Autism Speaks Applauds Supreme Court Decision Upholding Families’ Right to Challenge IEPs Without First Trying Out School District Proposed Placement
WASHINGTON, DC (October 10, 2007) — By a vote of 4-4, the Supreme Court today upheld the Second Circuit Court decision in the case of Board of Education of City of New York v. Tom F., 06-637, thereby affirming parents’ statutory right to challenge a school district’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) without first “trying out” the school district’s proposed placement.
The New York City Department of Education had argued that even if the child’s IEP is demonstrably inappropriate, a parent should not have standing to challenge their child’s IEP unless the parent has first “tried out” the school district’s IEP.
“Today the court affirmed the danger of making students try out an inappropriate school district program. Students who need early intervention do not have time to waste,” said Gary Mayerson, an Autism Speaks board member and founder of law firm Mayerson & Associates.
“School districts need to fulfill their statutory responsibility to create an appropriate IEP for every child with a disability or to pay for that student to attend an appropriate private school.”
Autism Speaks filed an amicus brief in the case, focusing on the critical nature of early intervention for children with autism. The brief explained why parents of children with autism should not be forced to “try out” demonstrably inappropriate and ineffective IEP programs during what may well be a relatively narrow window of opportunity. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg quoted from the brief during oral argument.
The brief was prepared as part of The Autism Speaks Federal Legal Appeals Project (FLAP), a national pro bono initiative assembled and directed by Mayerson for Autism Speaks.
To date, approximately ten national profile law firms, including Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, have joined the FLAP committee with commitments to provide significant pro bono legal services at the federal level. Akin Gump attorneys Robert H. Pees, Michael D. Lockard, Amanda R. Johnson, Sunish Gulati and Evandro C. Gigante prepared the amicus brief in the Tom F. case.
“We are relieved that the court’s judgment was not clouded by the fact that Tom F. himself was a parent with significant financial means who easily could afford to pay for private school. This ruling has potential to affect all families in the nation. Unfortunately school districts do not always act in good faith when designing a child’s IEP. Today they have been told that they must,” added Mayerson.
In the case of a tie, the ruling under consideration is affirmed, although it does not set national precedent. In this case, the New York City Board of Education was appealing a ruling by the Second Circuit, which had ruled in favor of Tom F. During oral arguments on October 1, Leonard Koerner, chief appeals lawyer for New York City, said parents should be required to give the public system a shot, even if only a brief one, before they can appeal for an outside placement.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism, and to advocating for the needs of affected families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman, General Electric, and served as chief executive officer of NBC for more than twenty years. Autism Speaks has merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), bringing together the nation’s three leading autism advocacy organizations. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.