Earlier in the day, a staffer told Andre to take off his jacket. When he said no, another staff member pressed a button to activate the electric-shock machine attached to Andre’s body with taped electrodes. Andre screamed and threw himself under a table. Four adults dragged him out, and strapped him, facedown, into four-point restraints. Over the next seven hours, Andre was shocked 31 times with a device that emits 45.5 milliamps of electricity — a shock more than 15 times as powerful as the stun belts designed to incapacitate violent adult prisoners. Staff members recorded the reason for each shock — all but two entries on his recording sheet list tensing up or screaming. In the surveillance video, Andre can be heard pleading for staff members to stop. At the Rotenberg center, in Canton, Mass., this is called treatment.
This is how our country treats those of us that are different. Not with compassion and understanding. But with violence and restraints. Someone who's brain chemistry already sends tremendous amounts of adrenalin into their system is given painful electric shocks in order to gain compliance. And in this case compliance includes tensing up.
The article at the Washington Post highlights how the disabled are subject to outright torture like this. But we torture the disabled in other ways as well. By making the disabled and homeless file for Social Security over there times in average in order to secure that entitlement. Or placing them in substandard housing: bedbugs, no hot water when winter heat is off, drafty glazing, questionable power distribution systems that brown when under load, individuals warehoused in apartments when they need at least eight hours of home care a day (they get a few minutes a day at best, holidays and sequesters excluded). Persons with not only mobility issues but issues related to sanitation be it a limb succumbing to diabetes or bowel and bladder function issues. That was just one building. I'm familiar enough with the plethora of ailments that debilitate enough to qualify for Social Security to fear what horrors greet the residents of other disabled housing.
We even had a woman there struggling with a railroad pension. She could afford housing and virtually nothing else. She is the type that dresses before going out the door so her fall is far from graceful. More like seeing a peacock become road kill, and just as emotionally jarring.
My current housing is more family oriented and the dynamic is more tribal here because of it. It is also entertaining when combined with my decades of psychology experience. But these families too are left with few options and much need. The kids here don't even have bike/skate helmets. I know these families are not equipped to deal with a debilitating head injury. Yet the children here ride and roll without helmets.
They also torture us through privatizing Medicaid services so the insurance companies get their cut by making their formularies and approved treatments as archaic as possible.
In the land of bootstraps the boots of the disabled are made of paper.
And if one is disabled and hard to control treatment like this or worse awaits:
Cheryl expected to see Andre sprinting around and wreaking havoc while employees tried to stop him with shocks. Instead, the footage showed him tied face down to a four-point restraint board, each limb held in place by a locked cuff, his head encased in a helmet. She learned he had been held in this position for six hours, hollering and pleading whenever he got another shock.The founder of this center is supposedly a follower of Skinner but their methodology looks like they are familiar with Milgram as well:
Hour after hour went by and nobody knelt down next to Andre to try to calm him. Attention was considered a reward—and a student who’s exhibiting “targeted behaviors” is not supposed to receive any. When the staffers did speak to Andre, they were required to follow a script, like a case manager did at 1:25 p.m., when she pushed the button for shock eighteen, then said: “Andre, no full-body tense-ups.” If any of the workers thought these shocks were excessive, they kept it to themselves. They all knew that if they didn’t shock a student when they were supposed to, the phone in the classroom would ring and there would be a monitor on the line ordering them to press the button.
By midafternoon, the workers had administered so many shocks they were having trouble keeping track of them all. At 3:12 p.m., one worker said to another: “Martin, what is he at now?”
“I think 26.”