Note: The date to submit comments has since passed, but the information about the center is still very real.
GIANT trigger warning for torture. Watch the attached video at your own risk.
In some parent's desperation to find a cure for their children, sometimes they stumble onto something else instead - a "treatment" that is not scientifically supported and, in fact, hurts the autistic person it's marketed to help. The autism world is littered with these, but by far the absolute worst offender is represented by the Judge Rotenberg Center. There autistic people are given strong electric shocks in the guise of "treatment". They call it therapy, but in reality it's abuse.
If you (understandably) cannot watch the video, you may think I'm exaggerating, but know that the center's shocks are so bad that the United Nations itself has called the center's 'treatment' what it is, torture, and asked for an investigation (which the justice department is performing).
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is calling for action to close the center, in this case by depriving them of the tools they use to shock the children given into their care, and I'm spreading their message here.
"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering an important action that would ban the use of devices that use electric shock for behavior modification. This action has the potential to close the Judge Rotenberg Center, an institution in Massachusetts which uses contingent electric shocks as a method of behavioral control.
We need to assure the FDA receives as much written testimony as possible regarding this issue. The deadline for submitting statements is this Monday, April 14th.
Your written statement can be any length and can contain any information you want - your opinion about the use of electric shock for behavior modification, other ways of supporting people who have dangerous or difficult behaviors, issues of ethics and rights, research, etc. All comments are important and welcome."
I plan on writing in to express how important an issue this is to the autism community and the harm the use of electric shocks is causing in this case, and you can, too. You can submit your comments here.
The video of the abuse: