Federal Register: The New HHS Religious and Conscience Rights Office WILL Include Vaccine Protections
Challenging Autism

Dachel Interview: The State of Special Education An Inside Look

Abadnonned schoolBy Anne Dachel

RECENTLY, I interviewed a friend who both works in a big city public school system AND is the mother of a son with autism soon to be aging out of school.

Questions:

ABOUT YOUR WORK AT SCHOOL:

  1. As someone with over 10 years experience in special education at a school in a large metropolitan area, what changes have you personally seen?

I have seen a dramatic increase in students with severe emotional-behavioral disorders.  Many are violent, many are anxious and unable to focus or even sit still, and some seem to have no empathy or moral compass at all.  We still see kids with typical autism traits, and other disabilities.  But now it seems there are far more students with emotional instability.

  1. What types of behavior are most concerning for you as a teacher?

The explosive violence and emotional meltdowns that seem to come out of nowhere.While there have always been students who struggle with emotional regulation, it has now become so common that every classroom has one or two (or more) students who need constant monitoring.  We have an on-call crisis intervention team that is summoned to de-escalate kids on a daily basis.  The other students are regularly rushed out of the classroom to protect them from being harmed, which completely disrupts any attempts to teach or maintain a schedule.

  1. How are all these issues impacting teachers? What have you observed?

There is extreme fatigue and growing despair among teachers I have talked to.  We find ourselves comparing bruises and horror stories over lunch, rather than talking about curriculum or our personal lives.  Within the first two months of school this year, our program had to add staff to 8 different classroomsin order to handle the out-of-control students. We are constantly devising new strategies to deal with the ever-changing and increasingly violent behaviors, and the special education budget cannot cover all the needs.

  1. Do you see more students with an autism diagnosis?

I think the number continues to rise, but that’s partially due to the fact that many children are being “pigeon holed” into autism diagnoses.  The staff wants to help these children, who clearly have issues.  But I see many kids now with a diagnosis of “autism” that barely resemble what we used to see in cases of classic autism.  Many are social, intelligent, and well-spoken.  They don’t have stereotypical or repetitive behaviors.  What they do have is extreme oppositional behavior, emotional instability, anxiety, rage, ADHD traits, depression, and violent outbursts.

 

ABOUT YOU AS A PARENT:

  1. Explain your son’s situation.

My son is in a post-high school transition program for kids with disabilities.  This is his final year, so he’s part of that initial “tsunami” of vaccine-injured adults that will soon be exiting the public education system.  You have been talking about this tsunami for years, but I don’t think the state and federal human services departments have taken heed.  It’s going to be very ugly when there is no longer a place for all these kids to go.

When my son started in his transition program, there were 28 young adults attending his location.  I knew roughly half of the kids and their parents, since the program had two high schools that fed into it.  I was astounded when I realized that there were 7 kids (just among those I knew) whose parents reported they had sustained their disabilities from vaccines.I know there are likely other vaccine-injured students in the program, but even if not – we are talking about 25% disabled by vaccines! 

Not even considering the devastating human toll those 7 vaccine injuries took on these kids and their families, I find myself thinking about the cost to society.  Special education services, including summer programming, for up to 18 years per student.Medical Assistance, waivers, SSI and other government funding programs.The loss of productivity and contribution to the workforce for those who are unable to hold a job.The loss of income for the parents who had to quit their jobs to become full-time caregivers for their children. And the list goes on.  Knowing that at least ONE in every FOUR of the kids in my son’s class could have been saved a life of disability is absolutely tragic.

  1. How has the school system prepared your son for independent living as an adult?

I think they’ve done the best they can, but the schools can only do so much.  There are SO many disabled students now, and teachers are spread extremely thin.  The school has helped my son obtain jobs in the past, but this year there just haven’t been any opportunities for him to work at a paying job.He requires a lot of support, and a low-stress environment.

For independent living skills, the issue has always been that every child (or young adult) is at a different cognitive level, so in order to effectively teach specific skills the schools would need one-on-one staff to train each student.  Special Education costs have skyrocketed in recent years, and there still isn’t enough money or manpower to effectively teach many of these kids through traditional methods.

