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Safe Crisis Plan

by Trish on April 12, 2010 · 2 comments

in Advocacy, Autism, Strategies

Besides revisiting the behavior plan and the level of positive reinforcement being provided, the other thing the IEP team did in response to Michael’s aggressive behavior at school was to add a safe crisis plan.

We had had a safe crisis meeting earlier in the school year when the school secretary had (inappropriately) gotten involved and physically moved Michael from the hallway into a classroom, but all we did at that point was clarify for everyone in the building who to contact if the adult in charge of Michael felt they needed assistance with him (i.e. NOT the secretary!).

Now we had started seeing some out of control behavior, with Michael jumping straight from a calm state to yelling and screaming at people, and then a variety of aggressive behaviors, including hitting, kicking and throwing things such as his shoes and socks, chairs and even a trashcan. So the team met to create a safe crisis plan.

The way it was explained to me, the behavior plan tells the adults what to do so the child will (hopefully) not have a meltdown, and the safe crisis plan tells the adults what to do so THEY don’t have a meltdown! Our plan does not include any form of restraint; in fact, the purpose of the plan is to give everyone the information they need on what to do so that restraint will not be needed.

Our Safe Crisis Plan
The basics of the plan are pretty simple – if Michael is hitting, kicking or throwing things at anyone, the teacher will physically block the behavior if possible and will clear the other students from the room.

Next, a second adult will be called to take charge of Michael. Once he is calm enough to leave the room himself, he will go to a separate room with the adult. We chose the speech room so we would have a consistent location; the SLP is only in the building two days per week and does a lot of her work in the various classrooms, so it is usually available.

Then, once Michael has left the room, the other students can return and continue with their lessons. Michael will stay in the speech room until he is completely calm and ready to return to class If he is unable to calm down after 30 minutes, they will call me to come and get him.

Of course, we are all very focused on lots and lots of positive reinforcement of desired behaviors and on intervening as soon as we see Michael start to become upset to avoid any of this, but it is good to have it in place so everyone knows exactly what to do if there is a problem and to lessen the possibility of anyone getting hurt.

NOTE: I thought I had posted this last night, but I just realized it was still in draft form. We actually used this plan today, as he had an incident that turned into a major meltdown and I had to come and get him from school. I’m still trying to process the details and figure out where to go from here as far as he is concerned, but I am thankful at least for a good team that is working so well together.

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