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School Questions Governor’s Plan To Ban Shock Therapy

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BOSTON (AP) – The lawyer for a special needs school that uses controversial skin shock therapy says a plan by Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration to ban the practice for future students would violate a longstanding court order.

The proposed regulations would prohibit the painful skin shocks and certain other “behavior modification procedures” from being administered to special needs students, while exempting those now receiving the treatment.

The proposed rules don’t specifically mention the Canton-based Judge Rotenberg Center, but the facility is believed to be the only one in the nation using the shocks to control the behavior of severely autistic students.

The school’s attorney, Michael Flammia, says a ban would violate a 1987 consent decree allowing the practice for certain students under court supervision.

Hearings on the proposal are scheduled next week in Worcester and Boston.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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