  1. What do you want to be there for your son?

I know it will be a shock when the bus stops coming for the first time in 16 years.  I think the social aspect of school will be missed the most – the daily routine of getting him up to go out and participate in activities with people who care about him.

I guess what I want for my son is what I’ve always wanted.  For him to be happy, healthy, and pain-free.  I want him to love and be loved.  I want him to be a contributing member of society. 

And if I were to really wish for the stars I would want our government to finally acknowledge that it was their own malfeasance that caused my son’s permanent disability. 

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.

Comments

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Linda1

Aimee,
I may be over generalizing and stereotyping. Of course, there are great teachers and those that have insight into what is going on and are determined to fight for the children. It is the system that is beyond repair, because it is not about serving the children at all.

Grace Green

Dude, you are right, what you describe is happening. I'm afraid it's been happening since the dawn of time, but there are now more disabled people to be on the receiving end of this abuse. The psychologists should be spending their time trying to work out why the "normal" people feel the need to behave this way. Second thoughts - they probably already know. Perhaps we Aspies and auties should start verbally confronting people as to why they are treating us in this way. We find this very difficult to find the right words on the spur of the moment, but we're learning. BTW, I home-educated my kids, and we all got bullied in the home! Not because their education wasn't up to standard, but just constantly trying to cheat us out of resources for their own corrupt gains. It still goes on and we keep fighting it. Thanks for your comments here. Its important to hear all experiences.

will

I believe that many younger teachers and doctors (those under 40) might mistakenly think that many of these abnormal child development and health problems are normal development. These younger teachers and doctors had classmates and relatives and sometimes themselves might have subtle Asperger's, ADHD, Dyslexia, Bipolar or something medical like type 1 diabetes and Asthma. The doctors and psychologist might tell a questioning parent that unless Jack or Jill has rhabmyosarcoma cancer,
paranoid schizophrenia or severe retardation to" Please to an run of the mill prescription and leave my office as I have other patients". Many uncommon medical/psychological disorders are now common and the media has maken light of the situation like a controversy some years ago of an AIDS drug advertisement with a black man partying and such which was sued because of that reason of making light of serious medical issues. What happens when moderate medical and psychiatric issues are viewed as normal or very minor by the medical and educational establishemen in addition to mass mediat who knows the long term consequences?!

Jeanne J

First, I want to thank Anne for this post, as well as your tireless effort to expose the full effects of the unchecked and disregarded tsunami of autism from childhood through adulthood. I do have a recommendation, though, and that is to interview special educators, including teachers, occupational therapists and speech pathologists, who have actively providing services since the '80s. We are the people who have watched the trends in special ed. go from manageable to dire. We know there has been an actual increase in children with autism, and all the other neurodevelopmental/neuropsychiatric disorders.

Secondly, I would ask that all of those who post here to re-consider lumping all teachers into a category of uncaring and mediocre. Yes, for some educators, teaching is just a job - just like every other profession that finds people in it that need to feed and clothe themselves. But, for some of us, it really is a calling. Particularly in special education, in order to fulfill that calling - to help your students become the best of themselves that they can be - it is too hard to show up every day and perform the educational, therapeutic, paper work and behaviorally-intense aspects of your job, if all you want to get is a pay check. If you really paid attention to the teacher's responses to questions 2 and 3, it is clear that she works in a program in which the staff tries to imbed safety measures into their special ed programming, and when something isn't working, they continue to try additional ways to make it work. To do that, there has to be commitment on the part of all staff members - from the principal through all classroom and non-classroom staff. Does that sound like mediocre people who do not care????? And, in answer to the questions about whether or not anyone is paying attention to this disaster, for many of us the answer is yes. But, public school is a government-funded entitlement that is both state and federally funded, as well as voted on locally by the citizens of the area. Although special education gets state and federal funds, all school funds have to vie for funding along with the sports budgets, the materials and supplies budgets, etc. A staff that recognizes it needs more supports and funds will do two things (1) document every incident, need, success, shortcoming, etc., because we all know government budgets are data-driven, and (2) encourage family support and participation, because they are tax payers and they can help convinces school boards and superintendants how much more beneficial it is have the best state-of-the-art, evidenced-based, and well-trained staff to provide special education than it is to field questions to reporters during "News at 11" when something goes terribly wrong.

