How Common Core is Misguided!

Since the U.S. Department of Education more or less mandated implementation of the ‘Common Core‘ education standards on a state level, I have seen numerous examples of how such suggested teaching method fails. As a small example, several states have opted out of the Common Core or backed away from some of the assessments associated with the standard.

There is a simple explanation of why Common Core is misguided: Methodology. Neither the federal or state departments of education should be concerned with teaching methods or even content. They aren’t competent to do so. It is acceptable to set minimum standards for what students should know by a certain level of education (e.g. basic algebra by graduation from high school) in order to be able to access higher learning (college) or obtain employment after high school, but it is not useful or productive to suggest how teachers should get their students to achieve those levels.

Why? There are a multiplicity of answers to the question why government should not dictate teaching methodology.

(1) Those in the teaching profession have received their degrees and certifications in teaching methodology, so we should just let teachers do what they do best – teach. They are ‘on the ground’ (so to speak) and are in the best position to know what works and what doesn’t with their students. Someone sitting in Washington DC or a state capitol has no concept of individual student needs in a classroom. Further on this point, each state – nay, each locality – will vary on what teaching method is best and bureaucracies are too inflexible to adapt to these variances.

(2) Enforcement is expensive. First, consider that virtually all textbooks and materials had to be changed or purchased anew to conform with the Common Core. Second, teachers had to learn the new methodology, so there is training expense. Third, parents and the public also needed to be informed, so there are marketing and public information resources that are expended. This is not a cheap proposition.

(3) Standardizing methodology disregards the needs of the disabled and those who learn differently. While emphasis and resources are spent on the Common Core, it is at the expense of those who truly need the support of government to ensure their access to education. For example, special education has taken a backseat to Common Core implementation and school districts are taking advantage of that by pushing back against parents who are trying to help their disabled children. The U.S. Department of Education, which as direct Congressional authority to enforce special education law, has essentially ignored the setbacks relating to education of the disabled. If resources were not dedicated to Common Core, they could be focused on enforcing special education law.

There are numerous other reasons why Common Core is an effort in futility, but as with other social experiments by government, we won’t see those effects until we have a population of young adults who aren’t able to function in the workplace or in institutions of higher learning. That is not a social experiment worth the risk.

I encourage all of you to contact your state legislators and governors and tell them to opt out of Common Core and let schools get back to the job of teaching kids rather than complying with nonsensical federal mandates.

Ethics Rules You Might Not Know . . .

I think many, too many, lawyers have forgotten what the ethics rules (“Rules of Professional Conduct”) really say. I encourage every lawyer (especially school district counsel) to go back and read their ethics rules (each state has their own, based on the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct) periodically. This will help them understand that the role of lawyer is not just to make money.

Here are some ethics rules you might not have known, excerpted from the Preamble to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct:

• A lawyer, as a member of the legal profession, is a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system and a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice.

• A lawyer who commits fraud in the conduct of a business is subject to discipline for engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

• In all professional functions a lawyer should be competent, prompt and diligent. A lawyer should maintain communication with a client concerning the representation.

• A lawyer should use the law’s procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others. A lawyer should demonstrate respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers and public officials.

• As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, access to the legal system, the administration of justice and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession.

• In addition, a lawyer should further the public’s understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the justice system because legal institutions in a constitutional democracy depend on popular participation and support to maintain their authority.

• A lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in the administration of justice and of the fact that the poor, and sometimes persons who are not poor, cannot afford adequate legal assistance.

• A lawyer is also guided by personal conscience and the approbation of professional peers. A lawyer should strive to attain the highest level of skill, to improve the law and the legal profession and to exemplify the legal profession’s ideals of public service.

• These principles include the lawyer’s obligation zealously to protect and pursue a client’s legitimate interests, within the bounds of the law, while maintaining a professional, courteous and civil attitude toward all persons involved in the legal system.

• The legal profession has a responsibility to assure that its regulations are conceived in the public interest and not in furtherance of parochial or self-interested concerns of the bar.

• Lawyers play a vital role in the preservation of society. The fulfillment of this role requires an understanding by lawyers of their relationship to our legal system. The Rules of Professional Conduct, when properly applied, serve to define that relationship.

