Author Topic: RotGASM  (Read 3233 times)

Doktor Skinsaw

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2010, 12:42:13 am »
This is getting some good momentum. I have a quote I'd like to share:

http://technoccult.net/archives/2010/01/29/interview-with-neurodiversity-advocate-kassiane/

I met Kassiane while going to a Discordian themed party @ the "Pink and Brown Collective" housewarming (Johnny Fenderson, of P&B was one of the blokes who got the Parlour going, which sadly just closed).

She identifies as Discordian, and has an athame that is pronounced W-R-E-N-C-H, which she uses to project bloody noses onto street-kids who try to touch her animal crackers. She's witty, fun to be around, an incredible gymnist (and coach), and identifies as “neurodiverse” but not "disabled". Definitely worth a read. I can get permission to use the full thing, probably. (She also name-drops some orgs we can get behind us on this.)



Kassiane is really wonderful; I wish I saw more of her.

Also, so sad about the Parlour. :(
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Golden Applesauce

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2010, 03:35:24 am »
Thanks everyone!

Here's my timeline for the rest of the week: Tuesday and Wednesday will be devoted to research (the links that you've found will help speed that up), Thursday I'll start putting short informational pieces together and drafting letters, and then Friday and Saturday I'll finish the first round of letters and send them to teachers & counselors that I know.  The informational pieces - intended to help with the letters - I'll post here as I work on them so we can collaborate.  I only have ~3 hour time windows Monday thru Thursday so it will be a little tight.

So for the first week I'm thinking we should mainly be:
-gathering sources
-talking to people who can help us plan, people who we don't need to make a big sell to first.  (e.g., this Kassiane person maybe?)
-brainstorming ideas

Then again I haven't exactly done this before, so... i dunno.

Final note: this isn't a project that calls for disinformation.  The Truth is on our side, and frankly it is horrible enough.


I don't think it should be ruled out yet.

The Yes Men have had the truth on their side as well, but the disinformation in their pranks was the key to raising awareness. The contrast of the disinformation with the actual situation may be a way to drive points home with more entertainment, engagement with the issues, and efficacy in getting people to act than a more straightforward approach.

The level of interest and outrage that is generated with a prank, as well as it's humor value, could help get past people's yeah-that's-horrible-but-so-are-a-million-other-things filter.

I just saw a blip about Bhopal on the news, which reminded me of the Yes Men

an example of how they might approach this project would be to concoct a press release which looks like it's from the Judge Rotenberg Center, in which they apologize for the abuses and list the steps they're taking to make things right [read: the reforms we want].

At this point, the JRC has to respond, probably by dismissing the apology (thereby drawing more attention to the points we're attacking).
I just saw a blip about Bhopal on the news, which reminded me of the Yes Men

an example of how they might approach this project would be to concoct a press release which looks like it's from the Judge Rotenberg Center, in which they apologize for the abuses and list the steps they're taking to make things right [read: the reforms we want].

At this point, the JRC has to respond, probably by dismissing the apology (thereby drawing more attention to the points we're attacking).

By disinformation I was thinking more along the lines of "don't make up abuses that haven't actually happened."  I actually thought about contacting the Yes Men directly after we got this going a little (both so that the YM will take us seriously and because a news release probably won't be a big deal unless there's already some current interest?)  - making them say, "You have been mislead - we have no plans to stop traumatizing children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder." would be great.
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Richter

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2010, 12:52:58 pm »
I've got some info, not psoting it from work though   :|
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Cramulus

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2010, 01:41:27 pm »
accounts created:

https://judgerotenbergcenterabuse.wordpress.com/

username: judgerotenbergcenterabuse
password: rotGASM23


rotGASM@gmail.com
password: rotGASM23

Cramulus

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2010, 03:09:07 pm »
I chopped up the data GA linked to on page 1 and posted it

we've now got 10 entries

we could use some of the "how to get involved" data on there too

Golden Applesauce

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2010, 12:36:56 am »
Cool, thanks!

Unrelated musing about the opinion pieces I've been stumbling across: one of the reasons that the various news articles / blog posts about the JRC abuses haven't been as effective as they should have been is that a) so many of them read as sensationalized and b) they all focus on the electric shocks, especially as if that in-and-of-itself is the abuse.  The first sets off people's BS detectors, which leaves them primed to accept the JRC's calm and measured responses as authoritative.

