I see once again Kristina Chew is railing for her son's educational future, by demanding that he receive "the best" level of education that can be offered. In the days when Chew was blogging on autism vox she also trotted out this fallacious argument that her son was entitled to "the best" (her words) education that could be obtained for him.
Legally this is a fallacious argument. In the Rowley case in 1982 the supreme court determined that the words "free and appropriate education" did not mean "best" It is described on this website Here is some of the wording :
The Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeals' decision, finding that the IDEA (then known as the EHA - Education Handicapped Act) did not require schools to proportionally maximize the potential of handicapped children. Rather, the Court said, Congress had more modest goals in mind. The Supreme Court relied upon the text and legislative history of the statute to find that Congressional intent was only to provide a "basic floor of opportunity" to students with disabilities by providing them access to public education, as opposed to addressing the quality of education received once in school. The Court stated:
By passing the Act, Congress sought primarily to make public education available to handicapped children. But in seeking to provide such access to public education, Congress did not impose upon the States any greater substantive educational standard than would be necessary to make such access meaningful …
Thus, the intent of the Act was more to open the door of public education to handicapped children on appropriate terms than to guarantee any particular level of education once inside.
So we see that Kristina Chew is asking the school district for something that she is not legally entitled to receive under special education law. What is surprising is that this is one of the most famous examples of case law that was decided by the supreme court. One wonders about the quality of special ed attorneys Ms. Chew has and what sort of advice they are giving her in terms of pursuing an education for her son and what she should say in IEP meetings. Because of the Rowley decision back in 1982 special education lawyers often advise their clients not to use the word "best" because of the Rowley decision. I don't know what sort of services her son Charlie receives, but one reason they may be less than satisfactory is that Ms. Chew exercises such bad judgment from a legal standpoint.
What is most surprising of all is that in the days when she was blogging on autism vox prior to her moving over to change.org, she would often trot out this same fallacious argument. Time and time again I posted comments on her blog advising her that she was factually incorrect about the law and advising her of what the law under IDEA really is. In spite of this she never seemed to listen and now is posting this same nonsense again in her latest post.
This is a woman who has claimed to me that she is satisfied with the functioning level of her son and that she has no desire to cure him. She claimed on national television that she was not suffering or heartbroken because of her son's condition. This is in spite of the fact that she has used ABA on her son, a treatment that purports to cure nearly 50% of all autistics. She has given her son dangerous psychiatric medications to control his behavior. In one recent blog entry she talked about the possibility of her son having to live in a residential placement. For this reason I suppose nothing she says should surprise me as is the case with most neurodiversity proponents.