Excerpted from ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct

My favorite of these is that “A lawyer is also guided by personal conscience”; in other words, lawyers should not be guided simply by the pursuit of money, but rather should be guided by a set of morals. I think this is the one that lawyers most often forget. That being an attorney is not just a job; what makes it a “profession” is that we act as professionals and use good, sound, moral judgment in using our license to practice law in any capacity.

Please always keep this in mind.

How School Districts Have Forgotten What Their Job Is

I filed a brief in a special education case recently opposing a motion to dismiss the case. Want to share the Introduction as it spells out my view of how school districts (and their insurance companies) are treating kids with disabilities:

What is getting lost in the legal gymnastics of the pending motions to dismiss is that this case is about the education of a young disabled child, D.M., who was abused by the public school system and staff with whom he and his parents entrusted his education and safety. Yet, no Defendant in this case wants to accept responsibility or be held accountable for the tragic harm done to D.M., a little boy with Autism and other co-morbidities. Children with Autism are more susceptible to abuse and bullying, particularly in the public school environment.

Although not expressly stated in the Constitution, our highest Court has recognized that education is a fundamental right. See, e.g., Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) (“In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.”) Furthermore, through the Equal Protection Clause and other federal legislation, education of disabled children is also protected as a fundamental right and goal of our society. See, e.g., Board of Education v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176, 179-84, 102 S.Ct. 3034, 73 L.Ed.2d 690 (1982).

Apparently, the Defendants in this case must feel that physically restraining and abusing a disabled child; emotionally and psychologically abusing that same disabled child; and exposing that disabled child to an unsafe, hostile education environment through the efforts of purported ‘experts’ on the Child Study Team by placing D.M. in a classroom with unqualified and dangerous personnel is perfectly acceptable by the standards of 2011-12. One must reach this conclusion by the exhibition of the extensive and ultimately futile efforts of the Defendants to dismiss this action.


Your Tax Dollars Are Being Used to Deny Education to Disabled Kids

Many of you probably don’t know there are laws that exist to protect the rights of disabled kids, but perhaps none more important than the special education laws.  I’m quite sure that even fewer of you know that your tax dollars are being used to deny those disabled kids their lawful education and thereby violating the laws.  So, your taxes are being used to violate or, at a minimum, obstruct the law.

Here is how this works:

1.  Special education laws guarantee that kids with disabilities are entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) adapted to meet their individual needs.  Makes sense, right? Just because a child is in a wheelchair or has a neurological problem doesn’t mean they should be denied an education, correct? Yes, correct, because it is the law of our country and it is also our moral duty.

2.  Your taxes go to fund public education.  Thus, the public schools in your district are, partially, funded by your tax dollars.  They are also funded, partially, by federal and state government money.  Boards of education or school district administrations determine how to spend those dollars – new football uniforms? new books? supplies? building repairs? etc.

3.  School districts struggle with special education laws because they have tight budgets and sometimes it is expensive to comply with these laws.  Yet, the reality is that they simply need to redistribute that budget to comply.  Indeed, schools get extra money from the federal and state governments depending on the number of disabled kids in that school district.  So, maybe the football team can go another year with the same uniforms in order to assure that the disabled kids get an equal education.  Or maybe they have to contract with a different school supplies vendor who will offer a discount.

4.  But, instead of taking some of those cost-saving or redistribution of budget measures, many school districts elect to fight against enforcement of the special education laws.  Some school districts – either blatantly or unknowingly – violate those laws by denying services or the educational needs of those children.  The school administrations hire attorneys to represent them and battle parents who are simply trying to get an equal education for their disabled child.

Now, let me stop for a minute and focus on that fact.  The parents of children with disabilities didn’t ask to have a disabled child.  They had no choice in the matter.  Often, they have no choice on where they live – it is usually tied with where their job / source of income is.  So, they are already dealing with the stress that their child has a disability and are probably incurring substantial medical expenses to address the disability.  And, the people that they hoped to trust most with the education of their child – the local public school district – is putting up a fight with them.

5.  Now, it’s probably obvious that the school district has to pay for the attorneys they hire.  Where do you think that money comes from?  It comes from the school district’s budget.  And if we circle back to #2 above, the school district’s budget comes from, in large part, YOU – the taxpayers.  So, the legal fees being spent to fight against parents who are trying to help their disabled child is money you have given to the schools for public education.

