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03-09-07, 10:22 PM #1
Family Ordered To Stop Using Cattle Prod
Family Ordered To Cease Use Of Cattle Prod On Autistic Son
Group Home Calls Prod 'Repugnant'
POSTED: 6:32 pm CST March 9, 2007
UPDATED: 7:46 pm CST March 9, 2007
CHICAGO -- A Lincolnshire family has been ordered by a judge to cease using a cattle prod to control its autistic son's outbursts
NBC5's Lauren Jiggetts reported that the Bernstein family said Friday that the only way to stop its 48-year-old son, Daniel, from beating himself is to use the cattle prod. Fran Bernstein, Daniel's mother, said the shock from the prod is a very light one, and it is used only once a month.
"He can black his eyes; he has cuts all over his face," said Fran Bernstein, Daniel's mother. "He hits his head with an open hand."
The Bernsteins said they would fight the ruling. They have until the end of the month to file their appeal.
The group home where Daniel lives has said it opposes the use of the prod. Trinity Services Inc, which runs the group home, said the prod is morally and ethically repugnant.
"Other persons with other developmental disabilities that are much more severe and much more difficult to handle, and Trinity is able to handle those situations in a humane and compassionate manner," said Matt Henderson, an attorney for Trinity Services, Inc.
Jiggetts reported that the Bernstein family won a 1987 lawsuit that compelled the group home to use the cattle prod, but it has lost twice since then -- last year and just a few days ago, when electric shock treatment was outlawed.
Tony Paulauski, executive director of The Arc of Illinois, a disabled persons' advocacy group, said, "aversive procedures are not consistent with positive, proactive approaches or best practices, and must be avoided."
The Bernsteins said they would continue to use the cattle prod when their son was in their home.
Daniel has had one serious emergency room visit since 2006, and the Bernstein family said the home has not provided any other alternatives and it was concerned that Daniel would blind himself. "If he continues to hit his head, he's going to be blind," Fran Bernstein said. "And that is his way of communicating -- with his eyes."
Copyright 2007 by NBC5.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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03-09-07, 10:33 PM #2Banned
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I've been hit by 120VAC and I've been hit (by my own hand in both cases I should add) by a cattle prod. They were very very similar experiences.
03-09-07, 10:41 PM #31*girl Guest
Oh my GOD! Why are they just getting a barely felt slap on the wrist???? They said they'd continue to use it...omg. I know firsthand how hard autism is to deal with and I know that this child's eyes probably are his way of communicating...but you don't use a cattle prod to keep him from beating himself! There are other ways to handle that. I know from personal experience.
On another note, on May 19, I'm participating in the Georgia Walk for Autism at Atlantic Station in honor of someone that I consider my own family. For information on how to donate, participate, or sponsor a walker, please pm me.
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