and a blog entitled, “The Self-Reg View”
Susan is a passionate advocate for children, families, schools and communities, Dr. Susan Hopkins is the Executive Director of The MEHRIT Centre. Over Susan’s two decades of experience in education, she has worked in roles in the early years, K-12 and post-secondary across contexts from Italy to the Northwest Territories (NWT) including classroom teacher, program support teacher, vice-principal, district coordinator for inclusion, researcher, curriculum developer, and post-secondary instructor. Susan led the NWT implementation of the Early Development Instrument in kindergarten, co-authored the 10-Year Early Childhood Framework, developed the NWT play and culture-based kindergarten curriculum and led the Planning, Research and Evaluation division for the Department of Education. Under 5+ years of Susan’s leadership, The MEHRIT Centre has evolved into a highly respected, accessible, and successful center for teaching and learning Self-Reg. Susan recently co-authored the Self-Reg Schools Handbook for Educators and developed the online resources for the Principal’s edition with Stuart Shanker (Pearson, 2019).
A special interview with Lori Petro an author & child advocate. Teach Through Love: Helping adults & kids build stronger relationships with conscious communication.We'll discuss:What is Conscious Communication/Parenting?Who benefits most from conscious parenting and communication (everyone but kids with trauma/neurodivergent thinkers/giftedness etc demand it).How does conscious communication reduce situations that lead to restraint and seclusion.How do we learn to speak in new ways?Lori Petro is the founder of Teach Through Love and creator of the Conscious Communication Cards. She holds a Bachelors in Elementary & Early Childhood Education and a certification in trauma-informed parent education. She founded Teach Through Love after her own self-healing journey as a vehicle to provide parents with a new framework for communicating with kids.Lori is passionate about promoting social reform through education, community-building, and storytelling. A champion of conscious parenting and non-punitive justice, she's a board member of the nonprofit Stop Spanking and happiest when creating informative and entertaining content to help others heal their inner child and build authentic family relationships.
Harrison Hill Elementary is in Lawrence Township in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Lori Desautels began co-teaching two days a week in August of 2020 during the pandemic in third and fourth-grade classrooms. In February she moved to a second-grade classroom and sixth-grade classroom implementing, modeling, and sharing the framework of Applied Educational Neuroscience with the staff and students. This framework addresses trauma, resiliency and creates a lens and a path to preventative brain-aligned relational discipline. The framework consists of four pillars that blend into our procedures, routines, and transitions throughout the day. The pillars are adult brain and body states, co-regulation, touchpoints, and teaching our staff and students about our neuroanatomy. Each day we began class with a brain-aligned morning meeting or afternoon gathering where the students learned about their nervous systems, parts of the brain, and how experiences impact how they feel, learn, behave and trust others. Through a variety of practices, we met the students in their brain and body development, addressing behaviors as a form of dysregulation. The students took this framework into their own lives as we shared ways to calm our nervous systems through breath, movement, rhythms, and a variety of sensory practices. The students began addressing and talking about brain and body states with the characters in books, throughout academic content, and experiences during the day! Join us for a live panel discussion where we will hear from the staff and students about how this framework has impacted their lives. We will also have an opportunity to learn how students, teachers, and staff apply the practices and strategies of educational neuroscience.
Every bit of information that we learn in this world comes in through our senses. When sensory processing is efficient, we can navigate our everyday life comfortably. When someone is hypo- or hyper- sensitive to sensory input, daily experiences many of us often take for granted can become stressors, and as a result, our behavior will change. Transitions become more difficult. Focusing becomes more challenging. How someone processes sensory input is unique to each individual, so imposing our own sensory preferences on our children can lead to resistance. However, if we “think sensory” and understand our kid’s sensory preferences, we can help them feel safe, stay regulated, focus and perform at their highest level of ability.Greg Santucci is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and the Founding Director of Power Play Pediatric Therapy. He has been an OT for over 20 years, and currently is a Supervisor of Occupational Therapy at Children’s Specialized Hospital in NJ. Greg has been lecturing national for over a decade on topics related to sensory processing, challenging behaviors and best practice in the public schools. Greg is the father of two kids and is married to a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, so he shares his toys with all three of them.Contact information:https://gregsantucci.comFacebook: Greg Santucci, Occupational TherapistInstagram: @gregsantucci
Black, Brown, and disabled students are experiencing adverse interactions with School Resource Officers (SROs) at disproportionate rates, feeding the school-to-prison pipeline. U.S. public schools have a duty to students to create a safe school without lifelong harmful effects. As a nation, we must re-envision what public school “health and safety” means in the 21st through ESSA and federal police reform. The reality is that many Black, Brown, and disabled children are eventually funneled into the juvenile justice system through a public school system. This is one parent and one child’s journey that reflects many others’ truth and consequences for simply being disabled, being of color, or being male in an American public school. Ms. Olafson will discuss the complex and layered journey that has brought a growing personal knowledge of how school systems “police” target population through implicit bias and school policies that allow criminalization of student behavior without due process through the public school system as experienced in her state and throughout our nation. Ms. Olafson will discuss the positive benefits that can be achieved when school-based mental health providers are made available through federal or state funding. Teresa has been blessed with two amazing sons that have raised her to be a fierce advocate when she would have enjoyed simply being “mom”. She is currently concluding her master’s in nursing administration and management and hopes to expand her learning on the neurobiology of trauma. Newer to advocacy, she is passionate about empowering families and creating positive impact on educational, health care and political systems through shared knowledge. 
