Judge Rules That Asperger's Syndrome Is A Disability
From the Schafer
Report on autism ...
A York County
girl who suffers from Asperger's syndrome is entitled to special
education services even though she completes her homework, behaves
well in class and scores well on tests, a federal judge ruled.
Judge D. Brock Hornby ordered School Administrative District 55
to assemble a team of teachers and specialists to design an appropriate
learning program for the girl, identified in court documents only
as "L.I." In his ruling, Hornby said the girl's parents
demonstrated that the disability adversely affects her educational
performance "and is thus
eligible for special education under (federal law) due to her Asperger
syndrome and her depressive disorder."
the family's lawyer, said the decision recognizes that social development
is an important part of education, along with academic studies.
"Education is so much more than academic performance,"
O'Meara said. "Hopefully, this will put that debate to rest
once and for all."
overturned the district's decision to deny services, the judge also
denied the family's reimbursement request for the two years of private
school tuition it has paid since taking her out of public school
advocates for the disabled hailed the ruling as a victory.
clarifies the question of who is eligible for services, and it will
have an impact both in the state and beyond, said Peter Rice of
the Disability Rights Center of Maine.
lawyer for SAD 55, declined to comment until he has reviewed the
48-page ruling, which was issued Monday afternoon.
syndrome is a milder variant of autism. The name comes from Dr.
Hans Asperger, an Austrian who described the syndrome in 1944.
described Asperger's as a "clinically recognized pervasive
developmental disability" with symptoms that include "limited
interests or an unusual preoccupation with a particular subject
to the exclusion of other activities." School
is challenging for Asperger's students because they often have poor
social skills and difficulty communicating, Hornby wrote.
attended public schools in Hiram and Cornish through 5th grade,
performed well academically but in the fourth grade her teachers
noticed that she looked sad, anxious and had a difficult time making
friends. When she was in sixth grade, she stopped studying and attempted
to commit suicide by overdosing on several medications. A psychiatrist
evaluated her and diagnosed her with Asperger's syndrome and "depressed
A team assembled
by the school, however, denied special education services to her
"since there was no adverse impact on her academic progress."
Her family appealed but the decision was upheld by an independent
the decision could have a broad impact. "It should qualify
kids for special education even when academically it seems they
are able to succeed in school," he said.
below: Special Education Judicial Benchmark
Schafer Autism Report
court ruling that Asperger syndrome is a disability, if it stands,
will easily double the number of students legally entitled to special
education services, at the least. Those students with Asperger syndrome
vastly outnumber those diagnosed with clinical autism currently
in special education programs. While difficult to predict the actual
increase in mandated costs, this would in all likelihood lead to
the bankruptcy of a number of school districts across the country.
going into "receivership" means that the states must take
over the management and costs of the district until taxes can be
raised or expenses slashed to restore balanced budgets. The individual
states across the country are already having a difficult time maintaining
current levels of services to the disabled.
be the beginning of the financial turning point we have been expecting
when the public starts to stand up and finally take notice of the
autism epidemic -- when it starts hitting their pocketbooks big
time? I can see the question being raised in State Capitols across
the country: "Where is all this autism coming from, anyway?"
The reason why the states will be asking this question in the first
place is because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
and other federal public health agencies, whose jobs this is to
ask, have not been asking. This autism epidemic has been building
for near 15 years and the CDC has done virtually nothing about it
but sit on their hands, except to promote after-the-fact early intervention
programs. I take that back. They are not sitting on their hands,
their hands are behind them, desperately trying to cover their butts
for causing the epidemic in the first place. This is well chronicled
in David Kirby's book "Evidence of Harm."
passing day it is becoming more obvious where the source of the
epidemic lies. More science continues to emerge that validates the
anecdotal observations of parents who claim their children became
autistic after being injected with vaccines containing mercury and
a variety of other toxins. More parents are seeing their children
regain health after being treated for heavy metal poisoning.
it won't just be parents of vaccine damaged children clamoring,
pleading, suing, and demonstrating for the truth to be told and
for justice to be done; it will be state governments trying to figure
out how they got stuck with the exploding autism bills for the fed's
negligence and cover-up, and as pay-offs to political supporters.
Let's just see how far CDC director Julie "Antoinette"
Gerberding gets trying to peddle her denial cake not just to pedestrian
parents crying out for what has happened to their children, but
to howling state officials demanding answers. No, this "French
Revolution" will be lead by bleeding state governments who
will be kicking themselves for not removing mercury from their state
vaccines sooner. And maybe then it will finally dawn on them why
the corrupted core Republicans who have made repeated attempts,
and have finally succeeded, in sneaking in vaccine liability protection
for their Pharma friends and
"supporters" - did so.
But you ain't
seen nothin' yet. Just wait until China, Asia, Indonesia and Africa
figure out where their newly sprung autism epidemics are coming
from: the exported "perfectly safe" mercury vaccines the
United States won't give to our own children, just to be extra perfectly
safe, but will give to theirs.
It is too
early to tell how much impact this ruling of Asperger's as a disability
will make. Our children should be supported through broad legislation
and not judicial activism, which is prone to reversal. But even
if it gets overturned, the explosion in autism and its respective
costs are not going away. No matter the legal definition of disability
that becomes policy, it remains that those with Asperger syndrome
must have whatever support required to help make them productive
neighbors, and the obvious place for that to happen is in the schools.
Denying services to injured children is not the place to solve the
autism epidemic. Congress, the FDA and the CDC need a good political
scrubbing clean. Pharma needs to pony up for their reckless profiteering,
no matter their friends -- friends formerly in high places not soon