From the Editor: Accurate
When I type iacc into my iPad, it suggests that I might really mean "inaccurate." How accurate!
Gatorade removes a possibly dangerous compound from its drinks. Now that the world is safe for Gatorade drinkers, how about getting the mercury out of vaccines and making it safe for babies?
NYT account of his new book, The Future: "Democracy has been hacked" and Congress "is now incapable of passing laws without permission from the corporate lobbies and other special interests that control their campaign finances." Both parties, he says, have become so dependent on business lobbies for "the large sums of money they must have to purchase television advertisements in order to be reelected that special interest legislation pushed by the industries most active in purchasing influence -- financial services, carbon-based energy companies, pharmaceutical companies and others -- can count on large bipartisan majorities."
I can't take seriously the hue and cry over soft drinks fueling the obesity epidemic when mercury is pouring into infant vaccines worldwide. First things first, please. Don't like Pepsi? Don't have one, for Pete's sake.
Deficits: 5 percent of kids now have ADHD, up 24 percent in a decade. Wonder what that's all about it?
I should explain that the link is to the space/Earth duet by the Barenaked Ladies and astronaut Chris Hadfield.
Posted by: Jen | February 10, 2013 at 04:24 PM
some nice Sunday inspiration!
Posted by: Jen | February 10, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Health for Children:
Your link said "Page not found"
I just typed in vaccine narcolepsy and adjuvant and WIKI came up on the Pandermix.
Considering how unkind/unfair/not correct on Dan Olmstead, thirmosol I was surprised what they had to say...
It needs to be copied and brought over here before it has been changed and all gone away.
Pandemrix is an influenza vaccine for influenza pandemics, such as the H1N1 2009 flu pandemic colloquially called the swine flu. The vaccine was developed by GlaxoSmithKline and patented in September 2006
As well as the active antigen derived from A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), the vaccine contains an immunologic adjuvant AS03 which consists of DL-α-tocopherol (vitamin E), squalene and polysorbate 80.
Thiomersal (thimerosal) is added as a preservative. Being manufactured in chicken eggs, it contains trace amounts of egg proteins. Additional important non-medicinal ingredients are formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate, and sucrose.
 Use of adjuvant
While other 2009 H1N1 vaccines have been developed, the use of a proprietary immunologic adjuvant is claimed to boost the potency of the body’s immune response, meaning that only a quarter of the inactivated virus is needed. 
Professor David Salisbury, Head of Immunisation at the UK Department of Health said the vaccines with adjuvants offer good protection even if the virus changes over time; "One of the advantages with adjuvanted vaccines is their ability to protect against drifted (mutated) strains. It opens the door for a whole new strategy in dealing with flu."
Posted by: Benedetta | February 08, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Just out today:
Not long ago AoA posted an article about Pandremix having mercury as an "incipient" ingredient
Posted by: healthforchildren | February 08, 2013 at 09:52 AM
License to kill and cripple the US babies. There is nothing more horrid that this plan.
Posted by: concerned citizen | February 05, 2013 at 02:00 AM
I was glad to see most include an appropriate warning. Some seem to have personal knowledge. What's so hard for "health" authorities to get?
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | February 03, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Please support the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centres choice of Jenny McCarthy to speak at their 'Bust a Move' fundraiser event. The creepy Skeptics have organized efforts in the opposite direction. Thanks.
Posted by: Jen | February 01, 2013 at 09:58 AM
"5 percent of kids now have ADHD, up 24 percent in a decade."
That's strange, 10 percent was often quoted in the nineties and there were 6 children with ADHD out of 24 in my son's class in 1998, and two with ASD, including my son.
And according to this table on the CDC website, ADHD, once called Minimal Brain Dysfunction, was around 5 percent in 1972 and by 1998 had reached 16%:
Posted by: ATSC | January 31, 2013 at 08:35 AM
There are lessons to be learned in Pepsico's decision to remove "brominated vegetable oil" from Gatorade.
First .. WHO caused Pepsico to act?
Not the FDA .. but .. apparently a 15 year old girl became concerned about the ingredient after reading about it online and found studies suggesting possible side effects .. including neurological disorders and altered thyroid hormones. (That damned internet again!!!)
Second .. How did she force Pepsico to act?
The 15 year old started an online petition that garnered enough signatures to cause Pepsico to act (that damned internet AGAIN!).. but .. the question remains why it was left to a 15 year old's petition to do what the FDA should have done decades ago?
Third .. What is Pepsico replacing BVO with?
The "brominated vegetable oil" will be replaced by "sucrose acetate isobutyrate, an emulsifier that is generally recognized as safe".
