Monday, May 7, 2012

The Torture of Innocents

Today I received a petition in my inbox. I was about to sign without reading it or giving it a second look since it seemed it was for a good cause. I have no idea what prompted me to read it and then watch the video that was attached to it.

I was not only upset at what I saw, I was enraged… I am still enraged!

I must apologize for showing a FauxNews video, but they have the exclusive and couldn't find any other without their logo, this is too important, so without any further delay, I give you FauxNews:

I am very lucky that I don't have a child that has been diagnosed with Autism, or acute ADD/ADHD, schizophrenia or any of the mental illnesses that are so prevalent lately. That doesn’t mean I am ignorant about these disorders, but I am not familiar as to what parents with children suffering from these disorders go through.

I never imagined, not even in my wildest dreams, what was taking place at schools specializing in children with these illnesses across the country today. Whilst the country has been, and rightly so, up in arms about the tortures inflicted on “enemy combatants” ever since the attacks on the Twin Towers on the fateful morning on September 11, 2001 no one ever mentions the torture these defenseless children are subjected to at these “schools.”

I recall the horror stories about children with Down syndrome being left at mental institutions from birth, where their parents placed them never to visit them again because these children represented an embarrassment to them, more so if the parents were part of high society. Children who had Down syndrome, Autism and others mental illnesses where warehoused and separated from society even if their incapacitation was considered mild by today's standards. I remember hearing about the terrible treatment they were given by an unloving medical staff and the rejection of their parents. When I heard of this as a child, my heart went out to these poor children, and my innocent mind suffered imagining what I would feel if I were to experience something similar… I couldn’t help feeling poignant for these children and angry at society, and I couldn’t have been more than 8 years old. My views and position on the subject remain unchanged.

I thought those days of abandonment and torture of children was a thing of the past, a past that I justified thinking that people didn’t know any better. I was wrong.

Right here in the United States, there are plenty of these “special” schools where children are basically warehoused. Usually, parents take their sick children there because the children have been either rejected from regular schools due to the severity of their disorder or because of recurrent incorrigible behavior. Most, if not all of these parents, truly believe they are doing what is best for their children and unlike the parents from the past, they do visit them frequently and dream of their children improving enough for them to be back at home where they belong.

One of these schools is Judge Rotenberg Center – from Boston, Massachusetts. If you were in desperate need of help for your child and you were to visit their site you would think you found an answer to your prayers. Nothing could be further from the truth. There has been at least 2 cases of extreme abuse inflicted on children and young adults. According to various sites, one of the two cases resulted in death of an almost blind young woman, who had the mental level of a preschooler and deaf. Before this young woman died, this institution punished what they thought it was an unacceptable behavior by withholding food from her, at times this poor young woman was fed less than 300 calories a day. On the fateful day when she died, she didn't want to eat and was vomiting, the school staff punished her with intense, repetitive and severe electroshock treatments. It turned out that she had an ulcer that burst and the case was dismissed because there was not enough evidence to support the accusation that the "treatment" was what caused her to die. I say that at minimum it was negligence. When that incident happened, the Center was called Behavior Research Institute, the judge that ruled in favor of the Institution was named Judge Rotenberg, the Institute was so grateful for the ruling that changed their name for the name they have today, Judge Rotenberg Center. This judge, in my opinion, should be investigated. The second case occurred ten years ago to Andre McCollins who is Autistic and the one that instigated the petition. Today, ten years later, Andre is catatonic, heavily sedated and with no hope of ever living an independent life, again due to the severity of the treatment.

There are other “schools” such as this one all over the country. These torturous “treatments” should be stopped immediately and we as a society should be infuriated about it, even more than we are about the treatment of the prisoners in Guantanamo.

I am attaching the petition, if you feel as sick as I do about this inhumane treatment, please sign it. Thank you!

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