“The JUDGE ROTENBERG CENTER (JRC) is a special needs day, respite, and residential school located in Canton, Massachusetts licensed to serve ages 3‐‐‐adult.
Since 1971, JRC has provided very effective education and treatment to both emotionally disturbed students with conduct, behavior, emotional, and/or psychiatric problems and developmentally delayed students with autistic‐‐‐like behaviors. Our specific goal is to provide each individual with the least intrusive most effective form of treatment to insure his/her safety, the safety of others, and promote healthy growth and development. JRC is committed to providing the most effective educational program possible. Our specialized education programs offer: near zero rejection policy…, ABA based treatment plan…, elimination or minimization of psychotropic medications…, state of the art educational software…, [and a] powerful and varied reward program.” – Judge Rotenberg Center website
However, much controversy surrounds JRC’s use of shock devices to punish misbehaviors in the school. Students wear a backpack or fanny‐‐‐pack device attached to electrodes that deliver a shock whenever a staff member presses a button on a remote control carried on their belt. One student told reporters at CBS News, “I felt like I was being punished for being born. Because I was disabled, I was being punished. It’s not humane, you don’t even feel like a person, you have wires all over your body. I would get five or ten shocks for doing just one thing. [It’s like] being underground in Hell.”
Your job is to write a letter to your Senator in which you describe: what is the school doing well regarding antecedent and consequent variables, what is the school not doing well regarding antecedent and consequent variables, and what you would do as a BCBA entering into that program to improve the situation. You must reference each of the 10 guidelines in some way throughout the paper. Include each guideline in brackets to draw my attention to its use (i.e. [Guideline 4]). Remember that consequent variables include both reinforcement and punishment and antecedents may include stimulus events and environmental conditions.
Respond to the practices of JRC from both an ethical and educational standpoint. Not everything about the school is deplorable. In your response, discuss a minimum of 3 antecedent and consequent variables that are appropriate. Then, discuss a minimum of 3 antecedent and consequent variables that are not ideal or unethical. Make sure you again cite your sources in‐‐‐text as you make your point and include a reference page at the end of your paper. Finally, explain what you would do if you were hired as a BCBA to best serve the students at that school, their families, and the reputation of the school. Everything you state must be grounded in research and/or supported by the ethical guidelines for behavior analysts.
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