Fourth .. What does the FDA know about SAI?
I don't know .. but .. hopefully the FDA requires a higher standard than Pepisco's "generally recognized as safe"?
Fifth .. Why is thimerosal still in vaccines while BVO has been removed from Pepsico's product?
Because thimerosal is recognized as "generally safe" to be used in vaccines approved and recommended by federal public health authorities .. made by manufacturers which enjoy "product liability protections" that Pepsico's "BVO" simply did not have.
Unfortunately .. as things stand today .. it is going to take a whole lot more than an on-line petition to remove thimerosal from vaccines.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | January 31, 2013 at 06:46 AM
Carol ....seen "Burzynski the Movie" ..... quite an eye opener . Cannot recommend it enough also .
Posted by: Farmer Geddon | January 29, 2013 at 06:48 AM
Lisa - I just want to say one more thing, which I was going to say on the earlier post(s), but it turned out so long that I didn't include this...It took me a long time, many years, to come to this point of view. The indoctrination we all go through is hard to overcome. I know that you are 150% devoted to serving the community. I believe that you have the purest of intentions. I don't want you to think that I was attacking you personally. As I explained, I think that the system you work for, and the methods your profession uses, are flawed. I know you mean well and are doing your best.
Posted by: Linda | January 28, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Jake, too bad Gore doesn't talk more about pharma -those large bipartisan majorities are killing our kids. I can't even watch major US networks anymore- the information just seems so controlled.
Update on Chad "Menafrivac" situation- the kids there are being "LeRoyed" (it's all in their heads)
Posted by: Jen | January 28, 2013 at 07:49 PM
..."you aren't going to learn this history in school anymore than you're going to learn about vaccines in a doctor's office. Many will be shocked to discover that the widely accepted system of schooling, of modern pedogogy, like the vaccine schedule, was not handed down to us at Mount Sinai. Yet both are defended with fundamentalist furvor. As those of us with any memory of what used to be, whether pertaining to how humans learn or the truth about health and disease, die off, all that will be left are the false ideologies and their devastating consequences."
"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
Couldn't agree with you more.
Posted by: Bayareamom | January 28, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Lisa, you're killing me. I'm going to try to make this as brief as possible, but it won't be easy. Let me start out by offering three online sources which I hope you will see:
1) A keynote speech by Sir Ken Robinson: www.educationrevolution.org
2) John Taylor Gatto's classic essay "The Seven Lesson Schoolteacher" http://www.worldtrans.org/whole/schoolteacher.txt
3) Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education, a Schoolteacher's Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling , pdf online here http://mhkeehn.tripod.com/ughoae.pdf
I'll get straight to the point:
Compulsory k-12 schooling is to education what vaccines and the vaccine schedule are to public health, in both purpose, effect and administration.
Human beings no more need schools to teach them how to read than they need schools to teach them how to walk. In fact, schools get in the way. Humans are primarily autodidactic by nature. Given the freedom, humans will naturally find a way to learn what they need to know. History clearly shows that since children were rounded up and taken, at gunpoint, against their parents' wishes, to the first American compulsory public schools in Massachusetts in the 1850s, that American literacy rates have gone DOWN.
A few quotes from Gatto 's book (3 above):
"Looking back, abundant data exists from states like Connecticut and Massachusetts to show that by 1840 the incidence of complex literacy in the United States was between 93 and 100 percent wherever such a thing mattered. Everyone was literate, rich and poor alike. In Connecticut only one citizen out of 579 was illiterate and you probably don't want to know, not really, what people in those days considered literate; it's too embarrassing. Popular novels of the period give a clue: Last of the Mohicans, published in 1818, sold so well a contemporary equivalent would have to move 10 million copies to match it. If you pick up an uncut version you find yourself in a dense thicket of philosophy, history, culture, manners, politics, geography, astute analysis of human motives and actions, all conveyed in data-rich periodic sentences so formidable only a determined and well-educated reader can handle it nowadays. Yet in 1818 we were a small-farm nation without colleges or universities to speak of. Could those simple folk have had more complex minds than our own?"(p. 52)
Posted by: Linda 1 of several | January 28, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Pages later, Gatto continues the point:
"In America, before we had forced schooling, an astonishing range of unlikely people knew reading was like Samson's locks - something that could help make them formidable, that could teach them their rights and how to defend those rights, could lead them toward self-determination, free from intimidation by experts. These same unlikely people knew that the power bestowed through reading could give them insight into the ways of the human heart, so they would not be cheated or fooled so easily, and that it could provide an inexhaustible store of useful knowledge - advice on how to do just about anything.
