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School Puts Special Needs Boy in a Sealed Bag to Calm Him

School Puts Special Needs Boy in a Sealed Bag to Calm Him

What's not to love about a ball pit? As it turns out, quite a lot.

A variation of this birthday party staple, in which kids play in a pit of colored plastic balls, is now sometimes used in therapeutic settings to help soothe kids with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). But at a school in Kentucky earlier this month, the staff seems to have seriously botched their ball pit therapy.

As mom Sandra Baker explained to ABC News, a teacher's aide put her son, who has ADHD, in a tightly-closed bag and placed him in a hallway, where he could barely move or see. The "therapy" finally ended when she arrived at the school in response to a call from staff.

From what we can glean, the aide not only used the wrong kind of bag, but seems to have missed the entire point. Children are supposed to roll around on top of an elastic bag full of balls rather than be placed inside of one. The balls provide safe sensory stimulation.


Read the whole story (ABC News)

Is the staff at your child's school trained to handle special needs kids?

Image Source: Sandra Baker via ABC News

Join The Conversation
ReneeCossich ReneeCossich 5 years
What is so sad about this is that the school board acts like this is normal way of handling a child with a disability. The aid is untrained and the teacher in-charge was just as much at fault. Had I been the parent my complant would not end with the school board but with a court case. As a parent if I had done that I would be considered as abusive. My rights as a parent would have been taken away from me.
maureenhoward maureenhoward 5 years
An untrained aide never should be in charge of any child who has problems or basically any child. I pay taxes for educated teachers to teach and discipline my chld while at school. Not some untrained aide. The aides here are awful!!! BUT ...sorry...teach you kids how to behave. teach them to respect authority. There was no ADHD and such 30 years ago. Why do so many have it now?
CoMMember13613299366377 CoMMember13613299366377 5 years
As in the rest of life, one should not be surprised at the things that go on in these settings and the adults who do nothing about it! My multi-disabled daughter has cone home from school with what appear to be cigarette burns, with the skin on her back scraped off and too many other things to go into right now. The school's response? They called Child Protection Services on me! Though NO ONE in my household smokes and my child didn't arrive at school with the aforementioned. This all started because I noticed a pattern of Lauren's school calling and asking me to come pick her up. My opinion is that because she is MULTI handicapped and YES, BLACK, they did not want to deal with her. By law, EVERY child is to attend school daily and they are NOT allowed to discriminate BUT they use loopholes to bypass that law!!! Reporting you to CPS is just a weapon districts use to get rid of children they don't wish to be bothered with. The school nurse would call every single day as soon as Lauren arrived with bullshit reasons why I had to cone pick her up! EVERY SINGLE DAY! from saying Lauren had pink eye, to she was bleeding out of her ears, to saying she had a fever and claiming that she could not return until the doctor gave the ok (Lauren had NONE of these issues. It was all LIES!) Finally CPS believed me when I had the school drop Lauren off at the CPS offices and I told them, "look at my child. Are her ears bleeding? Does she have a temp? Do her eyes look pink to you"? CPS pulled my child out of that school lightening fast and we we're able to find a more appropriate environment in which my daughter could get her education. DO NOT MOVE TO CULPEPER! worst place for a special needs family!
alishadrapeau alishadrapeau 5 years
As a mom of a 3 year old non verbal son with autism, this kind of stuff is what scares me about him starting school. I pray he will at least be able to talk some bythe time he starts school so I won't be so worried.
KarolynKoczwara KarolynKoczwara 5 years
Donna Brigdes....I have a son who was diagnosed ADHD and ODD(oppositional defiancs disorder), if you ask me there is a new disorder for every unexplainable action our teachers cannot handle. Anyways, my son's school wanted me to label him" special needs" and give him an IEP. The first year I refused as I grew up in a generation where special needs was a class full of droolers and physically handicapped children (not trying to offend anyone). The next year there were further outbursts of anger Sam the school eanted him removed for tje last half of the day and tutored at daycare an hour a week. When I began a fight with the school leadership I actually was directed to advocates for children's rights and spents hours on the phone being educated on the meaning of" special needs". In the end, I realize in" labeling" my son the school gets more funding for him and allows for him to be in a more closely supervised room with more than one teacher and aid, there were eleven students and four gave him the environment he needed to suceed and find his niche in his learning environment. Now he is in fifthe grade, five years later, and he is an average student and now has been removed from specialized classrooms. My worries were without the extra staff he would not transition well and be overwhelmed. Instead with all the extra help and counseling in the home, he is doing a lot better than I could ever have imagined. Make sure your ask questions and only medicate if all your questions and concerns are answered. It is very easy to over medicate children. You know your child best and I put up a lot of road blocks and had to self educate myself as the school just thought I would roll over and say fine, whatever you want. I fought and questioned everthing, and at time for six months sat in my son's classroom as he was not abusive or had anger outbursts. We found out school gave him too many choices to make for himself and he needed routine and boundaries. My son is manipulative if given the space and choice to be. At home with five kids there was sschedules and routine and no choices offered. Just do not do anything you are uncomfortable doing, educate yourself on the terms and what they mean nowadays. Make sure you question doctors as well there ate great counseling programs that help be your advocate in the schools and work in the home/school environments instead of office/ clinical environments. Check out what your area has to offer through children mental health services. Sometimes" labels" are not as bad as we think. Just be informed. Good luck.
karenbirkenmeier karenbirkenmeier 5 years
