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Don’t demonize parents of children served, indeed saved, by skin shock

A parent held his daughter's hand as he visited her during a break in her classes at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton in 2006.Tlumacki, John Globe Staff

Re “No more waiting — put a stop to skin shock therapy” (Letters, May 27): In an all-too-familiar exercise of blaming the victim, Sarah Barton demonizes me and other parents of children at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton who suffer from otherwise untreatable, life-threatening, violent, and self-abusive behaviors (eye-gouging, head-banging, hair-pulling, and worse) by claiming, without evidence, that parents agree to this preventive therapy, a two-second skin shock, “for all sorts of reasons — embarrassment, frustration, social pressure, financial pressure, and hopelessness.”

Not so. We love our children and have discovered that this therapy allows them to live as happy a life as possible. My own son has finally been freed from behaviors so self-destructive he would no longer be alive. Now he regularly visits his family, attends concerts, and walks through community parks, to say nothing of living a healthy life devoid of numbing, disorienting pharmaceuticals.


Just why Barton believes she knows so well what’s best for my child that she can publicly pontificate about my motivations escapes my comprehension.

Paul E. Peterson