By 1812, Pierre DuPont was claiming that barely four in a thousand Americans were unable to read well and that the young had skill in argumentation thanks to daily debates at the common breakfast table. By 1820, there was even more evidence of Americans' avid reading habits, when 5 million copies of James Fenimore Cooper's complex and allusive novels were sold, along with an equal number of Noah Webster's didactic Speller - to a population of dirt farmers under 20 million in size.
Posted by: Linda cont | January 28, 2013 at 05:53 PM
In 1835, Richard Cobden announced there was six times as much newspaper reading in the United States as in England, and the census figures of 1840 gave fairly exact evidence that a sensational reading revolution had taken place without any exhortation on the part of public moralists and social workers, but because common people had the initiative and freedom to learn. In North Carolina, the worst situation of any state surveyed, eight out of nine could still read and write.
In 1853, Per Siljestromm, a Swedish visitor, wrote, "In no country in the world is the taste for reading so diffuse as among the common people in America." The American Almanac observed grandly, "Periodical publications, especially newspapers, disseminate knowledge throughout all classes of society and exert an amazing influence in forming and giving effect to public opinion.' It noted the existence of over a thousand newspapers. In this nation of common readers, spiritual longings of ordinary people shaped the public discourse. Ordinary people who could read, though not privileged by wealth, power, or position, could see through the fraud of social class or the even grander fraud of official expertise. That was the trouble."(p. 57)
So, before the prison like school system that we have now, Americans did just fine learning what they needed to learn. There were community and private schools before forced government schooling began, but they were not compulsory. People had the freedom to go if they wanted for as long as it suited their needs. Again, from Gatto, about the 1700s:
"George Washington was no genius; we know that from too many of his contemporaries to quibble. John Adams called him 'too illiterate, too unlearned, too unread for his station and reputation; Jefferson, his fellow Virginian, declared he liked to spend time 'chiefly in action, reading little.' It was an age when everyone in Boston, even shoeblacks, knew how to read and count; it was a time when a working class boy in a family of thirteen like Franklin couldn't remember when he didn't know how to read...Washington had no schooling until he was eleven, no classroom confinement, no blackboards."(p.31)
Posted by: Linda cont | January 28, 2013 at 05:51 PM
This is where it gets good...
"He (Washington) arrived at school already knowing how to read, write and calculate about as well as the average college student today...Full literacy wasn't unusual in the colonies or early republic; many schools wouldn't admit students who didn't know reading and counting because few schoolmasters were willing to waste time teaching what was so easy to learn. It was deemed a mark of depraved character if literacy hadn't been attained by a matriculating student. Even the many charity schools operated by churches, towns, and philanthropic associations for the poor would have been flabbergasted at the great hue and cry raised today about difficulties teaching literacy. American experience proved the contrary...Washington had no father as a teenager, and we know he was no genius, yet he learned geometry, trigonometry, and surveying when he would have been a fifth or sixth grader in our era. Ten years later he had prospered directly by his knowledge...Washington attended school for exactly two years." (p. 30-32)
Of Benjamin Franklin, one of the most scholarly and influential Americans who ever lived, whose autobiography ironically is frequently included in modern k-12 curriculums, Gatto writes, "Benjamin Franklin commenced school at third grade age and exited when he would have been in the fifth to become a tallow chandler's apprentice." (p.27) Franklin stated that he couldn't remember a time when he didn't know how to read. He published his first essay at age 16.
Abraham Lincoln had 50 weeks of formal schooling in the twelve year period from 1814 to 1826.
Thomas Edison, who was responsible for bringing us the light bulb that we read by, also didn't spend much time in school. From An "A" In Life: Famous Homeschoolers by Mac and Nancy Plent, referenced from Edison-The Man Who Made the Future by Ronald Clark, Putman, NY 1977:
"Edison started school, but his mother found out that the schoolmaster disciplined his students with a leather strap, and had referred to her son as "addled". She didn't waste any time getting down to the schoolhouse to confront the teacher. Furious, she told him that her son had "more sense in his little finger than you have in your entire body." She removed Edison from school after only three months of formal education."
Posted by: Linda continued | January 28, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Of the outcome of Edison's home education, the Plent's write: "As one experiment led to another, he invented the telephone transmitter, stock ticker, mimeograph, phonograph, and perfected the electric light bulb." (p.3)
We should all be thankful that Edison's mother took him out of school. In fact, we should have a national holiday to celebrate the day.