@ DONNA BRIDGES My son is ADD and he was on an IEP for several years. An IEP is an Individualized Education Plan or a plan to educate your child in a way that specifically meets his/her needs. At 3 years old my son could not talk, this is when his IEP started, he started recieving speech therapy which started with sign language. Within 2 months my son could communicate with WORDS. Any word he could sign he could speak and after that he just took off. He is 10 years old now and has been off an IEP for a year and a half and talking to him now you would never know he was ever on one. He is very intelligent and loves to learn. I am so grateful that he had the IEP and that the teachers knew where to focus to improve his weaknesses and nurture his love for learning. I think you need to do some research on the benefits of an IEP and what it can do for your child. If your child is adhd and is failing in school and you are not allowing them to do an IEP on him then YOU are failing him in my opinion. As his mother it is your job to give him every oportunity to learn and better himself. By not giving him the IEP you are depriving him of that opportunity. The school is offering him the help and you are refusing it (the IEP). A child with ADHD or ADD is a special needs child, as they need special care, consideration, and/or attention than a traditional child. There is no shame in having a special needs child and in my eyes being able to admit that you have a special needs child and being willing to fight for what that child needs makes you a better mother. I had to fight my entire family when it came to getting my son help. None of them wanted to admit that he needed help or that there was anything wrong with him, but I knew my child and I knew better. NOW, they all want to try to take credit for his accomplishments due to my actions. All I need to know is that my son is very nearly a straight A student, loves to learn, loves his teachers, and knows he has special needs that need to be addressed and he isn't ashamed of it and doesn't use it as a crutch or an excuse for bad behaviour. I wish you the best of luck and I sincerely hope you do get your son the IEP if for nothing else than to see what they will say. Do you even know what they do? Its basically an aptitude test and an IQ test to see where his strengths and weaknesses lay and what to work on. Its painless and important. Donna Bridges - commented on Dec 27, 2011 Okay, I have an ADHD child and not once have I ever heard of this therapy! Then I read about IEPs, I'm refused one for my child and have been since he started school. Then I hear the classification of special needs children, what the heck?! My school offers me nothing unless he is failing. It is on file with a letter and everything, have had MANY meetings to fight for help. What am I doing wrong??
AmandaTorres49175 AmandaTorres49175 5 years
This child is on the autism spectrum, not ADHD
EricaHoyhtya EricaHoyhtya 5 years
Seriously?!? A sealed bag...OMG! This woman is teaching children? I have no words for how stupid this teacher is. Even if she wasn't trained properly in this specific "therapy", should common sense not tell her that putting a living breathing human being inside a closed bag is dangerous? What a moron!
KristyHiamMcdonald KristyHiamMcdonald 5 years
I'd have her head on a platter! Are you that dense???? This woman should not be working with ANY children!!
DonnaBridges34806 DonnaBridges34806 5 years
Okay, I have an ADHD child and not once have I ever heard of this therapy! Then I read about IEPs, I'm refused one for my child and have been since he started school. Then I hear the classification of special needs children, what the heck?! My school offers me nothing unless he is failing. It is on file with a letter and everything, have had MANY meetings to fight for help. What am I doing wrong??
JanDiPietro JanDiPietro 5 years
This teacher's aide sounds like either she wasn't given proper training, or she lost control and just wanted to punish the child for his behaviour...this teacher's in the wrong business!...and what was she thinking putting him outside in the hallway?!...she's just very lucky this didn't end with drastic results, for which she would have been completely responsible. I would recommend this teacher's aide termination. I have 10 yrs experience in Pre-K, with Special Needs Certification, and have never treated any child like this, especially not a child with ADHD. Shame on her!
CoMMember13627561544261 CoMMember13627561544261 5 years
Awful Jst shows that you carnt even trust professional people these days who are suppose to be highly trained and are ther supposedly to help the vulnerable
CoMMember13615353951403 CoMMember13615353951403 5 years
PLEASE tell me the entire staff was either severely reprimanded or fired!!!!
LisaTanguay LisaTanguay 5 years
When I first saw this, I thought "What's the big deal". Then I read the article. I am trained and work with special needs children for over 15 years in school and out of school settings. There are great new therapy bags that children climb in and they velcro shut at the top. The bags are fabric and very breathable. For children with sensory disorders it gives them so deep pressure and a tight space they need to help calm them down. But they can also move and roll around and even jump while in it, they are even encourage to do so. It does work, but the child is in control of how long they are in it and if they have the option to keep thier head out. But this is not okay at all. No child should be put in a bag with a drawstring that they can't get out of if they need too. When I further read the ABC article, I was very horrified. The teacher and aid obviously need more education on how to handle special needs students. They are very lucky the boy didn't get hurt. It just shows how much more training is needed for professionals who work with special needs students.
MarleneCuppy MarleneCuppy 5 years
Put that teacher in the bag for as long as the boy was in and see how she likes it. My child would be removed fom that place as it sounds as an unsafe place for children who can not help their situations.
That just so wrong someone does this to my child and I would raise HELL you dont do that to no child at all especially if They have a delay problem. This Person was so stupid u can't handle your job Quit but don't go torchering zones child i hope they got fired and a Lawsuit for that sheesh
DianeSprague90297 DianeSprague90297 5 years
This is horrible, but the aide in a bag...then throw her in jail.
KellyMcCoy78243 KellyMcCoy78243 5 years
I worked in Special Education and didn't the teacher or other aides see this and question? I am shocked at this and outraged at this. I recently applied for a job back in a school system for an aide position and was told I didn't have enough 'school' experience. My 17 years of experience didn't count because it was homecare and my degree is in Business. And then to hear this. And the mom has rights, if she didn't sign an Individualized Education Plan for her child, the school IS NOT ALLOWED to do any of these 'new age' techniques. Sorry for ranting but this bothers me so much. Kids at that age are very impressionable and this could break all trust with adults.
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