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Least Restrictive Alternatives

Least restrictive means that the infringement on the individual's liberty is kept at a minimum. This includes: the type of treatment an individual receives; where the individual is placed; and the type of intervention in response to a behavioral problem.

For example, when it appears that an individual's rights may need to be denied for a good cause, there are less restrictive interventions that can be tried fully denying a right. The following are some suggestions:

  1. Tell the person that it appears their behavior is causing injury to him/herself or, infringing on the rights of others, or physically damaging the facility and you are concerned that, if it continues, the person may lose the right relating to that behavior.
  2. Ask the person if he/she has any suggestions on how to go about changing this problem. Find out what the person thinks he/she needs.
  3. Offer a 1:1; go play a game; encourage peer interaction; etc. Don't simply warn and then ignore until the situation escalates to the point of denial.

Partial denials should be documented as well. These may be considered as an alternative to full denial of a right. Example: Instead of complete denial of phone use, attempt supervising phone use. The treatment team should create types of interventions that include plans on how to approach a particular problem using less restrictive alternatives.

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