More perspective from Gatto:
"No public school in the United States is set up to allow a George Washington to happen. Washingtons in the bud stage are screened, browbeaten, or bribed to conform to a narrow outlook on social truth. Boys like Andrew Carnegie who begged his mother not to send him to school and was well on his way to immortality and fortune at the age of thirteen would be referred today for psychological counseling; Thomas Edison would find himself in Special Ed until his peculiar genius had been sufficiently tamed." (p.33)
Regarding 20th century literacy, Gatto writes:
"By 1940, the literacy figure for all states stood at 96 percent for whites, 80 percent for blacks. Notice for all the disadvantages blacks labored under, four of five were still literate. Six decades later, at the end of the twentieth century, the National Adult Literacy Survey and the National Assessment of Education Progress say 40 percent of blacks and 17 percent of whites can't read at all. Put another way, black illiteracy doubled, white illiteracy quadrupled. Before you think of anything else in regard to these numbers, think of this: we spend three to four times as much real money on schooling as we did 60 years ago, but 60 years ago virtually everyone, black or white, could read." (p.53)
In sealing his argument that children do not need formal instruction in reading, Gatto points to the success of The Sudbury Valley School, 20 miles west of Boston, :
"I know a school for kids age 3 to 18 that doesn't teach anybody to read, yet everyone who goes there learns to do it, most very well...At Sudbury kids teach themselves to read; they learn at many different ages, even into the teen years (though that's rare). When each kid is ready he or she self-instructs, if such a formal label isn't inappropriate for such a natural undertaking. During this time they are free to request as much adult assistance as needed. That usually isn't much.
In 30 years of operation, Sudbury has never had a single kid who didn't learn to read...About 65 percent of Sudbury kids go on to good colleges. The place has never seen a case of dyslexia. (That's not to say some kids don't reverse letters and such from time to time but such conditions are temporary and self-correcting unless institutionalized into a disease.)" (p.57
Posted by: Linda continued | January 28, 2013 at 05:46 PM
The school system likes to blame its failures on parents and lower socioeconomic conditions. In the course of Gatto's 30 year teaching career, he proved that poor and underprivileged students can perform academically as well or better than the privileged in private schools. But those results came from his using an approach more like what was used in colonial America and he was often at odds with the system. It became increasingly harder for him. In 1991, upon receiving the New York State Teacher of the Year award , he gave his acceptance speech, which is now the essay mentioned above, "The Seven Lesson Schoolteacher" (which also appears in his book, Dumbing Us Down). Shortly after that, in an op ed piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled, "I Quit, I Think" http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/underground/prologue2.htm, Gatto resigned, explaining that he no longer wanted to "hurt kids to make a living". He wrote:
"David learns to read at age four; Rachel, at age nine: In normal development, when both are 13, you can't tell which one learned first - the five-year spread means nothing at all. But in school I label Rachel "learning disabled" and slow David down a bit, too. For a paycheck, I adjust David to depend on me to tell him when to go and stop. He won't outgrow that dependency. I identify Rachel as discount merchandise, "special education" fodder. She'll be locked in her place forever."
Sorry this is so long, but you aren't going to learn this history in school anymore than you're going to learn about vaccines in a doctor's office. Many will be shocked to discover that the widely accepted system of schooling, of modern pedogogy, like the vaccine schedule, was not handed down to us at Mount Sinai. Yet both are defended with fundamentalist furvor. As those of us with any memory of what used to be, whether pertaining to how humans learn or the truth about health and disease, die off, all that will be left are the false ideologies and their devastating consequences.
"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
Posted by: Linda continued | January 28, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Got to admit; to me, early reading is crucial.As a family, we have come to hate the "poor dear can't learn it " teachers.
And we have had to deal with quite a few of them.
My son is missing part of his brain; learning is hard for him.And not learning, or not teaching him, is the easiest path.He's a good kid;even when young he had no problem sitting quietly in the class being ignored.
Special ed kindergarten;he went in knowing some sight words. He had/( and still has) some major speech delays and we were teaching him reading at least in part so he could learn to speak by developing that part of his brain. They only did cut and paste/coloring; "the other kids with him weren't ready to learn".
So we hired a tutor on the weekend and got him close to caught up with the regular kindergarteners. If you get him behind his peers, he is not academically quick; he does not have the skills to catch up on his own.With the tutor in the same time frame though, he apparently was 'ready and able' to read.
Fast forward to third grade half way through the year; went to the classroom. His math book had no work done in it; and the special ed kid next to him did not even own a math book because he had never had to open it.The teacher had special ed training which in real life seemed to actually mean " I don't expect them to ever do anything and I have no intention of educating them..."
