Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID)
Special Education and Vocational Rehabilitation Services

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April 2006


District Superintendents


Superintendents of Schools


Superintendents of Special Act School Districts


Superintendents of State-Operated and State-Supported Schools


Executive Directors of Approved In-State and Out-of-State Private Schools


Executive Directors of Approved Preschool Programs



James P. DeLorenzo 


Use of Aversive or Noxious Stimuli to Reduce or Eliminate Student Behaviors   

    The Board of Regents of the New York State Education Department will continue a discussion at its May 2006 meeting on a policy relating to the use of aversive or noxious stimuli to reduce or eliminate student behaviors. In preparation for this meeting, we are requesting that all public and private school programs, both in-state and out-of-state, serving New York State students with disabilities submit a response to the following information requests.   

  1. Do any of the educational/residential programs in your school/agency use any form of aversive or noxious stimuli to reduce or eliminate maladaptive behaviors?

  2. If the answer to question #1 is yes, provide an operational definition of the term “aversive therapy” as used by your school/agency and attach a description of how aversive or noxious stimuli are used.

  3. If applicable, provide a copy of the school’s/agency’s written policy on the use of aversive or noxious stimuli. 

Attached are examples of aversive or noxious stimuli that should be considered in your responses. 

        You may submit your response by facsimile to the attention of Patricia Geary at (518) 402-3582 or by e-mail to pgeary@nysed.gov.  Please identify your school/agency and a contact person in your reply.  A response to this request by April 21, 2006 is requested.  Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.  Questions regarding this request may be directed to Ms. Geary at 518-473-2878.


c:       Rebecca H. Cort

Examples of Aversive or Noxious Stimuli