And, this is no small amount.  Some special education cases are fought with such vigilance, that school district attorneys rack up tens (sometimes hundreds) of thousands of dollars in bills.  The other trick they would pull is when someone tried to find out how much was spent, the school districts would claim the attorney’s bills were privileged and confidential information and would not release them.

Well, that is no more.  Because those legal fees are being paid by tax dollars, the attorney’s bills are public records that must be disclosed just like other public records.  Recently, the California Supreme Court said that such attorney’s fees invoices are public records and must be disclosed under that state’s public records act.  I believe that every state’s public records act will be, if it isn’t already, applied in that same way.

It is time that you know that your tax dollars are being spent to deny kids with disabilities a free public education, the same education that non-disabled kids receive without any dispute.  This is immoral and if you want to stop it, you need to get active in your local board of education or show up to meetings and complain about this.

Take some action and stop this nonsense!


What Every Parent Should Know About Mediation

Since the 1980s, there has been a strong movement toward “alternate dispute resolution” of legal cases. Our court system is overloaded and, as a result, the U.S. Supreme Court has encouraged parties to try to resolve their battles somewhere other than in a courtroom. This is particularly true in special education matters.

After parents are involved in a special education dispute with their school district, they are usually referred to “mediation” to try to resolve the case. The term mediation strikes fear in the hearts of most parents who are not familiar with legal process. However, that fear is based primarily on myth and a misunderstanding of what happens in mediation.

The following are five things every parent should know about special education mediation. Hopefully, this should also make you feel more comfortable with alternate dispute resolution.

1.  Mediation is NOT trial.

Most people have some idea of what a trial is, either because of the news or some television shows. (Keep in mind that those versions are extremely edited and don’t necessarily accurately portray what a trial is like.) Mediation is nothing like trial. During mediation you don’t present evidence; you don’t have to question witnesses; you don’t have to make legal arguments; and, you don’t have to convince anyone that you’re right. Rather, mediation is a very informal opportunity to explain to an independent person (mediator) what you believe the problem is and how you would like to fix that problem. It’s that simple.

2.  The mediator does not take sides in the dispute.

The mediator is an independent and objective person assigned to try to get the parties to find a solution to the dispute. He or she is not interested in who wins or loses; the mediator simply wants to get the parties to agree on how to fix the problem. Thus, the mediator’s role is to facilitate discussion among the parties to see if they can find common ground. He or she is not a judge and will not make any legal decisions or provide any legal advice to the parties. If any agreement is reached, it is done so by the parties themselves and the mediator will simply formalize that agreement.

3.  Mediation is confidential.

Because mediation is essentially a form of settlement negotiation, it is completely confidential. Nothing the parties say during mediation leaves the mediation room. Confidentiality encourages open and honest dialog among the parties. Why? Often parties don’t want to “give up” anything; confidentiality assures them that even if they “give up” something during mediation, they haven’t given it up forever unless it becomes part of a settlement agreement. Thus, any such concession on facts or remedies may not be used against a party if the mediation is not successful.

4.  Mediation is (usually) free.

I can’t speak for every special education mediation system across the country, but most of them provide mediation free of charge to the parties. The only expense incurred by the parties is the cost to travel to and from the mediation. (Additional expenses may be incurred if they have to pay for their attorneys’ time.) While private mediation is not free, it usually occurs only if the free mediation fails and the parties wish to continue with mediation to avoid going to trial.

5.  Settlement reached in mediation is enforceable.

If the parties reach settlement during mediation, the mediator will help prepare a settlement agreement with the terms upon which the parties have agreed. The mediator will do this the day of the mediation so that the parties don’t have to come back again or change their minds after they’ve left. Once a signed settlement agreement is in place, it is as enforceable as a judgment from a court. If one side doesn’t comply with the agreement, the other side can take the agreement to court and have a judge enforce it. From a parent’s perspective, this is a good thing because if a school agrees to put in place certain services or accommodations for the child by a certain date, it will do so or face penalties.

As you can see, mediation isn’t as scary as it sounds. You really have nothing to lose by going and listening to how the other side views the dispute. You never have to agree to anything, but mediation may be a very effective way to resolve the problem before incurring the expense, time and hardship that a trial (due process hearing) causes.

