Thursday, March 29, 2012

Judge Rotenburg update!


Disclaimer:
This issue of my blog was written laboriously over 5 hours on the night of the 28th and the early morning hours of the 29th. As I was adding the images, Blogspot freaked the hell out, and my entire night's work was lost. What follows is my reconstruction of the issue, but after some much needed sleep and a good scream/crying row at my computer. Due to the graphic nature of a couple of the photos and the content within, I urge caution for anyone who is even remotely squeamish, and even more for those who are socially aware. 

On March 27th, I commented on the Judge Rotenberg Center. That issue can be found here: http://wayoutonthecorner.blogspot.com/2012/03/kathie-lee-and-judge-rotenberg-need-to.html
This is the butt-monkey that has run this state sanctioned
torture chamber. Dr. Israel. What a crappy name for a
super villain.

I have been upset over this place and Kathie Lee Gifford for the last week. We are talking, punch someone in the crotch and spit in their face angry about it. Then, yesterday, someone brought an article to my attention. http://canton.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-a-former-judge-rotenberg-center-worker-speaks-out In this article, a previous employee of the center comes forward and talks about the horrors they witnessed.

There is not much I can say that is considered polite, but I am going to comment on some of statements made... I am... just in shock and horrified.

I believe that electric shocks are harmful not only to the student receiving a shock, but to all other students in the room witnessing the traumatic shock incidences.
That's right. The staff member felt that a) the shocks were harmful and b) the trauma of seeing another student shocked was harmful to ALL the students, not just the one being shocked.

...it seemed to me that individualized student plans were designed without proper oversight or adequate safeguards to prevent misuse of the shock devices.
These devices deliver shocks of 60volts and 15 milliamps in 2 second bursts. It's a PAINFUL shock. That's enough juice to cause burns.
Look there... you're own personalized TORTURE BUTTON!
This is an actual photo from the JRC

...I would reach for my pencil in my JRC apron pocket, on which hung the remote controls, to have students crying out and or jumping up, or throwing their task up in the air, and even grabbing me, because they thought I was going to shock them... …These were all behaviors that would cause students to be shocked depending on the individual student’s plan, so groups of students would all get shocked together, all out of their reaction of fear due to myself or another staff reaching for a pencil in our pockets.
These are human beings who are terrified to the point of reacting badly when a staff member REACHED FOR A PENCIL!

If any staff chose not to shock students at such times, we would immediately lose our jobs for “refusing to follow student plans.”
IF STAFF DID NOT TORTURE ANOTHER HUMAN BEING, THEY COULD LOSE THEIR JOB!
I will repeat it because it bears repeating.
IF STAFF DID NOT TORTURE ANOTHER HUMAN BEING, THEY COULD LOSE THEIR JOB!

I have participated as required in following student plans to shock multiple students, including when they reacted to watching a fellow classmate tied up in a restraint chair getting attacked by a staffer with a plastic knife (being held) to the student’s throat. This was a judge-approved Clockwork-Orange-type “treatment” for a student who swallowed a small X-Acto knife blade. A staffer, according to the plan, would run up to the student who had all four limbs tied all day long to a restraint chair, and pretend to force a plastic knife down the student’s mouth while another staff pressed the remote control to give a shock to the student. The staff would repeatedly yell in a gruff voice, “Do you want to swallow a knife?”
What. The. Fuck. That's all I can say... WHAT THE FUCK?!
These are ACTUAL PHOTOS from
the JRC. This is the kind of shit they
are using on AS people!

Dr. Israel has previously compared the electric shock devices to bee stings.
The devices described in the literature are no bee sting... and even if they were, have you ever been stung by a bee? The JRC has set a maximum number of shocks per day to 30. 30 mega-bee stings a day.

I have witnessed a student with autism getting shocked for sitting at his desk with his eyes closed for more than 15 seconds because his mother didn’t like the fact that he closed his eyes.
Reread that. BECAUSE HIS MOTHER DIDN'T LIKE THE FACT THAT HE CLOSED HIS EYES. People on the Autistic Spectrum can sometimes find outside stimuli to be overwhelming. I know that I sometimes have to close my eyes for a moment in a crowd or at the store because I have become over stimulated, and I am extremely high functioning. So, this is, in effect, punishing someone because they have autism.

Initially in his behavioral plan, the student was shocked for closing his eyes while walking down the hallway with the reason that it was “health dangerous” to close one’s eyes while walking down a short carpeted hallway... ...there were many other behaviors for which students were shocked that felt absolutely wrong to me. Students during my time at JRC were shocked for tearing a paper cup or Kleenex while sitting and watching television during their break, shocked for standing up and raising a hand and asking to go to the bathroom, shocked for pulling apart a loose thread, shocked for going to the bathroom in one’s clothes after signing that they need to use the bathroom for over two hours, shocking a blind, nonverbal girl with cerebral palsy for making a soft moaning sound in an effort to communicate and also shocking her for holding a staff’s hand, to name a few examples of many.
This is no longer, in my honest opinion, a case of aversive therapy, but has become a clear case of torture and sadism.

But it is my strong opinion that JRC used electric shocks for many behaviors when other alternatives were available, and to the exclusion of more effective treatments. Psychologists leaving JRC told me that they had other treatments based on real research in established psychological journals that they wanted to use, but they were not allowed to use those other methods because Dr. Israel favored exclusively the use of electric shocks.
This statement requires a good long look. They did this in place of other, proven methods... Why? Why would you torture someone like this?
Take a good look at this thing... It looks
a lot like the other photo, right? This one
is used to EXECUTE people. 

Dr. Israel was out to prove the power of his electric shock devices, and in doing so, somewhere along the line the shock devices must have become more important to him than individual students. It is my opinion, as a former JRC teacher who later worked at another school serving a very similar student population as the JRC students with autism, that NO shocks are necessary to control student behaviors at JRC.
OHHH!!! Because Dr. Israel is an ego maniac that needed to prove his theories were right, even if it meant torturing people... What a dick.

If I was given the opportunity, I would sincerely apologize to each and every student I shocked at JRC.
I am doing what I can to spread your apology... coming forward like this has made a difference in my life, at the very least.  

I try not to be sensationalistic in my approach to dissemination of information, but this is one of those times where I just can't sit down and maintain a calm, cherub-like demeanor. I implore all of you, anyone who has a heart, to stand up and be heard on this. If you know someone on the Autistic Spectrum, there is no excuse for you to not spread the word. Twitter, facebook... EVERYONE needs to be aware of this barbarous "school" and get it shut down. 



The two images that were not from JRC archives were SHAMELESSLY stolen from the following sources:

1 comment:

  1. Holy. Fucking. Shit.

    AW HELL NO!

    I would like to see how the good doctor would do hooked up to his own fucking device.


    ARRRRGGGGHHHH!

    ReplyDelete