. . . and it's not their genes either. – Dr. C

Archive for June, 2012

Here’s Something . . .

The Judge Rotenberg Center 

Artist: Kim Noble 

The JRC

Have you ever heard of the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC)?  Probably not.  They are, well, infamous to most of us in the profession.

The JRC has been around for nearly 40 years.  About 20 years ago they started doing something only they can do.  I’ll show you a link to their site a little further down, but first let me tell you a little more about the JRC.  You likely won’t believe it.

Believe It

What’s are the chances, in 2012, that American children are being electrified on a daily basis by “professionals,” sanctioned by medical doctors, with the written permission of their parents, in a facility that charges $220,000 a year for their services?  The chances are excellent if you visit the Judge Rotenberg Center.

The GED (no – it’s not about high school!)

It’s called a Graduated Electronic Decelerator (GED).  It was “invented” by the founder of JRC “to administer the skin-shocks by remote control through electrodes worn against the skin.”   You read it right.  It’s strapped onto a child who has been continually defiant to the adults who care for him.  Take a look:

They strap this “device” to children and zap them from a distance when they don’t do what they are told.  The “inventor,” a psychologist, had the GED patented, and he found medical doctors who called it a “procedure.”

How to “Psycho-Babble” Torture

First, call it “therapy.”  You can call anything “therapy.” You already know that.  Second, use the word “aversive” instead of painful.  It sounds more “scientific.”  Third, find doctors to proclaim this is a “medical procedure,” charge an exorbitant amount of money for this offensive bodily invasion, and invoke the child’s “disease” as the “clinical justification” for this “treatment necessity.”  Finally,  blame the child – and often the family – for the terrible, long-term results when they go bad.  And they always go bad.

The actual “psycho-babble” that justifies this medieval torture?  Here:  “Aversion therapy is a form of psychological treatment in which the patient is exposed to a stimulus while simultaneously being subjected to some form of discomfort.  The “stimulus” they mention is the electric jolt. The “discomfort” is the pain that immediately follows the electric jolt.  (See more about Aversion Therapy here.)

These professionals certainly know this is a “controversial technique.”  However, they say, given everyone’s past failures with different programs and chemicals, at least they have the “courage” to use the GED because, “it works, dammit!  It just works!”  I imagine if I was so inclined, I could use  this device on one of those “professionals” and have them clucking like a chicken in less than 10 minutes – because “it works, dammit!  It just works!”  What do you think?

The Parents

Who are among the most ardent, vocal supporters of JRC?  Who defends this “practice” with a fervor?  Who stands up in court and testifies under oath that JRC has done wonders for their child?  Who writes lavish testimonials thanking the Center for electrifying their child?

The parents of these children do.

Because they have been mislead and duped for years by all those professionals with all those letters after their names.  Because the people who were supposed to help their child a long time ago failed miserably.  Because they trusted the professionals who filled their child full of chemicals.  Because parents know chemicals made everything worse.  Because, at least at JRC, they don’t use chemicals.

Because these parents have “tried everything else.”

Because they are told repeatedly from the very beginning by a laundry list of professionals their child is “severely handicapped.”

Because they can’t be wrong about this too.  Not this time.  They love their children dearly.  They just can’t be wrong about this too.

Regardless of their honest, heartfelt intentions and the failures by the trusted professionals in their lives, parents do not have the right to sanction someone else to abuse their child anymore than they are allowed to abuse their child themselves.

See for Yourself

Please go here to see the JRC website if you like.  Google Judge Rotenberg Center and you’ll find lots of information about their historic, ongoing court battles.  The JRC has an annual budget of 56 million dollars.  Read about the lawsuit that was just settled in April of 2012 here.  You can also read about another mother who is just now suing, also as of April 2012, here.

The UN is on Board

Just a few days ago (June 2012) the UN – that’s right, the United Nations – decided to make a statement. Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, told the Guardian of London he is “very concerned,” about the use of electric shocks as aversive treatment on children with disabilities at JRC.

