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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Seclusion Confusion in Florida

A fog of uncertainty and confusion surrounds many of the statistics on autism and general disability. Following a report from last week, State Impact reports on the latest example:
Last week, we posted data we received from the Florida Department of Education on the instances of student seclusion and restraint in Florida schools.
Readers chimed in saying they’ve seen different data. And we’ve figured out why.

The Florida Department of Education keeps two sets of student seclusion and restraint data.

Every incident is supposed to be recorded in both reports. But the FLDOE says school districts may not know that.
One set of FLDOE data shows more than four times as many students were isolated in seclusion rooms than a second set of data we used, the School Environmental Safety Incident Report (SESIR).

Neither of those figures probably reflects the total instances of seclusion and restraint, though state officials say school districts should be recording incidents of seclusion and restraint in both reports.