Proposed Children's Behavior Regulations

Posted on May 19, 2017

Regulations Governing Behavior Plan Development and Implementation for Children with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder (Autism) in Maine

These regulations are designed to implement Maine Law regarding the Rights of Children with Intellectual Disabilities of Autism Spectrum Disorder (Autism). The purpose of the rule is to ensure that services provided to children with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder who are experiencing challenging behavior are based upon positive support strategies, effective behavioral assessment, and least restrictive measures. Interventions are planned, consistent, and assure the child's individual rights and well-being are recognized and protected during the course of treatment.

The regulations describe the role of the child's planning team. When a child is exhibiting challenging behavior, the child's planning team must design a behavior plan to help increase prosocial behavior and eliminate or reduce the frequency and severity of the challenging behavior. When a child's challenging behavior presents a threat of injury to self of others, or threatens serious damage to the property of others, the child's planning team must act to ensure the child's safety and the safety of others.

The regulations describe four different tiers of behavior plans, based on the level of restriction proposed. The criteria for behavior plan development, review, and approval differ at each level. The two highest levels include safety procedures, which consist of all planned interventions that involve more than a minimal degree of risk, intrusion, restriction of movement, or significant physical distress, and are designed to maintain the safety of the child and those in his/her environment. Each proposed behavior plan must be reviewed at the appropriate level corresponding to the most intrusive intervention that is proposed in the behavior plan. The regulations describe the review team, which is responsible for reviewing plans at the two highest levels. The highest (fourth) level requires Commissioner approval, in addition to the approval of the review team. The regulations also define a set of prohibited practices which will not be approved and must not be implemented at any level of intervention. In addition, the regulations define emergencies, which occur when a child's challenging behavior presents an imminent risk to the health and/or safety of the child or others. The document defines rights protections for children during emergencies.

Read the Proposed Regulations (PDF)

The NEW deadline to submit comments is Friday, June 9, 2017.

Submit comments to:
Teresa Barrows
Office of Child and Family Services
Department of Health and Human Services
2 Anthony Avenue
Augusta, Maine 04330

Or, via email to

Read DRM's Comments Regarding the Proposed Regulations (PDF)

Source: Maine Secretary of State, Weekly Notice of State Rule-Making, April 12, 2017