National Autism Association opposes the Judge Rotenberg Center

This blog started as an argument against chelation as a therapy for autism. The National Autism Association is a dedicated supporter of chelation therapy. But today I would like to quote one of their press releases in full. The message is so important that I have ignored the temptation to edit out their call for a cure at the bottom.

Rita Shreffler posted this press release on the AUTINET email list. Somehow it never made it onto the NAA website but full marks to NAA and full marks to Rita Shreffler and Wendy Fournier for being the first to sign the petition to end the use of aversives on autistic children.

I would like to think that all in the autism movement, both parents who are seeking a cure and those of us who prefer to celebrate Neurodiversity could unite in opposing the barbaric treatment meted out by the Judge Rotenberg Center. I would like to but sadly if you go to Whose Planet is it Anyway and read this entry

You Don't Know What You're Talking About

and scroll down to the comments you will encounter a load of bile from Fore Sam, the pseudonym of John Best Jr. Here he is addressing autistic adults who oppose the Judge Rotenberg Center.

If I thought I could have some of you enrolled at JRC, I'd apply for a job pressing the shock button. It might help straighten you out.

If he was just a troll we could ignore him. But John Best Jr is the parent of an autistic child and a Rescue Angel, a member of Generation Rescue whose job it is to visit the parents of autistic children and persuade them to chelate their child.

I hope that NAA publish this press release on their website. I hope they invite Generation Rescue to endorse it. And if GR oblige I sincerely hope that they remove John Best Junior from their list of Rescue Angels. He is not fit to advise parents. He is not fit to be a parent, let alone the parent of an autistic child.

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NATIONAL AUTISM ASSOCIATION SPEAKS OUT AGAINST “AVERSIVE THERAPIES” USED ON CHILDREN

“THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY,” SAYS NONPROFIT GROUP

Nixa, MO – In a TimesUnion.com article published last week entitled “Should pain be a part of learning?” writer Rick Carlin touched on a highly controversial collection of aversive therapy methods used on children with neurological disorders such as autism.

Carlin described such methods as “hitting, slapping, pinching, kicking, hurling, using painful or intrusive sprays or inhalants, and withholding sleep, shelter, bedding or bathroom facilities,” and cited facilities such as the Rotenberg Residential Center as utilizing these methods on troubled patients. Also mentioned was electrical shock therapy.

“We can’t allow this to continue,” says Wendy Fournier, President of the National Autism Association. “There has to be a better way of addressing behaviors associated with severe autism and related disorders.”

The national group says regulations need to be in place to prevent aversive therapies. “We’re interested in talking to facilities such as the Rotenberg Center, and are willing to help in any way we can to replace these cruel therapies with something less aversive,” says NAA Executive Director Rita Shreffler. “These children simply cannot be subjected to these methods, and finding a better way should be the priority of these types of treatment centers.”

The article noted new legislation, sponsored by Senator Marty Golden (R-NY), which would ban aversive therapies. “The National Autism Association supports this legislation,” says Fournier. “we’re more than willing to help any political figure ban these inhumane practices.”

To view the article, visit http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=482318&category=CAPITOL&BCCode=HOME&newsdate=5/16/2006.

Related articles:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/05/23/ny_debates_mass_schools_shock_use/

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/05/22/a_question_of_tough_love_vs_torture/

To sign a petition supporting a ban of these methods, click here http://www.PetitionOnline.com/NYs6876/petition.html

For more information about autism, visit www.nationalautism.org.

-30-

Think Autism. Think Cure.

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17 thoughts on “National Autism Association opposes the Judge Rotenberg Center

  1. If John was simply a troll it wouldn’t be as bad. The fact that he believes chelation will “cure” his son’s autism, or he will have to be placed in an institution, makes it all the more worrying that he endorses torture and supports torturers.

  2. JBJr is a piece of shit who has no love for his son at all. Why discuss him? Wouldn’t it be better to get his kids away from him and placed with people who would value them?

  3. Gee, how can I respond to that statement of ForeSam’s, while saying exactly what I think about it, and about him, and stay on the right side of the law? I mean, I’m “mostly normal” and *I* feel offended by what he writes. I think we live in the same country, too, so I prolly shouldn’t write anything about resisting any hypothetical electric shocks he might try to give me by using deadly force against him, without consulting a lawyer first.

  4. Now, if he were to try to give me any actual, real, electric shocks, I might slap him, or call the police, or something…

    By that, I mean that I abhor violence, and will only use it in defense of my self or another person.

  5. I don’t think that NAA is so against torture of kids if they aren’t against chelating non-existent mercury from little autistic kids based on “mercury levels” shown by stinking bad lab “tests”. Still it’s nice to see they aren’t in the same gunge level as John Best Jr, but I think they are pretty close.

  6. Pingback: Autism Blog Web Design Blog: » Indefensible And Unprotested

  7. Thanks for the link, Mike. I’m sure JBjr’s hateful attitude is much more the cause of his son’s behavior problems than the kid’s autism. If I had a creep like that for a father, I’d probably bang my head on the wall, too. Or JBjr’s head, which would no doubt deflate like a punctured balloon on impact because there’s nothing in there but hot air.

    I understand a few people have called Child Protective Services on him. Unfortunately, social service agencies don’t do nearly enough to protect autistic kids.

  8. This is unbelievable. Electric shock did not work for the mentally incapacitated e. g. on schizophrenic or bipolar, what is this man thinking? A doctor tried to force me to use chelation therapy on my son when his mercury levels tested almost non-existent. How a parent speak so harshly is beyond my understanding. I do know that I am glad I came across this site! I am in shock.

  9. Renee,
    Are you able to name the doctor who wanted to chelate your son? There are a lot of snake oil merchants out there preying parents fears ands insecurities. They come in many guises.

