Saturday, October 15, 2016

Applied Behavioral Analysis behavior controllers claw their way into the USA's National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) which calls Canton, Massachusetts' Judge Rotenberg Center of extremely painful electric skin shock "torture" "good company" at its annual conventions.

A basic Google search time limited to this past month with keywords—"Judge Rotenberg Center"—by this blogger, David Altieri, founder of ABA Leaks, showed that this school of extremely painful ABA electric skin shock has presented at least one program to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

Further search retrieved copies of NASP 2016 and 2017 Annual Convention "Exhibitor Prospectus" books. Page 10 of each said, "Join us to exhibit...and you will be in good company. Organizations that have exhibited with NASP in recent years include: ... Judge Rotenberg Educational Center."

The Judge Rotenberg Center is an ABA institution. Here is footage from only video of JRC's actual ABA skin shock taking place that has been released to the public:

Méndez (2013, p. 85), the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said, "Therefore and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Special Rapporteur determines that the rights of the students of the JRC (Judge Rotenberg Center) subjected to Level III Aversive Interventions by means of electric shock and physical means of restraints have been violated under the UN Convention against Torture and other international standards."

ABA typically adds and removes reinforcing and punishing stimuli to modify the behaviors of autistic children and adults whom it says have "deviant" behavior problems. This power to control behavior by consequences was discovered by B. F. Skinner (1938) in his experiments with lab rats and published in book form in his Behavior of Organisms. He called the phenomenon "operant conditioning."

NASP's website says:
Many school psychologists have crossed paths, in some capacity, with professionals holding the Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) or BCBA-Doctoral (BCBA-D) credentials. As of May 2016, there were a reported 18,557 BCBAs and 1,926 BCBA-Ds worldwide (Behavior Analyst Certification Board; BACB, 2016), with a combined estimate of 42,000 to 60,000 expected by the end of 2020 (Deochand, Fuqua, 2016). With numbers like these, it should be no surprise that individuals holding the BCBA or BCBA-D credential are becoming common inside and outside of the educational setting, either as permanent staff or through consultative roles. Nevertheless, with only approximately 2% of school psychologists holding the credential (Walcott et al., 2016), many in our profession still do not fully understand the BCBA credential, how it is obtained, the role and skills of someone holding the BCBA, and the overall benefit of having the credential.
What Skinner called operant chambers came to be called Skinner boxes and eventually his followers added electrified grids to the floor of the lab room boxes so the behavioralists could "analyze" the effect of electric shock on lab animals' rates of behavior.

The father of ABA, O. Ivar Lovaas, first developed ABA's Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions (EIBI) from Skinner's operant discoveries and used them on autistics and on "feminine boys." He electrified the floor of his UCLA lab-room and forced Pamela, a nine-year-old autistic girl, whom he described in demoralizing circus-sideshow-freak "deviance" terminology, to stand on it, barefooted, and submit herself to the shocks, which set the stage for ABA submission training, obedience training, which it calls "compliance training" as it stands today.

ABA practitioners are entirely supportive or complicit to its own skin shock. It has a long history inventing and advocating its skin shock pain methodologies. (See Kosovoskaya and Altier(i), 2015, Escape from JRC, Preface.) ABA's shock devices are different than the ECT of brain shock psychiatry. ECT can treat chronic pain.  ABA hopes its devices cause pain in order to be "effective in decelerating rates of behaviors." That is why they call their device the "Graduated Electronic Decelerator."

Copyright and disclaimers

Reward and Consent , © is January 15, 2007 to the current date. All rights reserved (and stuff like that). E-mail me for permission to reproduce in part or in full. Please link to and cite passages quoted or paraphrased from here.

Reward and Con
sent is not responsible for links on the site. For example, I use keywords "Operant Conditioning" in the YouTube search field for the videos displayed below the archives on the left. Google selects the videos and the results change from time to time. Please email me if anything is not educational and germane to the subject and I will reevaluate the search.

I am an advocate for people with disabilities certified to teach special education with a Master of Arts in Teaching. I am not a Licensed Psychologist or a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. When in doubt, seek the advice of an MD, a PhD, or a BCBA. My ability to analyze the ethics of ABA stems from the fact that I am disabled and ABA interventions are often done to people like me, which I voluntarily accept, but only when I alone am the person granting consent, and not a parent, sibling, guardian, or institution.