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JRC relies primarily on the use of positive programming and educational procedures to modify the behaviors of its students. If however, after giving these procedures a trial for an average of eleven months, they prove to be insufficiently effective, JRC then considers supplementing them with more intensive treatment procedures known as aversives. These are used only after obtaining prior parental, medical, psychiatric, human rights, peer review and individual approval from a Massachusetts Probate Court. The links below will take the user to complete information about JRC's use of aversives.

**JRC follows all appropriate regulations from the sending State for each individual student where the use of optional intensive treatment (aversive interventions) has been approved.

 

  1. Bibliography
  2. Effectiveness
  3. Films
  4. Frequency of Use
  5. Frequently Asked Questions about Aversives
  6. JRC Policies Related to Aversives
  7. JRC Program Description
  8. JRC’s Web Site on the Use of Aversives
  9. Legality of Aversives in Various States
  10. Letters from Parents
  11. NYSED Controversy--Reports & Replies
  12. Papers by JRC Staff on JRC Treatment Program (Full Text)
  13. Papers by Other Professionals on Aversives
  14. Papers and Notes on Positive-Only Programming (Full Text)
  15. Position papers supporting use of aversives
  16. Statement by Dr. Rimland on the role of aversives
  17. Presentation at Florida Institute of Technology 2011
  18. Presentation at ABA 2007 Conference
  19. Psychiatry Textbook's treatment of aversion therapy
  20. Safeguards
  21. Various False Accusations

  1. Bibliography
  2. Effectiveness
  3. Films concerning the value of aversives
    1. State House Testimonies, November 2009
      1. Former Students
        1. Former JRC student Pucha: I used to be very aggressive. [Now I’m] married, 2 children, work 2 jobs…”

        2. Former JRC student Aracelis: If it was not for the GED, I’d be dead or in jail. Also clinician Von Heyn.

        3. 3 former and current JRC students explain why treatment worked

      2. Current Students
        1. Current JRC student: “[aversives] helped me.”
      3. Parents
        1. JRC Parent Mesa:. I have a daughter who has a life now!

        2. JRC Parent Biscardi: It does work! It stops him from being in a padded cell, on drugs.

        3. JRC Parent Emmick: my daughter is thankful for her skin shock treatment

        4. Sister of JRC student (Smith): ban on aversives is death sentence for my brother.

        5. JRC Parents Mesa, Biscardi, Emmik, & Smith answer questions (Part 1)

        6. JRC Parents Mesa, Biscardi, Emmik, & Smith answer questions (Part 2)

        7. JRC Parent Goldberg (1): “is it more humane to drug my son until he can barely stay awake…?”

        8. JRC Parent Coughman: I don’t know what I would do if I never got him there!

        9. JRC parent Alleyne: “They refuse nobody.. I cannot deserve better.”

        10. JRC Parent George: My son is no longer in diapers or on medication…and he can work on the computer.

        11. JRC Parent James: "I was screaming at a door where no one heard my cry!"

        12. JRC Parent Bryant: My son asked to go on skin shock treatment.

        13. JRC Parent Harrison: My son has been [psychotropic] drug free for 9 year and he’s improving.”

        14. JRC Parent Slaff: “JRC did save my son’s life. That’s the best I can tell you!”

        15. JRC Parent M. Perazzo: Certain extreme behaviors need extreme treatment.

        16. JRC Parent A. Perazzo: We can visit any time we want. That makes us feel good when we leave our loved ones at JRC.

        17. JRC Aunt Presley: Finally he is starting to make improvements. Please don’t take away our right to choose.

        18. JRC Parent Famolare: “Everything else had failed…JRC was a well kept secret.”

        19. JRC Parent Rodriguez: “If I didn’t take my son off the streets he would have been killed…I can see that he is improved.”

