What is aversive intervention?
Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Section 392-172A-03120 sets out the following:
Aversive interventions means the systematic use of stimuli or other treatment which a student is known to find unpleasant for the purpose of discouraging undesirable behavior on the part of the student. The term does not include the use of reasonable force, restraint, or other treatment to control unpredicted spontaneous behavior which poses one of the following dangers:
(a) A clear and present danger of serious harm to the student or another person.
(b) A clear and present danger of serious harm to property.
(c) A clear and present danger of seriously disrupting the educational process.
This WAC section also states that “aversive interventions, to the extent permitted, shall only be used as a last resort. Positive behavioral supports interventions shall be used by the school district and described in the indivi-dualized education program prior to the determination that the use of aversive intervention is a necessary part of the student’s program.” More simply put, using an aversive intervention plan must be a last resort measure and positive behavioral supports interventions must be used and described in the IEP prior to determining that aversive intervention is a necessary part of the student’s program.
Requirements for Implementing Aversive Interventions
If an IEP team is considering the use of an aversive intervention because positive behavior support interventions have not worked in discouraging undesirable behavior on the part of the student, the team must follow WAC 392-172A-03135. (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=392-172A-03135)
What do I need to know?
All students with Aversive Plans MUST have Behavior Intervention Plans as part of their IEP that have all of the above elements. Again, “aversive interventions” means the systematic use of stimuli or other treatment which a student is known to find unpleasant for the purpose of discouraging undesirable behavior on the part of the student. As such, Aversive Plans should not be focused on responding to unpredicted spontaneous behavior and should instead be focused on why the team believes an aversive measure is an appropriate tool to use to help a student meet a specific behavior objective and how the tool will be used.
Requirements for Monitoring Aversive Interventions
As set forth above, WAC 392-172A-03135(1)(h) requires that at least every three months when school is in session, the effect of the use of aversive interventions be reviewed. Each case manager insures that data is collected regarding the use of aversive interventions for this periodic review for each student on their caseload on the following schedule:
Preschool and elementary: with trimester progress reporting
Secondary: by 12/1, 2/1, 5/1
If changes need to be made to the current aversive intervention plan, those must be done through an IEP amendment, complete with all required paperwork. If no changes are necessary then the case manager completes a prior written notice documenting this review that is sent to parents and central files for the legal file.
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