The use of electrical stimulation for behavioral treatment at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC)
Matthew L. Israel
Judge Rotenberg Centre, USA

JRC has used remote-controlled contingent electrical stimulation since 1989 for the treatment of approximately 60 persons with severe behavior problems. Due to various shortcomings of commercially available devices, JRC designed its own Graduated Electronic Decelerator (GED), which came into widespread use within the school in 1991. Use of the device for behavior modification treatment is authorized by a probate court judge for individual cases, is supervised by doctoral psychologists, and is regulated by the state Deparment of Mental Retardation. The GED has been found to be very safe in terms of side effects and very effective in the treatment of serious behavior problems that were highly resistant to other forms of treatment. Data will be presented from a large number of cases documenting this effectiveness, along with resulting improvements in
quality of life. In general, effectively treated persons have made significant gains in educational and vocational skills, have been able to participate in normalized activities, are medication and restraint-free, and enjoy a relationship with their parents not before possible. Physical and technical problems arising over the last nine years and their solutions will be discussed. Examples include multiple devices within the same area, batteries, electrodes and cables, connections, and transmitter technology.

Keywords: developmental disabilities, electrical stimulation, Graduated Electronic Decelerator (GED), skin shock, behavioral treatment

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