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My First Protester

Three days ago I gave a lecture along with a board certified behavior analyst and an attorney titled "Applied Behavior Analysis, Public Health Implications and the Law" I discussed the evidence and risks of medication, research on aversives and my brothers' treatments. I discussed Matthew's success with his seven positive behavior contracts, functional communication tokens and supplementary aversive shock, now off medications 29 years and holding a job at school and how his identical twin ended up on twenty medications. When I was done speaking, a protester yelled out twice "Torture!" I replied, "Not one anti-aversive activists would try my brother's 20 medications for one day and see what it feels like."

Regarding medications, our health care and education system for many individuals does not provide other avenues to address behavior. The standard 15-20 minute med check does not provide opportunities to explore other treatment options that may be safer and more effective while effective psychosocial interventions are often unavailable. In the clinic model, individuals with special needs sometimes have long waiting periods to be seen. While in the waiting room, there are noisy crowds and boredom with a lack of activity, a breeding ground for the problem behaviors we are supposed to be treating. At Judge Rotenberg Center, the primary care physician, psychiatrist and dentist are all located in the school building. Individuals can remain with their structure until it is time to be seen.

What we really need to protest is drugs which may have toxic side effects replacing a good school. We need to protest the medical business model which emphasizes quantity over quality and how some individuals have no access to care at all. Finally, we need to stop heartlessly judging others when we have not lived their lives.