——————

Originally published by my friends at The Special Education Guide:

http://www.specialeducationguide.com/blog/what-every-parent-should-know-about-mediation/

 

Making a Complaint About Your Child’s Special Education

Your child is not receiving the attention or services he or she needs in school. As a result, your child is doing poorly in school. You’re not even sure of the cause of the problem, but you know something is wrong. What do you do?

If you are the parent of a child with special needs, this may sound painfully familiar. But, there is a solution. Remember the old saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil?” Well, that is just as true in special education as it is in other aspects of life. For those who feel uncomfortable being a “squeaky wheel,” remember that you are acting for your child’s benefit.

The following is an outline of the ways you can complain about your child’s special education services.

Consultation to Discovery the Problem

A good first step is to consult with a special education advocate or attorney to discuss your options. Perhaps the biggest problem in this area is that most parents do not know their options or that they have options at all. Most parents share the sentiment, “The school will do what is right for my child.” Tragically, that is not always true.

You, as the parent acting on behalf of your child, have many options. The approach to improving your child’s services may vary depending on your child’s specific diagnosis, individual educational capacity, the school district’s resources or current individualized education program (IEP). An advocate or attorney is trained to know the best way to address the issue, so seek a consultation.

Addressing the Issue With the IEP Team Manager / Case Manager

The first approach is to bring your complaint to the person identified by the school as the point person for your child’s special education needs. In most school districts, there is a case manager or head of a “child study team” assigned to your child. This person should have the most knowledge about your child and his or her IEP; however, you may need to go to the director of special education for your school district if this approach has already failed. You need to get someone to listen. Again, you need to be the squeaky wheel that someone hears.

Due Process Complaint

If you reach an impasse with the school district or disagree over something relating to your child’s special education, you may need to file a due process complaint. This is not something to be taken lightly and I highly recommend that you consult with an attorney (not an advocate) for this approach. This is akin to suing the school district and if you don’t do it correctly, you will fail.

Essentially, a due process complaint is a complaint to your state’s department of education alleging that your school district is not complying with the law with respect to your child’s education. You will need to prove that before a hearing officer, sometimes called an administrative law judge. This is called a due process hearing and looks very much like a trial, involving presenting evidence, witnesses and sometimes an expert witness.

Each state has its own due process procedures and forms. You need to follow those procedures carefully or the case will be dismissed without any help for your child. If you win at due process, you are likely to get most or all of your attorney’s fees back. However, even if you don’t succeed at the due process stage, you have another chance (see the section on appeal below).

Other options at this stage are filing a formal state complaint or requesting mediation. Both can be done before or after filing a due process complaint.

Civil Rights Complaint

Another option is to file a civil rights complaint to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Essentially, this is an allegation that your school district has violated your child’s civil rights, which are guaranteed to him or her as a child with a disability. Just like employers can’t discriminate against people of certain races, creeds, gender, etc., schools cannot discriminate against students with disabilities.

Filing a civil rights complaint does not necessarily preclude the filing of a due process complaint, but the two may be filed simultaneously as they involve different laws. However, like a due process complaint, a civil rights complaint is very technical and must follow its own set of procedures and forms. This is another area where a special education lawyer is critical, and pursuing it alone is not for the inexperienced or faint of heart.

Appeal / Lawsuit in Court

The losing party at the due process or civil rights stage has the right to appeal that decision to a court of law. This may be state or federal court. Although you can handle any part of this process pro se (by yourself), you risk not helping your child. I don’t meant this to be an advertisement for lawyers, but simply a caution that even though you are passionate about your child’s needs, you may get in over your head. There is a reason that lawyers went to law school, took a bar exam, take hours of continuing legal education credits each year and “practice” law; it is to ensure that they have experience and knowledge on how the court process works and are therefore in the best position to protect your child’s rights.

At the end of the day, that is the goal of any of these complaints: to enforce your child’s special education rights and to make sure your child is provided a “free appropriate public education.” Since children typically can’t do this for themselves, the parents (and their counsel) must be the squeaky wheels to get the oil that will help their child succeed.


Originally published on the Special Education Guide Blog.

