In each of the RBHA’s school-based programs, the team is specifically trained to handle crisis situations. Each program also has a clinician who is available to evaluate a child who may need acute psychiatric hospitalization.
A crisis is defined as a situation in which a child has become verbally and/or nonverbally threatening to him/herself or others. In a crisis situation, the RBHA team will always contact the parent. Staff are trained by the Crisis Prevention Institute to handle such situations through specific procedures that are designed to de-escalate the child’s behaviors.
In rare instances in which a child does not respond to verbal prompts and redirection, physical restraint may be used to prevent harm to him/herself or others. Such restraint would not be used without a parent’s permission. You may find some de-escalation techniques helpful at home as well.
Know your child’s warning signs. Many times we do not recognize common warning signs that a child’s behavior is beginning to escalate, such as wringing hands, a raised voice, fidgeting, and balling up fists. Once we recognize the warning signs, we can intervene early to prevent a crisis situation.
The RBHA team will work with you to identify your child’s warning signs. They will also help teachers recognize signs in order to prevent behaviors that typically result in office referrals, telephone calls home, and suspensions. Other steps to handling a crisis include being supportive, giving clear directives to set limits, giving your child options, and talking about what happened after your child is calm.