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School Sues to Force Autism Test on 7-Year-Old

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

force autism test

Story at-a-glance -

  • The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) is suing Angela Bolton-Smith in an effort to force autism testing on her son, Trent, who is 7 years old and a former student in the district
  • Trent has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia, so Bolton-Smith requested that DISD evaluate him for special education services, but refused testing for autism because he had no such symptoms and she feared a misdiagnosis
  • DISD refused to provide special education services to the student until autism testing was performed, so Bolton-Smith appealed to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which sided with her and the student — twice
  • Rather than agreeing to provide special education instruction without autism testing, DISD took the highly unusual step of appealing in federal court; Bolton-Smith is now countersuing to recover more than $90,000 in legal fees

The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) is suing Angela Bolton-Smith trying to force autism testing on her son, Trent, who is 7 years old and a former student in the district. Trent has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia, so Bolton-Smith requested that DISD evaluate him for special education services.

DISD began the testing, but then decided they needed to conduct additional evaluations to determine if the boy has autism. Bolton-Smith, who is a special education teacher who has evaluated students with special needs in the district, declined the additional testing, setting off an escalating response from the district, culminating in a lawsuit against her.


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