Ukeru in the News

These schools did away with seclusion and restraint. They say Illinois can too.

Chicago Tribune, April 13, 2020 – As part of a Chicago Tribune/ProPublica investigation into the use of restraint and seclusion, Kim Sanders explains how schools can find a new path.

8 Tips for People With Autism and Communication Challenges During COVID-19

The Mighty, April 8, 2020 – Ukeru President, Kim Sanders, and Pam Martin, Training and Support Manager at Grafton Integrated Health Network, provide advice on effective communication with individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During Autism Awareness Month, Let’s Focus on Comfort vs. Control

Thrive Global, April 3, 2020 – Ukeru President, Kim Sanders, talks about Taking Trauma out of the Classroom for Students with Autism.

Let’s ban secluded ‘quiet rooms’ in schools nationwide

Philadelphia Tribune, January 26, 2020 – Ukeru is cited as an evidence-based alternative to the use of seclusion.

Grafton’s New Partnership with Page Elementary School, December 9, 2019 – Chloe Sorensen and Tasha King with Grafton, as well as Principal Page Jackson Elementary School, Nicole Shaffer, talk about a new partnership and the impact that Ukeru’s trauma informed care approach has had with students.

An Alternative to Seclusion and Restraint was Born in Virginia and It’s Spreading

Virginia Public Media/NPR, December 6, 2019 – This piece highlights the change that two organizations, Support Services of Virginia and Woods Services , significantly reduced restraints and seclusions by working with Ukeru.

The Quiet Room

Chicago Tribune, November 19, 2019 – As part of a collaboration between the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois, Kim Sanders talks about why Ukeru’s parent organization eliminated seclusion.

Kim Sanders on Developing Ukeru Systems to Eliminate Seclusion and Restraint

CrisisTalk, August 20, 2019 – Kim Sanders shares the story of how Grafton changed its culture to create a trauma informed culture.

How Some Schools Restrain Or Seclude Students: A Look At A Controversial Practice

NPR, June 15, 2019 – In a piece on alternatives to restraint and seclusion, Ukeru President Kim Sanders talks about Grafton’s experience and the effectiveness of a comfort vs. control philosophy.

Father of Maryland special needs student says seclusion and restraint needs to stop

Fox 5 DC, May 31, 2019 – A father from Calvert County, MD highlights Ukeru as an effective alternative to the use of restraint and seclusion in the classroom.

A Lesson in Restraint: FPS looks into new behavior system

Valley News Live, April 23, 2019 – As part of a story on Fargo, North Dakota’s evaluation of their use of restraint and seclusion, Kim Sanders was interviewed to talk about the benefits of using Ukeru.

LETTER: There are alternatives to restraint and seclusion, April 16, 2019 – Ukeru President, Kim Sanders, responds to an editorial in, indicating some students need to be restrained, by offering a different perspective based on her 30 years of experience working with children with developmental disabilities. Read the letter here.

Children Are Routinely Isolated In Some Fairfax County Schools. The District Didn’t Report It.

WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio, March 14, 2019 – This report sheds light on the overuse of restraint and seclusion, but Ukeru President, Kim Sanders explains that it is important to remember that teachers are only using the tools they have and know. Just like Ukeru’s parent organization, Grafton, more positive outcomes are achieved when staff are given other tools as options.



KidsPeace podcast, November 21, 2018 – In a recent episode, Kim Sanders talks about promoting a comprehensive strategy for defusing situations quickly and effectively.

Eliminating Restraints and Seclusion Improves Outcomes for Injuries/Trauma, Expenditures, and Student Goal Mastery

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, November 16, 2018 – The writer behind the Unstrange Mind website shares their thoughts about the potential impact of research conducted by Ukeru and its parent organization, Grafton Integrated Health Network, on alternatives to restraint and seclusion.

What Is The Alternative To Restraint?

Open Minds Daily Executive Briefing, November 15, 2018 – In this article, Kim Sanders is interviewed on how provider organizations serving people with intellectual/developmental disabilities can build a strategy to reduce their use of seclusion and restraints.

Lower Use Of Restraints & Seclusion Linked To Safety Improvements & Lower Costs

The OPEN MINDS Circle, October 21, 2018 –  A recent journal article, co-authored by Kim Sanders, President of Ukeru Systems, was highlighted in The OPEN MINDS Circle market intelligence.

Evaluation of a Program Model for Minimizing Restraint and Seclusion

Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, August 2018 – A new longitudinal study illustrates how Grafton Integrated Health Network, Ukeru’s parent organization, was able to dramatically reduce physical restraint and completely eliminate seclusion by shifting to an approach of comfort versus control.

Turning a New Leaf: UKERU at Perspectives

Perspectives Blog, August 2018 – Perspectives Corporation featured its Ukeru Systems’ training session in a recent blog.

Restraint & Seclusion of Special Needs Individuals

Lomah podcast – Host Kimberly Albrecht talks with Kim Sanders about the effects restraint and succession have not only on the individual who is being held or isolated against his or her will, but also the toll it has on educators and service providers.