Dude

I have to wonder about the environment in school period. I remember when I was a kid. I had to put up with things like people thumping me in the ears for entire class periods while being afraid to speak up about it, being smacked in the head repeatedly with a folder while the teacher stood there an did nothing UNTIL I started smacking the kid back because there was no other way to stop him (this one really causes me to question the idea that autists are more violent. I can see myself as being more patient... too patient, but no more violent than normal children. I also wonder about that study y'all wrote about here a while back that compared autist to other disable kids, but not to normal kids. It seems rather strange that one of the theorized causes of the supposed autistic "tendency" for violence was bullying. Bullying is violent, and most often done by normal kids toward autistic kids. So, by that logic, an issue with autism violence, would be an issue with violence against autists by the normal. And there was that Logan kid in Colorado where the judge ruined his life for slapping a kid that was being violent toward Logan, but nothing was done about the violent normal child.)... I remeber being mashed against the side of the bus wall everyday all the way home by one kid who just liked doing that to me... I even remeber being smacked in the face repeatedly by my mom who wouldn't stop until I pushed her. I even remeber as an adult being punched in the arm repeatedly by her all the way home when she would pick me up from work just because she didn't like that the job ended at 10pm. I mean... I remember being treated like crap, just because people knew they could get away with it.

I have seen, I think it was on this site, news stories, of caretaker who would physically abuse disabled kids and get away with it.

I have to wonder if we are seeing more violence, or just less normal people producing the violence. Or maybe even violence that was always there, but we are just now noticing it more thanks to mass surveillance.

If I had to place a bet, it would probably be a combination of a more violent society thanks to more toxic physical and social environments including psychiatric drugs, which Dr. Bregging encourages people to call neurotoxins since that is what they are, and more tech to record it.

I still don't understand why normal people get away with it, but when someone who is odd does it everyone thinks it's a big deal that needs to be dealt with all the sudden. I think that is more the reason why some think autist are more violent. That, and maybe they don't know how to hide it from teachers as well. But then again, kids could be violent to me, right in front of a teacher, and nothing was done about it.

I still cannot understand why you would put kids in a public school though. It was bad enough when I was a kid. But now? I mean, murderous cops, gangs, hostility and viciousness from both kids and admins... I mean, WTF are you thinking? You can't expect good results from that.


Aimee Doyle

@Linda1

I see your point about the teachers being brainwashed. This may especially be true of younger teachers. But long term teachers? From what Anne Dachel has said, it seems like they see a problem - and perhaps they have the tenure to be able to complain effectively.

But what about the school systems? Someone must be aware of the increasing amount of money being spent on special education, on additional teachers's aides, on the increase in special education students, on the increased needs for speech, OT, etc. All that costs money, and under IDEA, children are entitled to FAPE, including special services.

It's hard for me to believe that no one has noticed the rising costs in the school systems - and in the rising costs for adult services.

Linda1

Aimee,
The teachers are products of that environment who stayed on to spend their lives. They are used to sucking it up after so many years of training. They have been taught to see the children, their parents and communities as the problem that must be managed. That's their job - management. They see the system as necessary and blameless. They're basically brainwashed.

Aimee Doyle

@Linda1 - I agree that concern for children doesn't seem to be a priority in schools.

But I was thinking about the impact on the teachers. You would think that teachers wouldn't want to be beaten, broken, battered, bruised, and burnt-out - and would be vocal about that.

You'd also think that school districts wouldn't want to keep spending ever-increasing amounts of money on additional school aides, teachers' workers' comp, etc.

I don't see why those concerns - those of teachers - and those of funding - haven't begun to have an impact.

Linda1

Amy,
"One thing I am curious about - why aren't these problems percolating upward - from teachers to principals, teachers' unions, and school systems."