The second is just false - painful electric shocks really could be used to benefit some people with severe self-destructive behavior as part of a comprehensive treatment plan designed to fit the individual's needs and administered by professionals who have the patient's best interests at heart.  So the reader looks at that and thinks, "If I had to choose between someone I love trying to swallow razor blades for the rest of her (very short) life or go through some pain for the next 1-3 years and then live the rest of her (now improved to average length) life with only her normal disabilities... it wouldn't take very long.  Okay, maybe the shocks hurt a little more than strictly necessary, but compared to the alternative of a perforated GI tract, I'll take it.  I wish these crazy autistic self-advocates would quit trying to push their 'it's torture to hurt suicidal people, we should let them die slowly of internal bleeding instead' agenda on vulnerable children."

The problem isn't that the JRC uses electric shocks, it's that they start with the assumption that any problem can be cured with severe enough punishments (e.g., the NYSED documented a case where they were trying to 'cure' a child with PTSD by hurting her enough) and that the only treatment necessary is punishment (bipolar and schizophrenic kids don't need medication, autistic children don't need to be taught social skills, children with physical handicaps don't need physical therapy, and nobody needs speech therapy, or for that matter, to be allowed to talk.  Conversations are a privilege reserved for the most well-behaved, and friendships are right out of the question.  You read that right: they go out of their way to prevent suicidally depressed children from making friends.)  It's like the mental health equivalent of those people who think nobody needs vaccines because enough Vitamin C cures smallpox.

That, and they don't monitor for when their treatments are causing more psychological harm than good (hint: quite frequently), and if they don't think the treatment is working properly (as purely measured by incidents of misbehavior; they don't care about anything except how often the children break rules) their solution is to make the punishments even more severe.  You can imagine otherwise normal parents, driven to wits' end from the non-stop crying of their baby and having tried everything in the parent's bag of tricks, resorting to slapping their baby across the face.  At this, point of course, the baby starts crying even louder, and the parent realizes that hitting a baby for crying was a really stupid idea that has only made things worse.  Dr. Israel goes for the taser and ignores the massive stomach ulcers exacerbated by his unusual approach to child nutrition until the child eventually dies of them.*  Oops.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 02:40:19 am by Golden Applesauce »
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Cramulus

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2010, 01:23:52 am »
I was pretty much just publishing data that other people have written, getting higher googleability for phrases like "JRC abuse"

anyway I spent like four or five hours working on this today, I hope you can find some use for it

Golden Applesauce

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2010, 02:31:05 am »
I also found a pdf of a court case that the Rotenberg Center filled against the New York State Education Department. New York banned them from shocking their students, and the Rotenberg Center tried to claim this violated their rights. The ruling was that their rights were not violated and the Rotenberg Center cannot legally use their "therapy." We also have a very legitimate source that details exactly what was done.

Quote
Aversive methods include contingent food programs, the use of helmets on some children, mechanical restraints, and the application of electric skin shocks through a graduated electronic decelerator (GED).

They've also been caught in a lie, but I'm not sure how useful it is.
Quote
Plaintiffs [Rotenberg Center] contend that defendants [New York State Education Department]
improperly accepted allegations of mistreatment by JRC as fact in early
2006 without investigating their merits. With their next breath, however,
plaintiffs object to just such an investigation, asserting that defendants’ “rereviewed”
JRC to avoid negative media attention arising from the 2006
allegations. Clearly, plaintiffs cannot have it both ways, and their attempt
to do so must be rejected.

Thanks for the link!  I read through the decision, and while IANAL this is what I think it the most relevant parts of the decision were:

  • That given that the use of aversives is a contentious issue among education professionals, with rational arguments and research on both sides, it is not in purview of the courts to make educational policy decisions (reasonable) but that state government can legitimately take a side in the debate by imposing regulations, provided they do not do so arbitrarily or capriciously (also reasonable.)