Evaluating a Child for Disability: The Wrong Way and the Right Way

Article on the wrong way and right way to evaluate a child for a disability is available on Special-Ism.com website at this URL:

http://special-ism.com/evaluating-a-child-for-disability-the-wrong-way-and-the-right-way/

 


Tales from the Front – Actual (Illegal) Statements Made by School Personnel

I did a seminar recently. My seminar was on what to expect at an IEP/504 meeting. Here are some of the comments I heard from parents spoken to them by school districts:

“We are at our quota of eligible disabled students already. We can’t have more.”

“Evaluations must be done in the summer time.”

“Your child (with muscular dystrophy) is not allowed to use a wheelchair in school.”

“[A disciplinary action against a child with a disability and IEP] is completely an internal school matter. You don’t need to worry about it.”

[From a case manager] “I’m not sure what to do. What do you want me to do?”

“You want a person assigned to your child (in a manual wheelchair) to ensure they get out of the school during an emergency? We don’t do that.”

“[A child with MD but not in a wheelchair] is not entitled to use the elevator. She must use the stairs.” (Child falls a lot).

“Your child is depressed.” (No, exhausted from fatigue by the middle of the school day.) “She needs to be on anti-depression medication so that her grades improve.”

[Child has received 50s and 60s on math tests, yet child got a “B” on her report card].
———————-

I heard these statements with great dismay. They are not only false, hurtful, and deceitful, they are illegal. The law protects against all of these things, but too often parents don’t know that the schools are wrong.

If you think the school is telling you incorrect things concerning services or accommodations for your disabled child, please contact a special education lawyer or advocate and ask questions.


Stop the Bullying Madness – That Means YOU, Parents!

On January 6, 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law one of the toughest anti-bullying civil rights laws in the United States.  As with most laws, the creation of the law was the easy part.  The difficult part is the enforcement.  Most states have anti-bullying laws (some, like New Jersey apply to cyberbullying) but the training and implementation of those laws has been sporadic at best; ineffective at worst.

There continue to be events in which kids are committing suicide or having emotional problems because they are being bullied.  The old schoolyard bully who openly picks on a fellow student has gone by the wayside, primarily because such bullies have gotten smarter.  Now they have resorted to anonymous (or what they believe is anonymous) cyberbullying – texting or posting on social media – to intimidate other kids.

– There is the 12 year old Rebecca Sedwick who jumped off a building to her death because of incessant text bullying by her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend and a group of girls that Rebecca thought were her friends.  Thankfully the Sheriff arrested two of the girls responsible after they boldly and stupidly remarked about their involvement in the bullying and death of Rebecca. http://www.hlntv.com/article/2013/10/16/rebecca-sedwick-cyber-bullying-arrests

– Joel Morales, a 12 year old boy from Harlem committed suicide after relentless bullying. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2012/05/harlem-boy-commits-suicide-after-harsh-bullying.html

– In Buffalo, NY, 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer committed suicide after being consistently bullied at school.  http://cartersville.patch.com/groups/schools/p/bullying-in-america-reaches-home

There are so many of these incidents that this blog post could go on for pages.  It is disgraceful.

But there are plenty of laws on the books supposedly to prevent this.  Here is a great page (PDF file) that summarizes the various state laws on bullying: http://cyberbullying.org/Bullying-and-Cyberbullying-Laws.pdf

In my opinion, however, it is not laws that will stop bullying.  It is parenting.  Parents of both bullies and victims need to pay attention to their children and their activities and spot the signs of bullying.  In many of these cases, the parents saw some of the signs, but chose to ignore them with the age-old response of “kids will be kids.”  No!  Bullying is not kids being kids.  Bullying is a crime and it is hurtful.

So, parents and school personnel need to learn the signs of bullying, spot them, and do something about it.  Proactive.  I keep seeing commercials that tell kids to speak up about bullying.  Why are we putting the onus on kids who are in the most precarious of positions in the bullying scheme?  Why are we taking the pressure off of parents from being parents?  Parents of victims need to protect their children and, if need be, report it to the authorities and consider removing their child from the school environment if the school will not take action.

