Wednesday, March 29, 2006
The center was founded by Dr. Matthew Israel, who designed a shock device called a GED, or gradual electronic decelerator. The students, who have few options when it comes to schooling due to behavioral issues or mental disabilities, wear up to five electrodes at a time strapped to their arms and legs. The gadget itself is housed in a fanny pack worn by the student. If a student acts out or becomes violent with staff members, the student gets a two second shock to the skin.
But now, a Long Island, New York, woman is suing the state of New York because her son was shocked at the center. New York sent him to the center in Massachusetts after nobody in New York could treat him properly. Aversion shock therapy is illegal in New York but legal in Massachusetts.
She wants her son, Antwone Nicholson, who has severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), removed from the center. But Dr. Israel says the shock therapy was helping Antwone, just as it has thousands of others before him. Dr. Israel says Antwone's violent episodes dropped from 5,000 a week to none after he was placed on the GED device. Antwone's mom says she didn't think his behavior was too bad. But she signed the paperwork for him to get the treatment. She says she didn't think it would hurt so much.
When I went to the center to interview Dr. Israel, I tried the aversion shock device to gauge its power. I put one electrode on my arm and shocked myself using a remote control. I had been told by the center's employees that it feels like a bee sting or a pin prick. Let me tell you, it hurt far worse than that. Two seconds felt like two minutes. It was like a parade of pins stabbing me in the arm. I could see why students would alter their behavior after feeling that sensation.
CNN lists several user comments, pro and con, this one is correctly con:
I think it's outragous. Sounds like something the church would have used during the inquisition, had it been available, instead of the rack.
I immediately thought of the Inquisition too, and the entire history of abuse in mental institutions (all in the name of science and what-have-you), plus the whole universe of child abuse.
What these grotesque pro-schock-abuse people can't admit is that a child is never born like that, and many abused children start reacting in aggressive and destructive ways to the abuse they are experiencing. And when they react, their garbage of abusive parents try to blame the child as if all the problems came from nowhere.
You know, maybe one way to detect child abuse would be to advertise such a method and then go secretely investigate the so very eager parents who applied to have their child shocked.
For every abusive parent we caught, we would shock the criminal "doctor" that is currently doing this.
Another situation that yields abusive kids is the child that grows up in a home where the dad abuses the mom (or vice-versa), even if the kid is not the direct target of abuse.