The Teachers’ Corner

Education Insights, April 2018 –  Ukeru President, Kim Sanders provides tips for managing challenging behaviors in both mainstream and special needs classrooms.


Bill prohibits dangerous use of restraint in classrooms

Las Cruces Sun-News, October 25, 2017 – Arizona’s House Bill 75 prohibits the use of restraint and seclusion in the classroom, except in the case of an emergency. This shows that New Mexico leaders are shifting their thinking away from control and toward comfort and is a great first step.

Restraint Free Education Policies

Issues Today, October 23, 2017 – Ukeru’s President, Kim Sanders, speaks on the Issues Today radio show about the consequences of using seclusion rooms and physical restraints in the classroom.

When patients are at their worst, mental health nurses are at their best

The Nursing Times, September 7, 2017 – After a new report found that exposure to targeted, personal and verbal aggression by patients can adversely affect mental health nurses’ decision-making regarding physical restraint, Kim Sanders published the following first-person editorial helping put into perspective the challenges of working with patients when they are at their worst. 

Schools, Please Stop Locking Kids in Closets

The Huffington Post, September 5, 2017 –  Huffington Post columnist Laurie Levy interviews Ukeru Engagement Specialist Bonnie Zampino on the dangers of secluding children from the classroom.

Revolutionary New Crisis Management System Now Available to South Carolina Schools and Health Facilities

Ukeru has now been approved by the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs as a preferred provider option for “Preventing and Responding to Disruptive Behavior and Crisis Situations.”

Making safer and more equitable classrooms requires change

The Hill, January 18, 2017 – A case before the United States Supreme Court involves a child with autism whose parents are suing the school district over whether he is being denied his legal right for a meaningful education in the public school setting. But before we can educate children, we have to stop hurting them.

The same opinion piece also appears on the World Headlines news site, as well as the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch in February of 2017.


Protecting Our Precious Children

Grisborne Herald, December 20, 2016 – In November 2016, New Zealand took a historic step to better ensure the safety of its children by eliminating the use of seclusion as an acceptable form of behavioral management in its schools. In the country’s Grisborne Herald, Ukeru President Kim Sanders shared why this is an example that other countries should follow.

Behavioral Health Expert and Ukeru President Kim Sanders Calls for an Immediate Reduction in Restraint and Seclusion of Children with Disabilities

My Social Good News, December 15, 2016 – Ukeru President, Kim Sanders, responds to statistics released by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) citing a significant increase in complaints involving restraint and seclusion of children with disabilities.

What Works: Alternatives to Physical Restraint

Behavioral Healthcare, August 2016 – Sometimes the best ideas come from those who have been in the weeds the longest. With a history of using traditional, physical, crisis-management tactics, Grafton Integrated Health Network, a Winchester, Va.-based not-for-profit behavioral health and special education services provider, found it could no longer advocate for the approach.

We Must Eliminate Restraint and Seclusion in Schools: Zachary’s Story

Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, June 2016 – It was only the third day of first grade — Aug. 26, 2015 — that my child was involuntarily committed to a hospital more than two hours from my home.

Expert Comments on Policy Change on Restraint and Seclusion in Ohio Schools

Morrow County Sentinel, February 2016 – New troubling numbers on restraint and seclusion in Ohio public schools prompted a response by Ukeru President Kim Sanders to call on legislators to reassess the state’s training procedures.   The same release also appears in the state’s Galion Inquirer.

Behavioral Health Specialist Urges Classroom Changes in Clover, SC

Allegations emerge of the seclusion of autistic children in a South Carolina public school.  Ukeru President Kim Sanders explains the long-term trauma associated with this type of treatment and how better alternatives exist.


Mental Health Begins Where the Straightjackets Ends, December 2015 – You have a teenager deep in the midst of puberty, with the strength to boot, who is upset. Additionally, the kid is big and, oh yes, autistic. Quick: What do you do?

The Trauma of Restraints: Eliminating Ineffective Approaches in the Classroom

Before it’s News, December 2015 – Recent media coverage and several “caught on cell phone” videos have given the world a frightening glimpse of the trauma inflicted in the classroom as teachers and others use physical restraint on students.

My Son Has the Kind of Autism No One Talks About – Part 2

Huffington Post, October 2015 – Parents with your typically functioning child and those with autism can do things together that would benefit the wellbeing of our children and that would enable all of our children to grow up to be their very best.

My Son Has the Kind of Autism No One Talks About

Huffington Post, September 2015 – The media shows us all of the feel-good stories about autism. But for every child with autism who manages his high school basketball team or is voted on to homecoming court, there are 20 more with the kind of autism no one talks about.

Life without Restraint: Problems and Solutions Regarding Restraint Use

Huffington Post, September 2015 – Recently, the nation reacted to a video showing a school resource officer putting an eight year-old child’s biceps in handcuffs. There was an outpouring of dismay, outrage and disbelief all across the country.

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