A move to restrict usage of padded rooms in schools

A week after hearing a 7-year-old autistic boy was put in a padded room at Ox Ridge Elementary School in Darien, a mother whose son had a similar experience is working with a state lawmaker on a bill to require strict rules for the use of such rooms.

Maryann Lombardi, of Wilton, whose son was placed in a padded room when he was 9 years old, has teamed with state Sen. Judith Freedman, of Westport, to pass the bill, which would look to ensure that schools ?don?t isolate children in what we call these isolation rooms or padded rooms unnecessarily because it really is detrimental, especially to a special-needs child.?

Added Freedman: ?The parent has to be contacted and the parent has to be part of the process.?

The issue of seclusion rooms has some parents with mixed feelings. Some are appalled the rooms exist in southwestern Connecticut schools. Other parents feel that, if used correctly, the rooms can be used as safe places.

That includes Lombardi.

Related Information:News 12 Sound Off! Board Parents hit Darien schools with suit over padded room

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