The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center outside Boston is the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for patients with severe developmental and behavior disorders who harm themselves or others. The Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to ban the skin shock devices used by the center.
Some facts and figures about the day school and residential facility in Canton, Massachusetts:
—The center was founded in 1971. It has been using skin shocks on patients since the early 1990s.
—It costs $245,000 a year for a patient at the center, usually paid by states, including Medicaid, or local school districts. One student is a private pay.
—The center treats about 230 children and adults.
—About 50 patients are being treated with GED skin shocks. Five are between the ages of 17 and 21. Most are in their 30s.