Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Not news, but anyway...

Matthew Israel stopped by earlier today, leaving a comment on a post I'd made months ago regarding the Judge Rotenberg Center, a post which was actually little more than a link to this video by Christschool. I've been so busy lately, I hadn't gotten around to reading the Mother Jones article he cited, "School of Shock". Silly me. I'm so glad I didn't miss it all together. Thanks for the tip, Matthew Israel. Anyone who also missed this article, please go read it now. You can read Israel's defense in the comments section there.

From the article:
"Despite his setback in California, Israel continued to expand on the East Coast—and to generate controversy. In 1985, Vincent Milletich, an autistic 22-year-old, suffered a seizure and died after he was put in restraints and forced to wear a white-noise helmet. Five years later, 19-year-old Linda Cornelison, who had the mental capacity of a toddler, refused to eat. On the bus to school, she clutched her stomach; someone had to carry her inside, and she spent the day on a couch in a classroom. Linda could not speak, and the staff treated her actions as misbehaviors. Between 3:52 p.m. and 8 p.m., staffers punished her with 13 spatula spankings, 29 finger pinches, 14 muscle squeezes, and 5 forced inhalings of ammonia. It turned out that Linda had a perforated stomach. She died on the operating table at 1:45 a.m.

The local district attorney's office examined the circumstances of Vincent's death but declined to file any charges. In Linda's case, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation investigated and found that while Linda's treatment had "violated the most basic codes and standards of decency and humane treatment," there was insufficient evidence to prove that the use of aversives had caused her death."


  1. Linda's family needs to file a civil suit against the facility.

    Civil suits are much easier to process than criminal cases due to not needing complete proof-you have to play the jury. 1)public awareness will be raised 2)hitting them in the pocketbook is a great way to make institutions create better protocols.

    No animal in a zoo would have been treated this way. A vet would have been called when the beast failed to rise on it's own.

    This is unacceptable.


  2. I haven't looked at JRC's financials, but I suspect it is already being hit hard in the pocketbook by all the media and blog coverage of its human rights abuses.

    My blog comes up #3 in a Google search for Judge Rotenberg Center. I wonder if I'm next on his list of autistic bloggers to visit. I think I'd better get a virtual spray can of disinfectant ready for my site, just in case...

  3. I am autistic, yet my uncle works at that center. I have tried to explain to my family how wrong it is. Both he and my grandparents and my aunt (his sister) find ways to still justify what is done. The rest of the family just ignores it.

  4. Lost comment: My apologies to ohgoodmorelabels, who left a comment on this post. I deleted it accidentally, before I even had a chance to read it.

  5. I would suggest Denying Proper Medical Treatment could be a basis for the suit mentioned in comment 1, if the suit hasn't already been filed.

  6. I read that article when it came out. I would kill someone if they did that stuff to my daughter.

    I mean literally.


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