You'd think if the concern was the children that would be the case. But it isn't. The school system is a processing plant that is first and foremost a jobs program. The quality of the product is not even close to being the top priority.

go Trump


Most Americans do not understand that our schools cannot go “high tech” because the “major growth area” HAS TO BE special needs....

Most of America & the world does not need more “high tech stuff.” Those in power FIRST have to STOP LYING to America so we can begin to try and solve the Autism / ADHD / Education disaster they have created.

Of course the “frauds, felons and all their friends’ will continue to simply ask for more money so THEY can be in charge of the solution. Perhaps someday a peanut butter sandwich can safely return to the schools...

Grace Green

I know for a fact that already some of those who teach have themselves got autism or dyslexia, and even some of those who taught the teachers! What's more they are unaware that they have these conditions, so they're not likely to report the facts. In any case, we all want to keep our jobs!

Linda1

Anne,
Are any of these teachers realizing that electrosmog exacerbates and even causes problems? Do these schools have wi-fi, routers near students, cell phones, cell towers in the parking lots, etc? Are any of these schools hiring professionals to measure the children's radiation exposure from all the wireless devices?

Shelley Tzorfas

I have observed that most people who have never had children have not personally seen kids with Autism. Those adults live in their Own World. Still, many people with kids do not observe the actual numbers of kids with Autism which is 1 in 36, 1 in 25 boys, outside of their child's classroom. People do not realize that many kids with moderate to severe Autism can simply "Not Go Outside To Hang."

cherry Misra

Very informative and interesting interview. I am particularly interested in her description of the "autistic" kids of today - as opposed to what was seen in the earlier years of the autism epidemic. Actually, children who are not so severely autistic should be able to recover from their symptoms, so perhaps David Weiner is correct in his questioning how much the psych meds are contributing to the situation in the schools.

bob moffit

@ David

"I have to wonder if the big increase in the use of psych meds is contributing to these problems."

I submitted this post yesterday on another column relative to the deteriorating childhood development problems .. and .. I think the same information is relevant to YOUR comment.

Consider for a moment the ever-expanding list of "childhood psychiatric disorders" .. which the "scientific discipline of child psychiatry" has been developing for at least two decades. As someone of admittedly advanced age .. 78 to be exact .. I cannot recall ANY of these modern-day "diagnoses" for behavioral conduct of SCHOOL CHILDREN in my day. Indeed .. like YOU .. I also wonder if the ever-expanding list of "childhood psychiatric disorders" has also increased the use of psych meds .. further contributing to the problem of childhood .. and .. possibly for the child's ENTIRE LIFE BEYOND SCHOOL?

childhood psychiatric disorders

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Bipolar disorder in children
Conduct disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Bipolar disorder in children
Conduct disorder
Learning disability
Neurodevelopmental disorder
Intellectual disability
Pica
Encopresis
Asperger syndrome
Childhood schizophrenia
Selective mutism
Adjustment disorder
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
Stereotypic movement disorder
Regressive autism
Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome
Adopted child syndrome
Callous and unemotional traits
School refusal
Abandoned child syndrome
Sluggish cognitive tempo
Hyperlexia

I am certain that MANY of my childhood classmates .. including myself .. would have qualified for at least one of these "childhood psychiatric disorders" .. and .. THANK GOD WE .. AND .. OUR PARENTS AND TEACHERS .. DIDN'T KNOW IT THEN,

Aimee Doyle

Powerful interview, Anne. I am so grateful for the tireless reporting you have done over the last decade.

One thing I am curious about - why aren't these problems percolating upward - from teachers to principals, teachers' unions, and school systems. Why aren't teachers demanding that administration do something about these problems?

It seems the problems should have become obvious enough at the state levels for state governors and legislators to be concerned. The need for increased funding to handle kids with all these needs should be striking a nerve somewhere...

Laura Hayes

Fantastic and powerful interview. The state of our children and young adults, and the situation at our schools, have become most dire.

David Weiner

I have to wonder if the big increase in the use of psych meds is contributing to these problems.

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