        20. JRC Parent Doherty: in 6 mos. he was on no meds, no longer biting himself, a human being

        21. JRC Grandmother Byron: Grandson doing beautifully on positive programming.

      4. JRC Attorney
        1. JRC Attorney Flammia: Certain disorders resist drugs, restraint & positive procedures.

        2. JRC Attorney Flammia explains court process when aversives are used.

        3. JRC Attorney Flammia explains problems with Scibak bill

      5. Independent Attorneys
        1. Attorney for 100 MA private schools: when positive programs fail, only alternatives are psychiatric hospitals or JRC.

        2. Independent attorney Gerber (representing students) describes Court process.(1)

        3. Independent Attorney Gerber (representing students) describes Court process (2)

      6. JRC Clinicians and Head Nurse
        1. JRC Clinician Blenkush: I’m proud to be associated with JRC!

        2. JRC Clinician Lowther: JRC has a unique Yellow Brick Road Rewards Street

        3. JRC Clinician Matthews: Only 50-60% of cases can be treated with positive-only procedures

        4. JRC clinician Todisco: alternatives are endless restraint & dangerous meds

        5. JRC Clinician Apinian explains why antecedent behaviors are treated at Judge Rotenberg Center

        6. JRC Head Nurse Baron: refutes various false accusations

    1. Still photos (Before and After) of Developmentally Delayed Students
    2. Dr. Israel, Parents and Students Discuss JRC’s Aversives
    3. Use of Aversives – Dr. von Heyn’s presentation at ABA Tour 2004
    4. Testimony: current and former emotionally disturbed students re GED
    5. Testimony: by parents on value of aversives to their child’s program
    6. Explanation of the GED by Dr. von Heyn
    7. Video clips from a mini-conference on skin-shock on September 22, 2004
      1. Overall Use and Effectiveness of the GED Program by Dr. von Heyn
      2. The Court Approval Process by Nicholas Lowther and Lynn Parrillo
      1. Use of GED with Students with Asperger’s Syndrome by Dr. Wosham
      2. Use of Psychotropic Medication by Dr. Rivera
      3. Adaptation by Dr. Griffin
      4. Special Procedures by Dr. Riley
      5. Tapering of GED Treatment and Community Reintegration by Steve Wong
      6. Positive Effects on Behavior by Dr. Paisey
  4. Frequency of Use

  5. Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Supplementary Aversives at JRC