We kept him back a year (he had changed school systems so he was younger anyway than his peers)and changed schools to a place where they realized that we expected them to teach him.
He's in fourth grade now, reads easy chapter books (Magic tree house types) and practices hand writing daily. We got him onto an easy math series (Jump Math)which works well for kids with problems learning math.
But it would still be very easy for someone to decide he can't learn.Where he is at now is because of a lot of hard work on his part,and on the part of his teachers,and at home.his speech is still a work in progress; but every year I notice improvements for him.
So I suppose this is really a request to all the teachers out there; please don't write off the slower academic children;please teach them,even if it takes more time and is frustrating sometimes.
They are only ever going to be "ready to learn" if you are "ready to teach."
Posted by: Hera | January 28, 2013 at 12:19 PM
My opinion and that is all it is -- with kids behind there better be a lot of forcing and working with them after school.
Homework for the most part - just got in our way of our own educational programs.
The main reason:
My son never mentioned the home work.
We never knew exactly what the teacher wanted.
And it was frustrating to have to take the time to figure out what a teacher wanted - when time was ticking in the evenings when my son came home from school. Because it was structured - he did have play time, TV time, dinner, and my own education program which had to take second place when there was homework.
And they need to be pushed.
And they need to be one on one.
And Jake of course he is for global warming, wind mills taking up all the land, coal snubbed, people living in caves, because I now know what part of the establishment of the present weirdos governing us.
Posted by: Benedetta | January 28, 2013 at 11:32 AM
It would seem that children born right before the cut off date of birth for school are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. We purposely held our sons back so that they were the amoung the eldest in their class. Someone born almost a full year later than a peer would in comparison seem less mature especially in the early years. It's like comparing a newborn with a 10-12 month old. Think of the development that can happen in those many months.
“The annual cut-off date of birth for entry to school in British Columbia, Canada, is Dec. 31. Thus, children born in December are typically the youngest in their grade.”
“Boys who were born in December were 30% more likely (relative risk [RR] 1.30, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.23–1.37) to receive a diagnosis of ADHD than boys born in January. Girls born in December were 70% more likely (RR 1.70, 95% CI 1.53–1.88) to receive a diagnosis of ADHD than girls born in January.” http://www.cmaj.ca/content/184/7/755.abstract
Finland has one of the best (if not the best) education system in the world. Children don’t start school until age 7. I had a discussion with a relative who is going into teaching and made a remark that she can’t wait to be a teacher and dole out homework. I challenged her on it; she would not be swayed that homework is important. To my knowledge there is no good evidence of better outcomes with more homework and I made this known at IEP meetings as neither my son nor our family life could tolerate hours of tantrums in the evening due to his belief that schoolwork was for school and not for home. Here are some of the highlights of the Finnish system: http://www.businessinsider.com/finlands-education-system-best-in-world-2012-11?op=1
Posted by: samaxtics | January 28, 2013 at 09:49 AM
I think the readiness to read is the most important factor. We are disabling children with vaccines so that many of them are delayed in developing the necessary readiness in their brains. Once the brain is ready to learn, the quality and nature of the reading instruction received is not very important. Like with speech, a normal child will start to speak at an early age, and do so successfully, because his brain is pre-programmed to speak, with "shelves" already prepared to be activated and put the words heard on them.
People whose brains have been addled by vaccines are much less predictable than normal people. I reacted to a DPT vaccine as an infant with days of constant screaming (encephalitis), and I grew up with Asperger's (undiagnosed, of course). I taught myself to read from being read to (hyperlexia), to the astonishment of my family, who had no idea I could really read until I read a new book out loud cover to cover. But when I started kindergarten at four, I was put into the slow classroom and was feared to be mentally retarded, because I was hardly able to speak at all. My daughter, autistic from the hep-B vax at birth which caused days of endless screaming, was also hyperlexic. I was astonished to realize that when she said uh, ee, oo, oh, ay, she was counting to twenty, but without the consonants, and she did the alphabet the same way. That was when she was two and a half. And then she was reading when she was three, without any formal instruction. Unfortunately, her comprehension was almost nonexistent, and to this day, she's nearly thirteen now, she has no interest in reading anything for pleasure, and cannot follow story lines at all.
New methods of teaching our new normal of a large brain-damaged school population must be developed. I'm on the side of not pushing little children to learn academics. If they are among those with an innate drive to learn them, they will regardless of what you do, but it's healthier not to try to force typical children before they're seven or so. But the brain-damaged majority will require a different timetable and different methods, and I don't envy those who are going to be responsible for untangling this one.
