fb-pixel Skip to main content

My clients have a right to effective skin shock treatment

In an Aug. 13, 2014, file photo, a therapist checked the ankle strap of an electrical shocking device on a student during an exercise program at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Re “Will shock treatment finally be banned?” (Opinion, Feb. 1): Supplemental skin shock treatment is antithetical to torture. I received my first application of a two-second skin shock on day one. I was interviewing at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton for a clinical position. Ethically, I wanted to feel the treatment I would be overseeing.

Imagine your son or daughter is so violent to themselves or others that they cannot safely enter your home for years. My clients are high risk and treatment refractory. Their behavior does not respond to typical treatment. All other service providers have either failed to effectively treat them or outright rejected them from their treatment facility. My clients have a right to supplemental, effective skin shock treatment.


It is the most effective addition to treatment that my clients, all adults from various ethnic backgrounds, have ever experienced. It is life altering. Family members of clients receiving the treatment have described it to me as a miracle. Our clients have safely attended home visits, family weddings, movies, bowling alleys, parks, and restaurants. One of my clients was able to fly to another country and swim with dolphins with his mother — a once-in-a-lifetime experience made possible by the overwhelming effectiveness of supplemental skin shock treatment.

Dawn A. O’Neill


The writer holds a doctor of philosophy degree in rehabilitation with an emphasis in applied behavior analysis.