      1. What is aversive therapy using the GED?

      2. How is aversive defined and which aversives are considered acceptable?

      3. What aversive does JRC use and with what policies?

      4. What is GED and how is it used?

      5. What training is required for staff allowed to use the GED device?

      6. What behaviors are aversives used to treat at JRC?

      7. How is skin shock used at JRC and what have the results been?

      8. Is skin shock the same thing as electroconvulsive shock?

      9. How effective is skin-shock as an aversive?

      10. What percentage of JRC's population is treated with supplemental skin shock?

      11. For those students who receive skin-shock, how often is the procedure used?

      12. Does JRC's skin shock have any negative side effects?

      13. What are the different treatment methods for using aversives?

      14. What are behavior rehearsal procedures and what support is there for them?

      15. What are programmed opportunities?

      16. What is negative reinforcement?

      17. What safeguards are in place to prevent skin-shock from being misused at JRC?

        1. Sample Court Authorized Treatment Plan

      18. Is it true that some programs use "hidden aversives?"

      19. Why is there so much opposition to the use of skin shock therapy?

      20. Do positive-only schools expel students who are subsequently referred to JRC?

    2. Common Objections regarding JRC's Use of Aversives

      1. Does JRC's GED skin shock device cause burns?

      2. Do students who receive skin-shock therapy ever "graduate" so that they no longer need this treatment?

      3. Can JRC's students be treated in other programs without the use of aversives?

      4. Contrast Skin Shock with Electroshock Therapy (ECT)

      5. Does JRC analyze the causes (functions) of behaviors and base its treatment upon that analysis?

      6. Is it true that JRC uses skin shock to punish minor behaviors?

      7. Is the GED sometimes used when a student is restrained?

      8. Should skin-shock be used only with developmentally delayed students?

      9. How come all other programs manage without skin-shock?

      10. Is JRC out of the mainstream?

      11. Is the probate court process to approve skin shock at JRC a sham?

      12. Is JRC's Human Rights Committee controlled by JRC?

      13. Why has JRC not published on the GED in peer reviewed journals?

    3. Common Objections regarding Skin Shock

      1. Is skin shock overkill and are Positive Behavior Support procedures sufficient?

      2. Why are not all the other residential programs for special needs children using skin shock aversives?

      3. You would not use skin shock on a prisoner or a prisoner of war. Why use it on a handicapped child?

      4. What do you say to people who say that the use of skin shock is inhumane?

    4. Common Objections regarding Aversives in General

      1. Is there disagreement on the effectiveness of aversives?

      2. Can aversives be avoided by a skillful use of rewards?

      3. Can the same results be achieved with positive-only procedures?

      4. Are aversives only temporary in their effects?

      5. Does IDEA require the use of positive behavior supports?

      6. Have aversives been banned or restricted in other states?

      7. What organizations support the right of parents to choose aversives?

    5. Other Issues

      1. Is JRC too expensive?

      2. Is it true that five students have died at JRC?

      3. What was the controversy regarding JRC's use of the term psychologist?

    6. JRC's Current Controversy with New York State Education Department

      1. On June 9, 2006 the New York State Education Department (NYSED) released a very negative report on JRC. Why?

        1. Three MA Agencies Review JRC and Find No Support for the Principle Accusations in the June 9, 2006 NYSED Report

      2. Have the new NYSED regulations put a crimp in JRC's use of aversives?

  6. JRC Policies Related to Aversives
    1. JRC Policy on Use of Psychotropic Medication
    2. JRC Policy on Behavioral Counseling
    3. JRC Policy on Training of its Staff
  7. JRC Program Description
    1. Israel, M.L.: JRC Reward & Educational Systems (2002)
    2. Israel, M.L.: JRC Use of Skin Shock and Results, (2002)
  8. JRC’s Web Site on the Use of Aversives
  9. Legality of Aversives in Various States
  10. Letters from Parents
  11. NYSED Controversy--Reports & Replies
    1. NYSED Report on JRC, (November 2005)
    2. Student XX’s suit vs school district, NYSED and JRC
    3. NYSED Memo to NY Board of Regents, (March 2006)
    4. May 19, 2006 Letter to Commissioner Mills
    5. NYSED Report on JRC, (June 9, 2006)
    6. JRC Reply to Commissioner Mills
    7. JRC Reply to June 9, 2006 NYSED Report
    8. Three MA agencies Find No Support for the Principal Allegations of June 9, 2006 NYSED Report
    9. Results to Date of the Child-Specific Exception Process
    10. Double Standard for the Severely Mentally Ill