Posted by: cia parker | January 28, 2013 at 09:26 AM
There was an article in Timeweek (I can't remember which one some years ago which showed diagrams of the brains of typical children and those with ADHD. It showed marked differences, and said that the brains of ADHD children developed much more slowly than those of typical children, though eventually reaching a normal degree of maturation. So both they and autistic children are developmentally delayed, and probably the cause of this delay in both cases is vaccines.
Posted by: cia parker | January 28, 2013 at 09:03 AM
You are teaching your students.
I wonder if you had time - which you don't - but if you did - and you went to the other class rooms you could observe if these teachers are working as hard as you?
Sometimes our kids needs one on one. Some times a parent is clueless (I don't know how - but the don't and they depend only on the school system to teach thier kids to read.
I once upon a time subbed all fall long for a split class of first and second graders.
The first graders were top notch and they were placed in with lower ranked second graders.
The first graders learned to read by the first of October. The second graders were still dragging by Christmas when their full time teacher returned.
I would have taught them free - I loved them so. I saw the other teachers did the same.
I was glad though that the teacher returned because I too had a son in the first grade at another school in the county . He could barely speak, let alone read. I needed to work with him after his hard working first grade teacher finished with him during the day.
It took untill March for him to learn to read. Every night and every weekend we had our own reading program at home. Not that hard - I just made him put his finger on each word as I read it.
It helped him learn to talk better too.
I did not stop this in March of his first grade - this was an on going thing right on up into his Freshman year of high school.
THe last book we read together was "The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy.
It takes more for our kids than a teacher can give.
Posted by: Benedetta | January 27, 2013 at 11:19 PM
I'm afraid Gore's statements are less about big pharma than they are indications that he feels the Dems aren't taking the issue of global warming as seriously as they have in the past.
Posted by: Jake Crosby | January 27, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. As a teacher, I can tell you that in my state of Virginia, we do not begin standardized testing until the end of grade three. That means that for K-2 teachers, there is still zero accountability. I taught third grade for a year. Half my students were already at least one year below grade level in reading when they entered my class. For some teachers, zero accountability means zero teaching. Even worse, there is zero accountability for the people at the district level who choose, and mandate, the failing reading programs that produce such abysmal results. That's just the reality, especially in poorer neighborhoods where parents are not very involved and therefore are not able to function, at least in some capacity, as watchdogs. And yes, I do think that color, cut and paste kindergarten is a waste of taxpayer dollars. If we really don't believe that children need to be doing much more than this when they're five, then why pay licensed teachers to be in these classrooms at all? Any decent babysitter can oversee these activities. And many would be willing to do so for half the money.
Posted by: lisa | January 27, 2013 at 08:07 PM
CT teacher and Lisa, I can see both sides. I have a major in early childhood development and have worked in Early Intervention and as "just an ed assistant in a classroom," as lilady has mentioned ; )
I don't disagree with standardized tests for school kids but Kindergarten would be too soon in my opinion. Maybe grade 3 would be a better place to start. We live in Alberta which is held as one of the top provinces for education in Canada (this province tends to rank well even internationally) and I don't remember my kids having been given much - if any homework in the young grades (although they are older now- so maybe things have changed but I don't think so).
I do remember a lot of parents rushing their kids to the chapter books and this is a serious mistake, I believe. One of my kids had parents even saying in the 'comments' area that my kid should be reading higher level books and I just laughed at that. Sure enough by grade 3 my late birthday kid really took off and hit the excellence level for the reading and writing standardized test and did the written portion all in handwriting.
I see lots of kids being put in 'gifted' schools and I noticed a lot of them tended to not do as well at university. I was kind of wondering what was going on and then I pretty much found out that there were policies at a lot of these schools of no hard declines and unlimited re-writes. That kind of explained things for me. I think there is a lot of pressure for many kids to be in 'IB' or 'AP' programs and I honestly am concerned for a lot of kids' mental health. Cut off marks are now so very high for university, which of course not all kids want or should go to.
Incidentally, I have also heard many people mention that certain sports are not producing as talented athletes as would be expected. I do believe kids are struggling with more ADHD than previously and maybe just more soft sign brain damage. I wonder about the trade off as well.
Posted by: Jen | January 26, 2013 at 10:37 PM
On a related topic, I just watched the movie _Burzynski_ and I recommend it to everybody who's interested in how Pharma, the FDA and the National Cancer Institute work. Get it from Netflix because it won't be in your public library.
Posted by: Carol | January 26, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Linda: Great find on the article re: Big Pharma - thanks for posting.
CT teacher: I could not agree with you more; I applaud your post. Well said.
