I have written a book on the politics of autism policy. Building on this research, this blog offers insights, analysis, and facts about recent events. If you have advice, tips, or comments, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rotenberg Center is the only place in the country to use these shocks as aversive therapy.
The practice has been controversial for decades, but opposition to the shocks has been renewed ever since FOX Undercover first made public a video of a former student diagnosed with autism who was restrained and shocked for hours.
The mother of that student came from New York to be at the protest.
After her lawsuit against the center which was settled in April, Cheryl McCollins vowed to fight to end these shocks for all students.
Administrators at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center contend that their methods have merit and are uniquely effective with certain special-needs cases. In a statement from the school, some parents endorsed the school’s methods and said they dramatic positive effect.
“My son Andrew has spent 18 years severely injuring himself and others, sending over 40 people to the hospital with severe human bites and concussions,” Robin and Joe Pisano of Revere said in the statement. “Nine months ago we made the very difficult decision to petition the court to try the GED (skin shock treatments). It has been a miracle. ... There is no torture here.”
Louisa Goldberg, of Newton, said her son Andrew was assaultive and was heavily drugged and “restrained on the floor for hours” in other programs.
“It is my job as his mother to find a treatment that helps him to be safe, calmer, healthy, happy and educated,” Goldberg said in the statement. The Judge Rotenberg Center is the best program for him.”