But my strongest admonition is for the parents of bullies.  YOU need to take responsibility and parent your kids.  This means discipline; this means controlling your child’s actions; this means teaching your children that bad actions, such as bullying, have bad consequences.  It is not an excuse to say you can’t control your children.  You are the adult; you are the parent.  You accepted that role the second you knew that you were going to have a child.  So you must examine your own actions, because bullies often beget bullies.  And, trust me, if I learn that one of my clients was bullied, I’m not just coming after the child who bullied my client – I’m coming after you, the parents too.

Let’s wake up and stop this bullying madness.  Please.  TODAY!

If anyone has a bullying problem, please contact my office for assistance.  Phone: 856-335-5291; Web: http://schoolkidslawyer.com; Email: info@schoolkidslawyer.com.

Robert C. Thurston, Esq.


The Dangerous Use of the Word “Cure”

I’m shocked. It takes a lot to shock me these days, but I am admittedly shocked. My alarm has been set off by numerous recent studies into the “cause” of Autism. I’m not alarmed purely because of the research, but rather what it may implicate and the resulting frightening thoughts of how we, as a society, would implement a “cure”.

There were studies attempting to link childhood vaccinations to Autism, but those studies were found to be faulty and in one case “an elaborate fraud”, but nevertheless absent of a link between vaccines and Autism.  See Autism Speaks Policy Statement on Vaccinations and Autism; and CNN report about the British Medical Journal’s retraction of Dr. Wakefield’sstudies as fraudulent.

Another recent study published in the August 12, 2013edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics links induced or augmented labor to Autism.  Still another report by the New York Times attempting to say that Autism and cancer were linked via a “cancer gene” was exposed as extremely unreliable.

This brings me to my concern; actually, two concerns.

The first – that because Autism is a hot topic and the rapid increase in the number of cases of Autism in the population is startling to some (disregarding the fact that proper techniques to diagnosis Autism are a recent event proving that there is not an increase in the development of Autism, but rather an increase in number of discovered incidence) the media jumps on any report that seems to find the “cause” of Autism – I can do nothing about.  What sells “news” and media is beyond my control and I can do nothing other than be exasperated.

The second concern, about which I believe I CAN do something, is what I believe is the next step that follows the discovery of the “cause” of Autism – the “cure” for Autism.  This should be a source of alarm and concern for everyone and, frankly, is a disturbing and dangerous use of the otherwise constructive term “cure”.This dangerous use is attempting to redefine “cure” to mean “prevention” rather than its true definition.

Most dictionaries define “cure” as follows:

cure: n. 1. a means of healing or restoring to health; remedy. 2. a method or course of remedial treatment, as for disease. 3. successful remedial treatment; restoration to health.

Source: Dictionary.com, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cure?s=t

Thus, “cure” means to “restore to health” or “remedy”.  In other words, if you have a virus or disease, the cure may be a drug or treatment that restores you to health. In a sense, chicken soup may be viewed as the cure for the common cold.  (I know several Jewish mothers who swear by that.)  This definition refers to healing people who are currently alive.

How can this be bad?

On August 14, 2013, the Autism Support Network’s Facebook page posted this question: “Would you terminate your pregnancy if you knew your child would have autism?”  Thankfully, the responses were unanimously “no” and several people were puzzled why an “Autism support network” would even pose that question.  The members of this network are parents of children with Autism who have already been born.

The insidious and heinous implication of this question is that we, as a society, will view abortion or intra-uterus genetic alterations as a “cure” for Autism.  People are seeking to prevent Autism.  While that, too, sounds like a noble pursuit, it is extremely dangerous and Orwellian in its possibilities.  What is next? Sterilization of those who have a gene that causes Autism or those who have Autism?  Government-imposed removal of reproductive parts of people who have Autism in their family history?

I know these examples are extreme and hopefully absurd, but I do wonder how this urge to find the cause of Autism has led to tenuous research projects and where such research might lead.

I have a better idea.  Rather than spend millions (perhaps billions) of dollars on fruitless research into the cause of Autism (which is most likely genetic and not “curable” absent one of the horrific methods I describe above), redirect those funds to research into therapies or providing services for families that have living, breathing, wonderful children with Autism.  The daily lives of such families are rife with challenges and they deserve all of the help and support that we, as a society, can muster.

If you want to redefine the word “cure” when it comes to Autism, redefine it to mean “support”.