I read an interesting blog entry by autism bitch from hell of the whose planet is it anyway blog. She writes about how the Judge Rottenberg Center run by the notorious Matthew "Dr. Hurt" Israel is meeting with some persons in Israel and is trying to set up shop in that country because of threats of the state of Massachusetts and other places banning the use of the electric shocks and other aversives Dr. Israel uses to treat children. The ABFH also stated that ASAN president Ari' Neeman was in Israel, trying to talk to the powers that be hoping that they would not allow the doctor whose name is coincidentally the same as the country's to hang out his shingle there. The Judge Rottenberg Center was formally called the behavior research institute. This is a rather ironic misnomer as Dr. Israel apparently has never submitted any of his work to peer review as far as I can tell. In one of the issues of JADD they state that Dr. Israel was expelled from the autism society of america for practicing clinical psychology without a license.
The Behavior research institute used to operate in northern Los Angeles near where i live. However, they left California after the Hughes act was passed by the California state legislature in 1991 outlawing aversives in the state of California. They left and went back east where for some mysterious reason, the use of aversives including extremely painful electric shocks on autistic children is still legal.
What ABA enthusiasts won't tell desperate autistic parents looking for help for their kids is that the study by lovaas showing ABA as an effective treatment was entirely contingent upon aversives. This was the key ingredient that made the difference in the alleged "normal" functioning that was produced in half of the children. So ABA without aversives is being marketed dishonestly. Unfortunately, this won't be part of the debate on JRC. I think Lovaas also stopped using aversives in his research altogether after the Hughes act was passed. If it were not passed, perhaps aversives would still be a component of ABA research in California.
In the past ASAN has been involved, in my opinion, in some silly activities. Like getting the ransom notes thing pulled, which did nothing to help autistic people. I mean who cares if someone is saying as advertising we are taking your kid hostage and what a waste of time to put an effort into stopping this activity.
Also ASAN is protesting the slur "retard" used in the movie tropic thunder in a nonmalicious manner. They also collaborated with neurodiversity proponent Kent Adams (AKA ChristSchool) to make a video protesting the use of the word in a nonmalicious manner. This is in spite of the fact that Mr. Adams also produced a video Marty Murphy: House Autistic to criticize autistics who long for a cure. This video was a bunch of malicious hate mongering crap and reduced ASAN's credibility. Tropic Thunder is a huge box office success, so perhaps their relationship with Mr. Adams backfired on them. I hope so. Well the boycotts of the movie were ineffective in any event.
I looked at ASAN's web page and did not find anything about Ari's trip to Israel or his efforts to stop expansion of the JRC. I hope that ABFH is correct about this. If true I am glad that ASAN is finally doing something useful for a change.