August 2006




District Superintendents


Superintendents of Schools


Presidents of Boards of Education


Superintendents of State-Operated and State-Supported Schools


New York City Department of Education


SETRC Program Development Specialists             


Commissionerís Advisory Panel for Special Education


James P. DeLorenzo Signature of James P. DeLorenzo



Application to the Commissioner of Education for the Child-Specific Exception to Recommend Aversive Behavioral Interventions - PDF PDF Document (74KB)


          Effective June 23, 2006, the Board of Regents approved regulations that establish general standards for behavioral interventions and set a general prohibition on the use of aversive behavioral interventions, with a provision and procedures for a child-specific exception to this prohibition.  The child-specific exception is for those rare cases when a student is engaging in such severe self-injurious and/or aggressive behaviors as to threaten the physical well-being of the student or that of others and other interventions have not been successful. Please refer to the June 22, 2006 memorandum for additional information at


          This memorandum provides important information on the application for a child-specific exception to the prohibition on the use of aversives.  This process includes:


1.     Submission of an application to the Commissioner of Education by the school district when a Committee on Special Education (CSE)[1] is considering a recommendation for an aversive behavioral intervention for an individual student.

2.     Review of the application by an independent panel of experts (ďPanelĒ) convened by the State.

3.     CSE consideration of the determination of the Panel.

4.     CSE recommendation to include or not include an aversive intervention on a studentís individualized education program (IEP).

5.     CSE notification to the Commissioner of Education when a CSE authorizes a child-specific exception to the prohibition on the use of aversives.

          Applications for child-specific exceptions will be reviewed by the Panel beginning October 1, 2006 as follows:

          Attached is a chart outlining responsibilities of school districts and the child-specific panel relating to aversive behavioral interventions and the form which must be submitted with each request. An application may only be submitted by a school district. The CSE should submit any information it considers to be relevant to the request to use aversive behavioral interventions.


          To ensure dissemination to appropriate individuals within a school district, I ask Superintendents to please share this memorandum with other individuals such as Building Principals, Directors of Special Education, School Psychologists, CSE and CPSE Chairpersons, Guidance Counselors and Directors of Pupil Personnel. Questions regarding this memorandum may be directed to Charlene Gurian at 518-486-7462.


c:       Rebecca H. Cort




[1] CSE refers to Committee on Special Education or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), as appropriate.