    Double IANAL disclaimer: pretty sure this means legislation could get passed outlawing the techniques the JRC uses, but the courts are not going to ban any school policies on the basis of their educational soundness.  Does that leave open the possibility that they could (in some other case) rule that the policies constituted abuse or neglect?  Dunno.
  • That due process was not violated by the manner in which NY adopted the emergency regulations.  NY was getting sued by a parent who claimed that the JRC abused her kid, there was a slew of sensational news reports, which lead to them putting the emergency regulations into place.  The court found that given that NY was facing a lawsuit which alleged that it was allowing NY children to be abused at NY expense, a lawsuit which did have some supporting evidence, it had a legitimate reason to act rapidly (i.e., put regulations into place first, and then hold public hearings later.)  Furthermore, in this particular case, the public hearings resulted in even stricter final regulations, so the judge found the claim that the children's/parents' rights were violated without due process to be invalid on the basis that there was due process.  However, the judge did not make a decision as to whether the ability to use adversives was a right - since there was due process, rights were not violated without due process, so whether or not the use of aversives is a right is a moot.
  • The judge has not yet ruled about the main argument by the parents, which goes like this:
    • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) entitles qualifying children to services that meet all their needs, academic, emotional, physical, and social.
    • Precedent holds that not addressing disability-related acts violence and classroom disruption is not reasonably calculated to allow the child to receive educational benefits.
    • The adversives used at the JRC address disability-related acts of violence and classroom disruption.
    • The recent regulations ban and/or restrict the adversives.
    • Therefore, the regulations deprive our children of the educational benefits guaranteed by the IDEA.

    Thought: if the IDEA guarantees access to education to that meets emotional/physical/social needs, and it is shown that the JRC does not meet those needs - does that get us anywhere?  Can the parents just say "Well, we have access to education that meets those needs, we just choose not to use it?"  Can that force somebody somewhere to build a school that does meet those needs so parents have an alternative to the JRC?



Q: How regularly do you hire 8th graders?
A: We have hired a number of FORMER 8th graders.

Golden Applesauce

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2010, 02:38:25 am »
I was pretty much just publishing data that other people have written, getting higher googleability for phrases like "JRC abuse"

anyway I spent like four or five hours working on this today, I hope you can find some use for it

Sorry!  Looking back at my post it appears as if I accused you of being sensationalist or focusing on bad arguments - that wasn't my intent at all.  The earlier draft of the post had "Something I've been thinking about:" instead of "Opinion follows:" - for some reason I changed it to better indicate that that was my subjective opinion and I hadn't examined all of the newspapers/blogs to declare it to be fact.  It wasn't meant to be taken as an opinion of the blog at all - I haven't done more than glance at it yet (been reading that legal paper above) and what I saw looked pretty good.  But since it follows after your post, it looks like it does, so I'll change it back.

The intent of the piece about sensationalism and focusing on the GEDs was just to try to get some thoughts going about what we can do differently than other pieces to make our rhetoric more effective.
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Golden Applesauce

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2010, 03:41:46 am »
Went through the blog (except watching the videos) and it looks pretty good.  Obviously at some point we'll want to start publishing articles directly written for it, but that's in the future.

Found this by following links from the blog - there is apparently a bill in the US House & Senate to pretty severely limit restraints and seclusion in schools (for everybody, not just children with disabilities.)  House Version and Senate Version

Highlights:
  • Both bills require states to make plans to prevent the use of restraint/seclusion, and send annual reports with numbers and demographics to the Sec of Education.
  • Both bills call for states to develop Crisis Intervention certifications, and require that restraint/seclusion be carrying out by them except in emergency.
  • Both bills prevent including restraint/seclusion in education/behavior plans for students; they are not planned punishments.  As far as I can tell this is directly aimed at the JRC.
  • Both bills forbid restraint/seclusion unless there is imminent danger to someone and less restrictive measures wouldn't work.
  • Both bills require somebody to at minimum maintain visual contact with the student for the duration of the restraint or seclusion, if not face-to-face contact.
  • Both bills require the school to notify the parent if their child is restrained/secluded.
  • The senate version additionally requires the school to document the antecedent events and hold a debriefing which the parents get invited to.  This had better stay in the combined version, or else the earlier part re: only using them in case of imminent danger and if there aren't alternatives can't be enforced or investigated.
  • Both bills give advocacy groups some powers under 2000 Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act to "investigate, monitor, and enforce" the protections.
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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2010, 07:39:09 am »
For googleability, put some links to the blog in public subforums of this board, or even better, just your signatures. PD.com has a pretty high PageRank for google-juice.

Only drawback is that because of the higher pagerank, PD.com itself might come up before the blog.
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Richter

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2010, 12:19:12 pm »
I almost worked for them.   