I've always thought of the analogy re: learning to walk: I was 15 months old before I learned to walk completely on my own. From what I understand, that's a bit late for most kids, but I simply wasn't ready. On the other hand, I was reading at a far earlier age than most of my peers, starting at the age of four. I feel strongly in allowing children to learn at their own pace (including walking!)...
Posted by: Bayareamom | January 26, 2013 at 04:36 PM
I'm not a teacher, but here is what I found (first URL that popped up with the question, "At what age are most children ready to learn to read?"
"Children start identifying the sounds around them from the earliest age. They may say their first word as early as 6-months old or as late as a year and a half. By the time a child is two years old she may have a vocabulary of 100 words. At age three, she may have a vocabulary of 500 words and by the time she is five years old she may know a whopping 5,000 words or more. Speech is the essential base from which reading and writing skills will develop."
"Children do not develop the cognitive ability to recognise the complex shapes of letters until after the age of two. Before that age, they may be able to identify simple letter shapes such as 'O' or 'X'. The more complicated letter shapes will be beyond them. Sometime between the ages two to four the child should develop the ability to learn the alphabet."
"Most children learn to read at six years old and become competent readers by around age eight. However, many children are actually capable of learning to read much earlier."
"A few children are ready to start combining letters and identifying words as early as three years old. More usually, a child will start developing these abilities from four to six years old."
"A very small number of children, usually girls, learn to read by osmosis. That is if you read to them enough, they start to recognise and identify the words without anyone ever formally teaching them. This is an unusual talent so do not be disappointed if it does not happen with your child."
Posted by: Bayareamom | January 26, 2013 at 02:16 PM
I personally would love to see the neurological/immune pollutants drastically reduced in our infant and childhood healthcare and other environmental sources, and would love to see interventions sought and recognized for our affected children that actually reverse the harm done to them, and then to hopefully see less energy and resources needed to try to remediate the effects of a shareholders-first approach to healthcare, but I think you are linking my name with a comment below mine.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | January 26, 2013 at 01:28 PM
Lisa-What about the readiness factor? There is plently of research that speaks to this, and those countries that wait to teach literacy have a much better success rate for children learning to read successfully than we do..without all of the diagnoses of dyslexia,LD, and ADHD etc. It's just like a baby learning to walk. You can try all you want to teach him to walk, but in the end ,when the child is ready he will walk on his own. Yes, some babies walk sooner than others and some will walk later, but by and large the majority of babies begin walking on their own at about 1 yr. It is exactly the same with other skills that babies develop. Readiness cannot be ignored.
I began my teaching career in the days when we took readiness into account and it was far less stressful on the kids and the teachers. I don't like what I see going on right now. Preparing for the standardized testing has become a top priority and has taken away the spontaneity and creativity that allows teachers to teach in ways that individualize instruction. Teachers can no longer adjust the curriculum to fit the needs of the students they must make students adjust to the curriculum, which is not always developmentally appropriate. Testing companies are driving what is being taught in the schools, and shape the curriculum in a myriad of ways.
You seem to think that play and coloring and cutting and pasting are a waste of time in K. I would argue that these skills are a necessary prerequisite for later success in school and that they lay the foundation for the literacy skills that are soon to follow. By all means, teach letters and sounds and numbers and relationships in K, but don't push kids who aren't ready into formalized reading instruction, not to mention into writing instruction, which is currently done. Some very bright children are ready or are already reading before K, but most are not. Let's let each child learn at her own pace.
The reason that we have such a literacy problem in this country has more to do with poverty or learning English as a 2nd language than anything else. We haven't made any progress either with the push for early literacy. We have made the problem worse and we have ensured that many kids will be labeled with learning problems. In many cases this leads to medication at an early age.
I know that there are kids who come to school with severe problems that require medication. I do not argue with that. I am simply making the point that the increase in ADHD diagnoses could have something to do with the educational system itself and that all things need to be considered as possible causative factors.
Posted by: CT teacher | January 26, 2013 at 12:34 PM
"Big Pharma Buys Off The Senate
An eleventh-hour loophole in the "fiscal cliff" deal confirms our worst suspicions about how Congress operates."