Join us for a special interview with Lori Kirkland. Lori Kirkland is a 3rd grade teacher and Advisor Lead in MSD of Lawrence Township in Indianapolis, Indiana. She has held numerous positions in her 25+ years of teaching but her heart and passion are working directly with and advocating for children.Educational Neuroscience is not a program, but a framework and discipline that combines neuroscience, pedagogy, and developmental and cognitive psychology bringing the current research from how the brain feels, learns, behaves, and relates to instructional engagement and behavioral practices in the classroom. Every class, assignment, relationship, behavior and experience shapes the human brain. Understanding how the brain processes information into learning and knowing more about what it takes for students’ brains to be engaged, responsive, and alert are fundamental to the teaching and learning process. The neuroscience of how the brain learns and what influences the most successful brain acquisition and application of learning should be included in all teacher education programs. (Lori Desautels PhD) 
Join us for a special interview with Karen Blacher. Karen is a Long Island based writer, artist, teacher, and mom to three amazing, neurodiverse children. She currently teaches secular studies to a small class of 3rd and 4th grade students at the Chabad Cheder in Coram, New York, where her constantly-evolving classroom design is informed by her experiences with her own neurodiverse children, her years of work as a children’s entertainer, and the voices of autistic adults and advocates.In the fall of 2020, a Facebook post Karen made about the benefits of inclusive educational practices for neurotypical learners went viral, propelling her into the public eye and allowing her to connect with a vast and varied community of educators, parents, mental health professionals and advocates working toward the shared goal of inclusivity in
In March of 2018 Victoria Johnson son was restrained by a school resource officer (SRO). Today Victoria is the founder of Families United for Self-Empowerment, a nonprofit organization in North Dakota. She helps mentor families and youth on how to become self-advocates. Victoria has a background in Business management, leadership, and Healthcare.Families United for Self-Empowerment is a nonprofit organization that provides network support services for vulnerable families with children,young adults and youth throughout the State of North Dakota.We help connect families with other agencies, services and organizations. Victoria currently serve on the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction Special Education Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Advisory Committee and Cass County Juvenile justice Racial and Ethnic disparity committee. Her passion to help mentor families and youth is what led me to starting Families United for Self-Empowerment.
Join us for a special conversation with Elly Chapple, Founder #flipthenarrative, TEDx Speaker.Elly graduated with honours in Human Resource Management and the Psychology of Human Communication. She has always been fascinated with human communication and behaviour, both verbal and non-verbal. She spent her early career working in businesses, managing and developing strategy for solutions focused approaches and building and maintaining relationships with clients.Elly has a passion and interest in equality and inclusion for all, and her drive is to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table. In 2014 when her eldest daughter lost her vision, Elly sold her business to come home and begin another journey. In 2019 she did her TEDx at Norwich sharing their journey to found #flipthenarrative - their movement rooted in humanity.
Join us for this exciting interview and learn about the Polyvagal Theory and autonomic physiology.In 1994 Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders. Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton, 2011), The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe, (Norton, 2017) and co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018). He is the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol ™ , which currently is used by more than 1400 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement.Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium and is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina. He is the originator of the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that emphasizes the importance of physiological state in mental and physical health.
Connections Over Compliance: Rewiring Our Perceptions of Discipline an interview with Lori Desautels, Ph.D. Children who carry chronic behavioral challenges are often met with reactive and punitive practices that can potentially reactivate the developing stress response systems. This book deeply addresses the need for co-regulatory and relational touch point practices, shifting student-focused behavior management protocols to adult regulated brain and body states which are brain aligned, preventive, and relational discipline protocols. This new lens for discipline benefits all students by reaching for sustainable behavioral changes through brain state awareness rather than compliance and obedience.Lori is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Butler University College of Education / Former special education teacher and school counselor and currently teaching applied educational neuroscience / brain and trauma to undergraduates and graduate candidates in the certification program. For the past six years, I have returned to the classroom co-teaching in multiple grade levels two mornings a week bringing these strategies and practices into the classroom preparing the brain to learn while dampening down our stress responses systems and attuning to the developing brain states of our children and youth. Author of several publications and writer for Edutopia.
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