what do you think?

I'm curious what you think...

about schools using chairs with seatbelts in the preschool classrooms?


Wendi Taylor said...

I think I need more information. Do they use them for short periods of time & specific activities - such as snack time, etc. when they really don't want all the kids jumping up and running around every two seconds? Or do they make the kids sit in the chairs for long periods of time instead of letting them play, explore, and learn? Do they use the chairs in a way that facilitates an educational environment, or as a way to let lazy teachers look like they have control of their classroom (at the risk of making young kids hate school)? I could see how these could be used for good. I could also see how they could be used for bad.

Anonymous said...

Wendi makes a good point.

Having 'been there' many times, many many times, I do not recall seatbelts used for bad. Really ever. Temporary containment measures allow for group activities and instruction that might otherwise not be possible even with a high adult/child ratio.

I gotta say, I rather like the design of the chair. Consider suggesting little pillows, for comfort. Barbara

Sinead said...

It is illegal to use a seat with a belt, harness or tray in school in the state of Wisconsin without a doctors prescription. I like that approach. I think they use to chairs instead of staffing appropriately. Unfortunately, I don't live in Wisconsin.

Mrs. M said...

I need more info too. When? Why? With what other therapy interventions/behavioral interventions? For how long?
My first reaction....was OMG! But I get it. Look at the kiddos with really low muscle tone who need these chairs.
Look at the sensory and autistic kiddos who need to be "hotdogged" in a carpet or weighted blanket. I get all this and it doesn't freak me out (even though there was a death of an autistic child in can last year due to a rug/hot dog technique inappropriately used....not the norm, I realize)
Freaks me out slightly though. I just get visions of all these little pre-schoolers tied down, trying to get out, tipped over in their chairs....that's my craziness getting away from me because we KNOW that's not what it's about.
Soooo.....my burning question; what is the school's policy/plan with these chairs?

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

Found your blog from Barbara at Therextras. I have witnessed seatbelts used for group instruction as well - never to send an absolute message of you can not get up, more of an external cue of time to sit. I have never witnessed them used inappropriately. On a different note, I have seen time out rooms used inappropriately.

If you would like more information on the issue of restraints and seclusion, the federal government has released a state by state report on the rules. You can view the over two hundred page document at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/seclusion/summary-by-state.pdf.

Anonymous said...

My son uses a rocking chair with a seat belt that I added at home and we borrowed a Chairres chair from school with a seat belt last summer. He goes stiff and has some tone issues in his trunk, so there for he slides out of regular chair without a seat belt. It is a safety thing for us as well as giving him a chance to sit in a chair built for his size so that he can do "normal activities".

happy's mommy said...

Memphis' mommy ~ where did you find the rocking chair? The more I think about it...the more I think we already use belted chairs as tools to help make life easier. We just call them "high chairs". :)

And I'm wondering if I used a high chair or something like the rocking chair...if Trevy might actually watch a whole Signing Times DVD rather than watching the credits and running!

I suppose the heart of my issue with the school using a belted chair is ~ trust. I don't trust that all of the staff would be using it for the right reasons. Also...it has been used with Trevor during circle time and for Time Out. I do not want it used for Time Out. He has a one on one aide who can and should be enforcing time out with him. But if she needs to use it during group...so that she can focus on helping him catch the learning rather than spending her energy making him stay...that's different.

Anyway...I was curious how others felt. It's been interesting to hear the dialogue!



Anonymous said...

Rocking chair - good idea! Does his preschool have an open door policy? If you can drop in anytime, then you might trust them more to be doing as you have expressed/requested.


happy's mommy said...

Barbara...I'm VERY intrigued by the belted rocking chair! Very intrigued!

Good point about pop ins.


Monica (c's mommy) said...

We actually own one for C, and they use them at school for circle times, and times they need him to focus on a task, and at lunch. I have absolutely NO problem with them. I figure either you use the belted chair or there is no point in him being at school b/c you will spend the whole day chasing him down. And yes, we have to sign a release for them to use it b/c it is considered a form of restraint.