“I feel very strongly that electricity applied to a person’s body creates a very extreme form of pain. There are a lot of lingering consequences including mental illness that can be devastating,” Mendez said.  You can see this whole story here.

A Petition

There’s a petition online.  I signed it months ago.  Please consider signing it as well. See it here.

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It’s 2012, and there are some powerful adults using electricity to manage kids in these United States.

It’s something . . .  you should know.

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*EDITOR’S NOTE:  

On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 3 days after this blog was posted, the leadership of the Massachusetts House of Representatives chose not to support a bill that would ban the use of electric shocks on disabled people in the state.

Massachusetts remains, apparently staunchly so, the only state in the country where this unthinkable abuse is legally protected by its constituents.

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YKAS 3: Culture of Chemicals

We are addicted to our chemicals, you and me, and that’s a problem.  Not just for you or me.  It’s a problem for our kids.  Equipped from birth to imitate us, what do we show them?

Got a headache?  Grab an aspirin or an ibuprofen, or something else for pain.  We have many choices.  Seems harmless enough.  And it is – most of the time.  After all, they sell “baby aspirins” for babies.  They seem to work too, if given properly, and not too much.  Makes sense.  A headache isn’t, really, behavior.  The chemical we take works on our physical body, right?

Sometimes, though, when we’re too tense, or there’s too much stress in our life at the moment, a headache – or a backache, or a soreness somewhere else in your body – can occur.  We say it’s “stress-related.”  That’s what our doctors, friends and family members will tell us.  Even in the modern world, stress and tension affects all of us.  You too?

We’ve found out, over time, that some kind of sedative – a Xanax or two – will give us relief – and if we plan on it, we probably won’t need an aspirin for pain.  Pain relief is important, of course.  Relief allows us to get on with the day, minus the headache, backache, or soreness.  It’s something going on in human tissue – maybe our blood vessels are “constricted,” maybe our muscles are “tense,” or maybe we just need to calm down.  Anyway, it doesn’t matter.  The pill seems to help.

Maybe you know someone who’s been in a funk for a while.  You’re informed.  Why not give a friend a Valium if you think it will help her?  After all, why suffer the “symptoms” of this “disease” when relief is a pill away?  No need to go to a doctor, except for that damn prescription.  You know your friend is depressed.  You know her story.  She needs a “boost” to get over the funk.  It’s obvious.

Or, instead of sharing your chemicals, you provide your own diagnosis, and you make a referral.

“Bob, you’re bi-polar.  Maybe you need some medication.  It’s really helped me.  Please call my doctor.”

Bob does.  The psychiatrist provides the right diagnosis within the first ten minutes, he suggests a chemical, and Bob agrees.  Bob says he finds comfort in that pill. He becomes convinced he has a “chemical imbalance” of some kind, and the fix is in.

Not only is Bob relieved of his symptoms, he is now among the informed, and an advocate.  Why wouldn’t he be?  By the way, Bob’s doctor has a host of chemicals to “treat” bi-polar disorder.  There are 52 to choose from, including Zyprexa, Zoloft, Wellburtrin, Tegretol, Seroquel, Risperdal, Lexapro, Geodon, Effexor, Depakote, Abilify – and 41 others.  (See the rest here)

Maybe you had a recent tragedy you can’t seem to get over.  There’s relief for you at the drug store too.  Oddly enough, if one of your problems is abusing an illegal chemical, you can find a legal chemical to help you shake your chemical addiction.

There are chemicals, we are told by our doctors, for anxiety, depression, too much activity, or not enough activity.  There are mood elevators, mood depressants, and chemicals for hallucinations.  You can get a chemical to help with bedwetting, obsessing or compulsing too much, as well as lack of hunger or too much hunger.  Chemicals are sold to help you sleep, to mute your aggression, or to help you with social isolation.

And, ladies, there’s more to come, though you’ll have to have a “disease” if you want the chemical.  Big Pharma companies are sprinting as fast as they can to be the first to offer a chemical to “treat” the recently created new “disease”:  Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder in Women.  (Don’t believe it?  Check it out here.)

It’s the race to develop “female Viagara,” and Big Pharma is drooling.