The front end of their establishment was an odd garish scene.  Walls that were TOO white contrasted with flashy abstract art, the likes of which would seize the brain of a Japanese Pokemon fanatic.   The furniture designer had obviously listened to a european in a tight black shirt spouting "less iz more" while trying to imagine what LSD must be like.  (the only rationale I can imagine)  This might have flown for an art gallery or the office of a specialty design company, but for a place that purports to "Help children" it was a bit unsettling.  Hell, jsut their front end was walking up to a grand mal seizure and poking it with a stick.

Fellow applicants (Who I largely outdressed thanks to absence of sneakers, "Wu-wear", and a properly arranged tie), were not chatty, as we were all put to work on informational and screening paperwork.  The drudgery and the backdrop which could only be described as bizzare was all set to the tune of a very carefully scripted and arranged short video of the center's prospective clientelle, (the kicking screaming berserk type), describing only superficially the services the center could offer (Focused on "Education" of course), ending with a well rehersed GED presentation ceremony to a graduating client.  Tolerable, if you have to watch it once, but this was on repeat.

Anyways.  Down through the usual riggermarole.  I have not been arrested, I have a driver's licence, and on and on. 
The application also had a few questions focusing on how I would handle specific situations, deliberately vauge or miss-worded.  I smelled a test, answered to all possible meanings.  At best, english comprehension, at worst projective testing. 

Later, waiting for my turn on the interview, I had a vistitor.  An old school buddy, one from the team, who had been one year ahead of me in learning.  (Wait, wasn't he going to grad school?  Motioned outside, we had a quick chat after pleasantries.

"So what's going on, I thought you had grad school lined up?"

"Didn't go through Rich.  You serious about working here?"

"If they take me and it looks good, sure."

"OK, basically, keep your head down for the first six months then.  After that, you're golden."

We said our goodbyes and I went back in to wait.

My turn in the hot seat was unremarkable at best.  Wait, did I mention the furniture and decor?  It got better.  I was ushered into a room outfit with the same garish wall hanging. (focusing once again, on abstract reds and yellows)  Stark white walls (as standard), recesed lighting, and the funiture.....

Was all lime green tranlucent plastic.  Lime Green Transclucent Plastic, that had obviously been cut and bent from a single peice of 3/4" sheet plastic.  I had left the land of the wannabe surrealists, and was in hell done by the designers IKEA can no longer abide.

Standard intervew fair otherwise.  I didn't know the important questions to ask yet, and they were almost happy to be vauge and nonforthcoming. A few basics followed, and I asked about their obviously loaded application questions on the application.  My interviewer smiled to herself slightly and made a notation while answering me that it WAS intentional.  God help me, I just passed some sort of test.   

A quick walkthrough of an adjoining building, decorated in much more standard schoolhouse /  office furniture followed.  Normal classes, we only witnessed one restraint (handled deftly, by large men inadvisably wearing neckties and shirts).  None of the shock rigs that I'd read about later.  It was soon done, and we were led back to the nightmare reception building to be sent on our way.

Thanking my hosts (another approving nod and a note) and I was back on the highway.  Odd experience, and I'd wonder in future why other joints didn't display sanity damaging accoutrements or psychological testing in their interview process.  Still, few enough jobs and interviews under my belt, I didn't know that yet. I would likely be offered a job, but circumstance and providence had me land elsewhere.
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Telarus

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2010, 05:24:09 pm »
Permission received to use the entirety of Kassiane's interview. She's pretty hyped about this project:

"Thank YOU. Oh my gosh, seriously, you have no idea how much it matters to have people who aren't autistic finally know that JRC exists and is a hellpit."
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Golden Applesauce

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2010, 11:06:10 pm »
@Richter - Interesting.  I've seen a couple people complain about the decor elsewhere.  Something about nauseating levels of high-contrast, bright colors not meshing well with people who are prone to sensory overload (autistic children for one, although I'm pretty sure there are other disorders with that symptom.)  The bizarre thing, though, is that the JRC's website lists it as a "feature": check out their section on the Yellow Brick Road, where they identify the designers by name with some of their accomplishments.  Are we now choosing mental facilities based on how big the names of their interior designers are?
http://www.judgerc.org/yellowbrickroad.html

It would be interesting to contact some of the designers and ask them how they took the disabilities of the main users of the rooms into account.
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Telarus

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2010, 11:39:19 pm »
You should also contrast that with some of the prisons that the Absurdists/Surrealists designed. No, I'm serious:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/jan/27/spain.arts

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/2698177.stm

http://flag.blackened.net/liberty/anarchotorture.html
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