Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Clinic Forced To Close Following Girl's Restraint Death
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 2, 2006

RICE LAKE, WISCONSIN--The state of Wisconsin has ordered a day treatment program to close for at least six months because it failed to adequately address problems that led to the restraint-related death of a 7-year-old girl.

According to Tuesday's Janesville Gazette, the Wisconsin Health and Family Services Department notified Northwest Counseling and Guidance Clinic that it would lose all state and county funding beginning on August 15.

The clinic had been ordered to provide state officials with a corrective action plan following the May 26 death of Angellika Arndt.

The girl, who had diagnoses of reactive attachment disorder, mood disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, died one day after being placed in a "control hold" at the center as a consequence for gargling milk. At least one staff member reportedly held Angellika's feet and one or more others held her shoulders and arms down while restraining her facedown on the floor for several minutes.

Angellika died of a heart attack at a Minnesota hospital the next day. A medical examiner ruled her death a homicide due to "complications from chest compression asphyxiation".

On July 21, the clinic submitted a corrective action plan that was several hundred pages long. After reviewing the plan, however, department officials said it did not deal with the issues that put Angellika and other children in danger -- especially the high rate of physical restraints the children had been subjected to.

While the clinic can appeal the decision, it must remain closed in the meantime. None of the other 12 Northwest clinics will be affected.

Local police are continuing a separate criminal investigation into the girl's death.

"State closes Rice Lake center for 6 months after girl's death" (Associated Press via Janesville Gazette)
"Group urges closure of center after girl's death" (Pioneer Press)
"Angellika Arndt, 7, Died After Ninth Restraint At Clinic" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)


©2018 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.