The prize goes to the first one to get approval by the FDA.  It will be worth billions worldwide, and it’s a business response to customer demand.  After all, if men can have Viagara, why can’t women have something too?  You will.  I’m confident you’ll have many choices from which to choose.  “Love Potion #9” seems like it might be a good name – and a big seller.  Look for the ads.

For some convoluted but alarmingly convincing reasons, we have, in the past 25 years in particular, gotten accustomed to going to a medical doctor for help for behavioral problems, as if difficult behavioral problems are medical in nature.  They are not, but it really doesn’t matter.  There is relief found in those chemicals.  Even when there isn’t, at least you’re “in treatment.”  You have an imbalance of some kind, and you feel better taking your chemicals.

Psychiatrists are more than willing to help, of course.  There’s no pretense anymore.  You see a psychiatrist, and a psychiatrist sees you, to prescribe you a chemical to relieve your discomfort.  You go to someone else for therapy.  More than that, you soon become a disciple, adept at diagnosing and prescribing all at the same time.

The chemicals seem to work so well, we reason, we should give them to our children.  After all, we give them chemicals for the flu or asthma, why not for their “disorders.”  And it’s on the rise.  The use of chemicals to address these false “diseases” has risen four fold in 20 years.  No cures, mind you.  Just lots of “diseases,” and lots and lots of chemicals.

You may have to lower your expectations too, just a little bit.  Many believe children with these “diseases” are “handicapped” or “disabled.”  Maybe you believe it’s true too.

It isn’t, of course.  It’s nonsense.  Your kids aren’t sick.

Selling chemicals is a business. You, me – and our kids – are customers.

NEXT YKAS ESSAY:  The Business of Selling Chemicals

(NOTE:  I recently published an article I wrote back in 1988.  It was about the growing chemical culture nearly a quarter century ago.  It’s eerily relevant.  When you can, please see The Era of Chemicals – Redux.   – RC)

A brief interlude . . .

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I’m learning about blogs, bloggers, and blogging.

Experienced bloggers, I’ve been told over and over, are on Facebook and Twitter.  I didn’t know this.  So, I asked my circle of friends, family and colleagues:  how do I get this done?  Who’s the best person I found to help me with Facebook and Twitter?  Who has the skills, experience and knowledge to assist me with these marvelous 21st Century communication tools that are used worldwide?  After a careful process of elimination, it was clear my 13-year-old grandson Vincent is the person up to the task.  So, I’ll be working with him, and I’ll be “tweeting” and ” facebooking” soon.

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I have a number of essays planned that will be part of the “Your Kids Aren’t Sick” (YKAS) series.  As you know by now, this is a story about “modern psychiatry” and the growing travesty committed on our children.  Like any chronicle, there’s order to it.  I’ll call these blog entries YKAS 1, YKAS 2, and so one.  The next one in the series will be YKAS 3:  Our Chemical Culture, later this week.

By the way, about this subject, I just published an article at BestThinking called The Era of Chemicals – Redux.   I wrote it 24 years ago and it’s been hanging around in my computer since.  It’s about our chemical culture as I saw it in the late 1980’s.  I’m sorry to report it’s still true, and then some.  You can read it here.

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This sub-title of this blog is “. . . and it’s not their genes either.”  I published another article this week at the same site about genes and behavior.  The Gene Fool is about the myth you may be participating in about genetics.  You likely think human behavior is “influenced,” or “caused” by your genes.  Most people agree with you.  Don’t be a gene fool.  You can read about that here.

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There will be two new additions to the blog.  Meet . . . will be an introduction to someone I think you should meet.  The second will be You should know . . . and it will be, surprisingly enough, about something I think you should know.

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Finally, I’ll be blogging about temperament and children.  If your kids aren’t sick, and it’s not their genes either, what is it?  The short answer:  temperament.   This began as the Kids Korner in YKAS 1.  I’ve since changed the name to Kid Forms (KF).  I’ll be blogging KF 2 soon.  In case you forgot, here are the four forms of childhood temperaments:

Thanks.

Dr. C