I was shocked to see this investigative report by ABC News on the use of aversive behavior techniques. I would have thought that these archaic techniques were a thing of the past in our country.The Arc of Illinois has been in the forefront of protecting students and adults in community settings, prohibiting the use of aversive techniques for many years. We amended the school code when we became aware of students being forced into lockboxes and other barbaric practices. Now part of the school code, our legislation provides that students with disabilities with behavioral challenges must have individual behavioral intervention plans that apply positive behavioral strategies.  We also addressed the use of timeout and physical restraints for all students.

We introduced our Prohibition of Aversive Techniques in community settings when we were made aware that it was legal in Illinois to use electronic shock therapy. Our legislation now public law requires individualized behavioral support plans prohibits the use of (1) electric shock; (2) withholding of food or drink; (3) physical or psychological pain; (4) drugs as restraints;  (4) humiliation or discomfort.

Because of this ABC investigation, we are reviewing the school code and our community services legislation to see if they need to be updated.

We appreciate your advocacy on the behalf of children and adults with disabilities.

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)