Restrictive Practice

According to the Victorian Disability Act 2006 restrictive practices means any intervention that is used to restrict the rights or freedom of movement of a person with a disability including –

(a) chemical restraint;

(b) mechanical restraint;

(c) seclusion.

Restrictive practices often occur with people whose behaviour others find difficult or challenging.  Certainly among children and young people there are many that may be unnecessarily restrained in violation of their human rights and contrary to the best practice evidence. When we look at people living with disability, at least a quarter of all people with an intellectual disability, including young people and children, are believed to have been subject to restraint in care, including physical, chemical, mechanical restraint and seclusion (The Australian Psychological Society (APS), 2010).

But further to that in society we restrain people in all sorts of ways where behaviour seems difficult. At Adelaide Night and Day Family Therapy we look for alternatives to these restrictive practices to work with behaviours. We come from the perspective that behaviour has meaning and is doing something for the person or is a communication conscious or otherwise by the person who is identified as having problem behaviour. Yet even if the behaviour has meaning it may not be working for anybody in the system, so we look for solutions either where the behaviour is no longer necessary and restrictive practices are no longer considered needed, or alternatives to restrictive practices are found .