Content/TW: Abuse in institutions, extreme ableism, behaviorism at its absolute worst, coercive treatment.
Jennifer Msumba, a biracial autistic woman, was held in the Judge Rotenberg Center for several years. After testifying via video at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s advisory panel hearing in April 2014, she began to write a blog documenting her experiences at the JRC. She also spoke on an October 2014 panel (along with disabled attorneys Deepa Goraya and Shain Neumeier) at Georgetown University on disability and institutional abuse.
In June 2015, Jennifer published a page from her behavior sheet at the JRC to her blog. This is a text-accessible version of the sheet (which was shown as an image).
And here’s a handy list of abbreviations/explanations for the euphemisms and blatant duplicity:
OOS = out of seat
1 GED-4 = one shock from the GED-4
helmet = sensory assault helmet that covers your head and assaults you with awful white noise
lose points = points toward getting a reward
touch electrical items in an attempt to dismantle or defeat its use = trying to take the GED shock device off or to prevent it from shocking
GM = general monitor? not sure
HDB = health dangerous behavior(s)
U/D = urination/defecation
MDIS = maybe “manipulative, destructive, or inappropriate speech” (?)
NCMP – “non-compliance” (and manipulation? unclear)
EdSoc = educational/social
LOP = loss of privileges (basically, disciplinary status)
WATC = individualized learning software that JRC uses (I believe)
IVB = inappropriate verbal behavior
Aggress1 – 1 GED-4 (legs/waist/cross-overs/helmet for 1 hour) OOS without permission (to exclude rewarding environments and the All Purpose room) out of bed without permission (to exclude bath-ops), make verbal or written threats to aggress, aggressive posturing,: any physical aggression towards others including attempts (to include biting, hitting, punching, pulling hair, choking others), spit at others.
Destroy1 1 GED-4 (legs/waist/cross-overs/helmet 1 hour; lose all points) Property destruction to include attempts and threats (verbal or written) (to include bang objects, kick objects, throw objects), slam doors, touch electrical outlets without permission, touch electrical items in an attempt to dismantle or defeat its use.
HDB 1 1 GED-4 (Legs/waist/cross-overs/helmet 1 hour; Lose all points.) Blatant attempts to hurt self (including head bang, attempts to cut body with objects i.e. CDs, stick items in body i.e. tacks, push pins, etc. ), attempts to commit suicide (to include lying objects around neck), runaway (to include attempts), remove seatbelt without permission, attempts to remove restraints (e.g. waist, ankle, crossover, helmet), make suicidal gestures, pick fingers to cause redness and/or bleeding, violent head shakes, pick scabs, self, hit self, scratch self to cause injury, drop self to floor, verbal threats to harm self (to include comments about health dangerous behaviors or dying, such as ‘don’t bang your head’, ‘kill me’-excluding when speaking with treatment team or nursing), pressurize ears/eyes for more than 3 seconds, self-restraining for five seconds or more (e.g. forcefully wrap hands in clothing, forcefully pulling clothing into body, forcefully wrapping legs/arms around chair, and forcefully pull self into GM table), repetitive hand movements in front of face, tense up for more than 2 seconds (to include fingers), remove shoelaces/drawstrings without permission.
HDB Inap. U/D 1 GED-4 (Lose All Points) Defecate or urinate anywhere but in toilet.
MDIS1 1 GED-4 (legs/waist/cross-over/helmet 1 hour, Lose all points) Swear at others (to include nonverbally), yell, scream, steal (to include food), instruct or request others to exhibit negative behaviors, make threats or comments about breaking behavioral contracts, clear desk or table of objects forcefully, forceful jumping at inappropriate times, loud repetitive disruptive talk out, racial comments, sexual comments/gestures, expose self (to include removating clothing at inappropriate times- excluding shoes/socks).
NCMP1 1 GED-4 (legs/waist/cross-over/helmet 1 hour; lose all points, 3 step direction) Blatant NO, refuse to follow any given direction (3 step direction), attempt to remove or defeat the purpose of the GED, refuse physical prompting
MDIS2 NO Ritualistic behaviors (i.e. hesitating before passing through doorways, repetitive tapping of objects, having to touch something with both hands instead of just one, etc.)
EdSoc1 NO (point fine) Personal space violation, stop work, mimic others, rude gestures (to include sticking out her tongue), rock with appropriate stimulus, avoid eye contact, non-functional manipulation of objects for more than 5 seconds, facial grimacing, pace, take shoes off without permission, write bizarre letters/notes/etc., spit food (not at others), hand play while seated at GM, cry at inappropriate times, perform a learned task incorrectly, leaning off the side of the chair and sitting backwards in the chair BUT will exclude turning head around and also to exclude turning head around in response to a commotion or a crisis, suck thumb, negative reaction (crying, stomping, noises, comments) to change in schedule or information given to her, repeatedly rub head.
EdSoc2 NO (Lose all points) Lending/borrowing/giving/receiving of items, make medical complaints without foundation, lie, threaten/intimidate/complain/talk back concerning staff decision/pinpoint/conduct, failure to follow student rules, make/accept phone calls to/from family when on LOP, intentionally blow air on others, touching other students belongings without permission, refuse to complete task/chore or intentionally complete WATC work incorrectly, misplace/hide/leave behind restraint bag or individual restraints (i.e. leaving helmet/restraints/entire bag at the house before transport to school and vice versa), leave a supervised area (to include attempts), spit/drool/blow nose on self, run through buildings to include hallways/classrooms/residence, stand/climb on furniture, rude comments of a vicious/hurtful nature, manipulate staff, sudden tic-like body movements, any communication/interaction with [CENSORED] (including speaking to or staring at, Any rude behavior during presentations (ex: falling asleep, closing eyes, talking, rude facial expressions, etc), saying ‘hell’ or ‘damn’.
EdSoc3 NO (Lose all pts.) Refuse to eat more than 50% of meal.
IVB1 NO (Point fine) Argue with staff/student, interrupt others, nag, talkout, speak in an inappropriate tone of voice, tease others, laugh/sing at inappropriate times, bizarre speech (‘I’m going to heaven today’), comments about hearing voices/seeing things, nonsense noises, verbal repeating, talk to self, negative comments (to include to or about other students/self).