TV Shows – update

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Who watched Primetime – The Outsiders last night??? The half brother and sister that are in love and planning on getting married made me nauseus. One of the readers of this blog has a step-brother, which is no blood relation, and I can’t imagine her ever kissing or becoming romantic with him. Eeww!

I understand that one of the big issues in cases of “genetic sexual attraction” (which I agree with the guy on the show who said that was just a fancy way of saying incest) is that the two people have been seperated from childhood. One woman was saying that she thinks it’s the body’s response to not having bonded at the appropriate time. This woman said she had given her son up for adoption at 15 and he was 27 when he found her and she was sexually attracted to him. She said that he looked, acted, and had the same sense of humor as his father. Personally? I think she was misplacing her sexual attraction for his father to him. She probably remembers his father much like her son was – young, vibrant, attractive, etc. She said she knew it was disgusting to people but she couldn’t just make herself stop feeling what she was feeling. She never acted upon it and her son didn’t feel the same way about her.

The brother and sister didn’t find each other until their late 20’s. Turns out their dad was sleeping with several women and their mothers were pregnant at the same time. They’ve been together as a couple for over 7 years and want people to accept it and allow them to marry. They had some expert that said first cousins who marry only have a 2% greater chance of having children with birth defects than people who aren’t related but studies have never been done on siblings who have children. This whole thing is repugnant to me. Even the woman kept calling it incestuous. But she had the attitude of “So?”

The school that used shock treatments I was undecided about. They showed several students who would severly hurt themselves – bite themselves, slap and hit themselves in the face that they had to tape padding to his hands and arms to protect his head from injury, a girl who would slam her head against things so badly that they thought she was going to go blind from permanent damage. They showed before and after video of these students and they seemed to make dramatic improvements. Especially the violent ones. They use the shock treatment at the beginning of an outbreak to pull the student back before they can get out of control. Only about half the students at the school are hooked up to the shock machines. They only get shocked when they do something bad (although what constituted bad behavior was questionable). The reporter asked to be hooked up to one of the machines and was shocked so she could see just how bad it is. She said it hurt and that she was glad it was over. She also said that there were students whose machines were 5 times stronger than the one she used.

The parents of several violent children said it has turned their life around. One girl became afraid at even seeing one of the machines. One boy has graduated from the school and said he agrees with the treatment and feels he would not have accomplished what he has in life without it. He has austism but holds down a job and lives in a group home rather than with his parents.

After seeing all the information – I don’t know what I think. It isn’t out of the question that there are circumstances and particular cases where this treatment could work well and make real improvements in someone’s life. But, there are obviously cases where it can do even more damage to a child who already is developementally disabled. From what they showed – they didn’t convince me either way.

One thing I have to say for this show is that they don’t really have an “agenda”. When they present a story – it seems like they just present the information and then have people for and against the situation. It doesn’t appear to be biased at all. I like that. It’s refreshing for a “news” program.

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5 responses »

  1. Oh yeah, there were some things that didn’t compute with the incest. I understood the first cousin stuff because that has happened but they ignored some of the royal families who intermarried so much that there were biological consequences.

    I guess with these two people I figured leave them well enough alone – they were adults when they met, they don’t want children and are obviously not bothered by what their families think. Fine.

    Where my skin just about leapt off my body was when one of the specialists (or was it the woman) mentioned parent/child relationships. Uh, no. Never. I was stunned by the woman who was attracted to her own son but it seems that she was able to determine why that was. What I don’t understand is how she could ever have told him about it because she clearly had.

    Then the shock therapy. Wow. I wasn’t sure I liked how the Dr. answered some of the questions. It’s obvious that some of those parents were at their wits end and I could understand them going to this option. What really disturbed me was seeing a young man who was mentally retarded being strapped to the machine. Since one of my best friends has a mentally handicapped brother my heart broke when they said he was one of the people in the school. My understanding of autism is so rudimentary but I think the idea is that the brain needs to re-wire itself in order to get to correct behaviours. In the case of mental retardation my belief is that there are no new pathways to create and in my mind this makes it cruel.

    I think what would be interesting is to interview those adults who had autism when they were children to see what they think of this. There was an extraordinary woman on The View there two weeks ago and her spirit and intelligence were beautiful to see – she was an older woman who grew up in a time when no one knew what autism was so I think it’s a miracle that she became self sufficient and has her own life. I would be very interested to hear her feelings on the subject.

    So I guess for me, it would be an absolute last resort and it was obvious that for some of those families it was.

    Question for you, Diane Sawyer asked the woman who shocked her how many times they would shock a child before they stopped. This was before a commercial break and she said we would have the answer afterwards. I couldn’t find where they answered that at all – did you hear the answer? Cause I think that also would be something I would want to know as a parent.

    CindyS

  2. You know, I forgot about them saying they would have the answer when they came back for commercial and don’t remember them answering it either. I still have the show on my DVR (I was waiting to watch the Zodiac Killer part with my hubby), so I’ll go back and watch it tonight and see what they said and post it tomorrow.

  3. They did a segment on the Zodiac Killer? I read a book about him, and there’s a movie coming out next weekend about it. Very enthralling to me. Not that I want to be a serial killer or condone what he did, but the way he toyed with the police and was never caught is interesting to me.

  4. My friend from high school is a behavioral consultant for parents of children with autism, and here’s what she said about the shock therapy:

    ECT (electro-convulsive therapy) should be a last resort. There are an array of ways to work with these kids but they take a ton of patience and time. Unfortunately, everyone is looking for the overnight panacea for autism. I think ECT is highly risky. You are pretty much forcing the brain into a grand mal seizure. I understand that it is still used to treat debilitating depression, but, again, it is still seen as a last resort. And they are typically adult patients making that decision. Children with autism do not have the means of expressing 1) that they would desire or be okay with this form of treatment or 2) the effects of it once it’s been done. It’s too subjective and understudied. Mice do NOT translate to human children. And I think Primetime is being risky in running this story due to the sensationalism produced in the autism community when they run these types of programs. I remember the whole secretin phase then there was ABA, which is what I do, so I’m biased. I would never judge a parent in their decision because I understand and see firsthand how life is affected as a result of autism. However, this form of treatment has never been shown to conclusively help anything. It was originally used because if done enough, the mentally ill became vegetative. What better way to control those in large state-run hospitals and maintain order? Okay, I could go on and on…my official diagnosis for ECT: BAD!!!

  5. The shocks used at the school weren’t ECT (I don’t believe). They were skin shocks only. The students had receptors strapped to their wrists, torsos, and/or legs and the teacher could push a button and shock them. It seemed much like the shock given if you’ve ever touched an electric fence. Not enough where you actually have a seizure but enough where you don’t like it. Yes, I’ve touched an electric fence – it sucked.

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