Thursday, March 8

We Need More Autism Help

Not knowing a lot about autism myself, I was quite surprised to read that shock treatment was an accepted form of "treatment". Apparently people use cattle prods to shock autistic people to keep them from hurting themselves. Well a Cook County circuit judge has ruled that Bradley Bernstein's parents can no longer use the cattle prod on their son. This overturned a 1986 decision to allow the parents to use shock "therapy".

(Chicago Tribune - free reg req) At an oral argument last month, Trinity Services' attorney, Matthew Henderson of Chicago, said that although "no one doubts the sincerity of Mrs. Bernstein," the use of electric shocks on people with disabilities is outdated and morally wrong.

"Things that were done previously--five, 10, 20 years ago--are simply not acceptable anymore," Henderson said. "There were several staff members who just flat out refused to do it."
After all, bloodletting and leeches were once acceptable treatments too.