  12. Papers by JRC Staff on JRC Treatment Program (Full Text)
    1. Summary Statement on Aversives and JRC
    2. Legal Basis of JRC's Use of Aversives
    3. Misc. Papers on Skin Shock, 1992 - 2005
    4. Misc. Papers on Other Topics, 1992 - 2005
    5. Teaching Severely Self-Abusive and Aggressive Autistic Residents to Exit to Fire Alarms, M.L. Israel, D.A. Connolly, R.E. von Heyn, J.M. Rock, and P.W. Smith, 1993.
    6. JRC Reward & Educational Systems, M.L. Israel, 2002.
    7. JRC Use of Skin Shock and Results, M.L. Israel, 2002.
    8. Thumbnail charts showing effectiveness of GED-1, 2003 - 2005.
    1. Positive-Only Programs Expel Their Difficult-to-Treat Students, Many of Whom Are Then Referred to JRC for Successful Treatment, 2006
    2. Side Effects of Contingent Shock Treatment, W.M.W.J. van Oorouw, M.L. Israel, R.E. von Heyn and P.C. Duker, August 2007.
    3. The Effect of Contingent Skin Shock on Treated and Untreated Problem Behaviors, N.A. Blenkush, R.E. von Heyn, and M.L. Israel, 2007
    4. An Example of the Effectiveness of Contingent Skin Shock with Problem Behaviors that Proved Refractory to Standard Positive-Only Techniques, N.A. Blenkush, R.E. von Heyn, and M.L. Israel, 2007.
    5. Seven Case Studies of Individuals Expelled from Positive-Only Programs, M.L. Israel, N.A. Blenkush, R.E. von Heyn, C.C. Sands, 2007.
    6. Treatment of Aggression with Behavioral Programming that Includes Supplementary Skin-Shock, M.L. Israel, N.A. Blenkush, R.E. von Heyn, P.M. Rivera, 2007.
  13. Papers by Other Professionals on Aversives
    1. Clinical Evaluations of the Self-Injurious Behavior Inhibiting System (SIBIS), T.R. Linscheid, B.A. Iwata, R.W. Ricketts, D.E. Williams, J.C. Griffin, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1990.
    2. Multiple factors in the long-term effectiveness of contingent electric shock treatment for self-injurious behavior: a case example, T.R. Linscheid, H. Reichenbach, Research in Developmental Disabilities, 2002.
    3. Bibliography: 7 peer-reviewed papers on SIBIS, forerunner of GED
    4. Bibliography: All professional papers on skin shock
    5. Punishment Happens: Some Comments on Lerman and Vorndran's Review, T.R. Vollmer, Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 2002, 35, 469-473.
  14. Papers and Notes on Positive-Only Programming (Full Text)
    1. Positive behavior support for people with developmental disabilities: A research synthesis. E.G. Carr, R.H. Horner, A.P. Turnbull, J.G. Marquis, D. Magito McLaughlin, M.L. McAtee, C.E. Smith, R.K. Anderson, M.B. Ruef, & A. Doolabh,(Monograph) Washington, D.C.: American Association on Mental Retardation 1999. [Note: This paper reports that positive behaviors were effective in only 50% of the cases]
    2. Severe Aggressive and Self-Destructive Behavior: The Myth of the Nonaversive Treatment of Severe Behavior, R.M. Foxx, R.M. Controversial Therapies for Developmental Disabilities, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2005. pp 295-313.
    3. Positive Behavior Support: A Paternalistic Utopian Delusion, J.A. Mulick, E.M. Butter,  Controversial Therapies for Developmental Disabilities, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2005. pp 385-404.
    4. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on the Treatment of Destructive Behaviors: A Study in Professional Politics, R.M. Foxx, Controversial Therapies for Developmental Disabilities, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2005. [Note: describes the political clout of the nonaversive movement.]
    5. Nonaversive Treatment, C. Newsom, K.A. Kroeger, Controverisal Therapies for Developmental Disabilities, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2005. pp 405-432. [Note: This is a balanced history of the nonaversive movement]
    6. What does JRC mean when they assert that most supposedly 'positive-only' programs make use of 'hidden aversives'?, M.L. Israel, 2006.
    7. A Fatal Experiment in Positive Behavior Support, M.L. Israel, 2006.
    8. Positive-Only Programs Expel Their Difficult-to-Treat Students, Many of Whom Are Then Referred to JRC for Successful Treatment, M.L. Israel, 2006.
    9. Personal Paradigm Shifts in PBS Experts, C.A. Michaels, F. Brown, N. Mirabella.[Note: This paper shows that 10% of experts in Positive Behavior Support would use skin shock to treat difficult cases.]
  15. Position papers supporting use of aversives
    1. Assoc. for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, 1982
    2. National Institute of Health Conference 1989
    3. Association for Behavior Analysis, 1990
    4. Division 33 (Mental Retardation) of APA
    5. Autism Society of America 1995
  16. Statement by Dr. Rimland on the role of aversives
  17. Presentation at Florida Institute of Technology 2011
  18. Presentation at ABA 2007 Conference
  19. Psychiatry Textbook's treatment of aversion therapy
  20. Safeguards
  21. Various False Accusations
    1. Scientology Accusations and Replies
    2. Response to Weiss Et Al Complaint to Amnesty International