  10. “We can’t allow this to continue,” says Wendy Fournier, President of the National Autism Association. “There has to be a better way of addressing behaviors associated with severe autism and related disorders.”

    Well go ahead and tell us the better way. Tell us how students with the severest behaviors such as scratching skin to the bone, gouging eyes, head banging into unconsciousness and rectal gouging over 1000 times a day can be treated when positive only approaches, FA’s and medication have failed.

    I asked this question over on the left brain right brain blog and am still waiting for a viable answer.

    “The message is so important that I have ignored the temptation to edit out their call for a cure at the bottom.”

    Why on earth would you want to prevent a cure for autism? Deaf people have that same mentality. They are not disabled, but if you could allow them to hear and play them the sweetest sounds in existence I bet you they will not want to go back to being deaf.

    “Carlin described such methods as “hitting, slapping, pinching, kicking, hurling, using painful or intrusive sprays or inhalants, and withholding sleep, shelter, bedding or bathroom facilities,” and cited facilities such as the Rotenberg Residential Center as utilizing these methods on troubled patients. Also mentioned was electrical shock therapy.”

    Nice spin. The methods used at JRC are the skin-shock, water spray, and the portions program. They DO NOT USE hitting, slapping, pinching, kicking, hurling, using painful or intrusive sprays or inhalants, and withholding sleep, shelter, bedding or bathroom facilities.

    Once again JRC DOES NOT USE hitting, slapping, pinching, kicking, hurling, using painful or intrusive sprays or inhalants, and withholding sleep, shelter, bedding or bathroom facilities. Why can’t these people get their facts straight? One media story said that JRC uses GEDs on 75% of students. Not true, it’s 50%.

    Know what else JRC doesn’t use? Medication. It amazes me that people are so against aversives and have no problem with doping up little kids. Talk about an intrusive treatment.

  11. I had one more thought that I keep forgetting to mention when I post in these blogs.
    For the people that are so vehemently opposed to skin-shock, do you also believe that police should not be allowed to use tazers?
    Just curious what your opinions are on that thought.

  12. Ann… the use of electric shock like the JRC uses is something that is banned by the Geneva Convention and cannot be used against prisoners of war.

    Medication is far more benign, and probably far more effective. At the very least, it will not create John Best Clones.

  13. Ann Your thought about the TAZER is interesting. Are you implying thet the GED is equal in power to the TAZER (which death has resulted in after its use) and can also cause skin burns? If that is true then how can you use a device that was created to controll exrtemly violent crminals or drug addicts, change it’s look and call it a GED and say it is OK. Also how can you compare the actions of the mentally ill to exrtemly violent crminals or drug addicts. To have this point of view and work in the field of handicapped children is very scary.

  14. I was in this program for two years and two months and I don’t feel comfortable talking about the things that they have done to me or other people on a public blog. All I will say is that there is more going on then what the news is even reporting. If you haven’t heard the screams of people you live in close quarters with or the smell of their burning flesh and cries for days on end you can’t really feel the pain of the people who went here and are still there. When people talk about this so-called school they never talk about the higher-functioning students who make up half of the school and what they have to go through. There are many “Normal” students who are subjected to the same torturous methods as the special-needs students it’s almost even worst for them because they are fully aware that they are being tortured. You never hear any one report that all of your civil liberties are stripped as soon as you enter the program. There are cameras everywhere. Your bedroom, bathroom, classroom, transportation etc. JRC also follows a point system in which positive behaviors are rewarded with points and negative behaviors result in a lost of points. Of course depending on your staff every so-called negative behavior is totally subjective. I lost all of my privileges before for saying Jesus Christ because a staff thought that equates to cursing! How foolish is that? What’s even more repulsive is the support that JRC has from many parents. I’ll say this though JRC is a place where parents who gave up on their child send them. A lot of people there would have been better off with some counseling (this is in reference to the higher functioning students). People do not discuss the inappropriate relationships that go on between staff and students or the fact that many older kids/adults who are there for pedophilic behavior are your roommates and classmates and are encouraged to interact with all students even the younger ones! It’s not until my Dad took me out of the program that I found out from a staff that one of my good friends, who was a grown women mind you (23 and I was 12 ), was there because she raped her little brother and sister. That explained every thing because her mother never wanted to see or hear from her for some reason and now I know why. I will not mention any names because you can go on their site and see who I am talking about if you do I don’t want to get sued for slander, but a staff who still works there today had a sexual relationship with a teenage boy there and bore his child. This was in the late 90’s and she still works there today! On a more personal note though, my best friend was there with me at JRC she was sent there for acting out as well. Well let me explain her situation. She was being anally and vaginally raped by her uncle and her only way to release her anger was fighting in school; no one listened to her and her grandmother and mother knew what was going on but did nothing. Now JRC knew that she was being raped by her uncle and did nothing about it. Usually schools are supposed to report to the police department or child protective services when kids are being sexually abused. It’s not like they didn’t have evidence because there were eyewitnesses from other JRC students who went on a home visit with her let alone the physical evidence. This is just one of the many situations where JRC does not do any thing because on average they are receiving $214,000 for each student and that is just more important than the well being of a student. If you have gone to their site you will see that on the outside these students are living in luxury but behind close doors they are suffering. I have said enough. Feel free to email me if you have any questions: finley036@yahoo.com

  15. There is a distinct lack of empathy shown by those who advocate and use these practices. It is the same type of self obsession shown by serial killers and sadists. The only difference is that these “physicians” are allowed to do so by the society that thinks things like this don’t happen today. And they can indulge in their sadism under the guise of “helping the less fortunate”.

    Helping someone by subjecting them to physical duress and torture is no different than helping someone survive traumatic burns by drowning him in the ocean. The end result is the same.

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