Posted by: Linda | January 26, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Jeanette, as a teacher, I could not disagree with you more. I have taught kindergarten, and I can tell you first-hand that most children are ready to begin learning to read by the end of the first quarter of kindergarten. This is true regardless of whether they have had ANY preschool and regardless of whether they know any letters of the alphabet when they start kindergarten. It is even true for children whose primary spoken language at home is something other than English. However, I will agree that many kindergarten teachers do not want, nor even know how, to teach children to read in kindergarten. They would much rather continue doing color, cut and paste activities that are fun for the kids and easy on themselves. In this country, unfortunately, only 44 percent of children are reading on grade level by the end of the fourth grade. We have a huge literacy problem in the U.S. Thus, it makes perfect sense that we begin teaching children to read as soon as they start school, rather than waste the entire first year engaged in play -- as if they were still in preschool -- then watch them struggle academically throughout their education. I also know first-hand, however, that to be successful with reading instruction early in a child's education, you have to accept that not all, but certainly the majority, of children need daily, systematic phonics instruction. Most schools in the U.S. are not doing this. They have been brainwashed by the "whole language" lobby and refuse to abandon this failed approach despite overwhelming evidence against it.
All this being said, children in kindergarten who make no progress in reading, regardless of the type of instruction provided, because they have untreated ADHD generally don't make progress on anything else in kindergarten, either. So it's not simply that they are not ready to learn how to read; they are actually not ready to learn much of anything. These children are just as likely to pick up very little in first grade. By second grade, they are often very far behind their peers on nearly every measure of academic achievement.
You also blame the pressures of standardized testing for the increase in teacher complaints of ADHD in children. Yet, without it, you get what we had for 40 years -- absolutely zero accountability. Teachers could just continue making up their own assessments of basic skills like reading and math, then assign whatever grades they want. I myself have met teachers who did very little actual teaching and gave very few assessments throughout the school year, then simply made up the grades on their students' report cards. I have also known many teachers to change a low grade to a higher grade because they didn't want to deal with angry parents. In short, report card grades tell you nothing of what your child is actually learning and how he/she measures up when compared to other children the same age. Standardized tests offer THE ONLY honest way to compare children across a particular grade level, county-wide and statewide. What parent would not want to have this information? And what parent would not want their child's school to be held accountable when they fail to teach very basic skills that all children are supposed to be learning?
Posted by: lisa | January 26, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Democracy Hacked, in Technicolor:
"One of the charges was for neglect because she hadn’t vaccinated her son. In California you don’t have to vaccinate for personal, religious or philosophical beliefs. She didn’t’ vaccinate because of her beliefs. The attorney said she had to vaccinate him. “You don’t understand how they are. If you don’t do what they want you to do you will never see your child again” he threatened. Her child was forcibly vaccinated against her will. He got 8 shots in one day. While under state care, they had to take her son to the emergency room twice. In his mother’s protective custody, he had never required emergency room care."
1) Hope the kid is OK now.
2) Was the nine shot combo ever tested in that exact combo?
3) Why was the kid hospitalized twice? Was a vaccine adverse reaction reported as reason for ER visits?
Posted by: ottoschnaut | January 26, 2013 at 09:34 AM
I believe that similar could be said about the judicial and executive branches, the "fourth pillar" or media, and to a great extent the states' leaderships in "both" mainstream parties. What's more, our votes are "counted" by machines made by corporations owned by the global elite.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | January 25, 2013 at 04:05 PM
re: the flu shot
Look up what the Cochrane Collaboration has to say about the flu shot--very interesting and not reassuring
re: teachers,schools and ADHD
I believe that the schools do bear some responsibility for the increase in ADHD diagnoses as well as the increased drugging of America's school children. I don't believe, however, that it is the fault of the teachers. Rather, it is the involvement of the politicians and other lay people ( Bill Gates comes to mind) in the educational process as well as the law of unintended consequences that have wreaked havoc on our schools. All of the focus on standardized testing has driven a curriculum that is not developmentally appropriate in the early years and the greatest impact of this has affected little boysmore than the girls. The impetus has been on early literacy in complete disregard of all of the research that indicates that there is a readiness for literacy at approximately age 6.5 or 7. We used to teach reading at the end of grade 1, now it is taught in Kindergarten. This requires little boys, who are behind little girls in the areas of language and fine motor skills, to sit and listen ant to work on reading and writing before they are ready. Schools begin giving standardized tests to children in K. Homework is piled on in the early years. The frustration of all of this, causes many youngsters to struggle, especially the boys. So, what happens when the children can't focus and/ or misbehave? The kids are referred to psychologists for testing, which usually results in diagnosis of ADHD and medication. So, the push for early literacy has unintentionally caused learning and emotional problems.
In my experience (more than 50 years ), the children come to school nowadays with all kinds of health and neurological problems that we did not see a few decades ago, and the problems keep getting worse. I blame vaccines for this. Once again, the law of unintended consequences has been at work. Vaccines, which were supposed to make our kids healthier by eradicating infectious diseases, have instead caused chronic illness and neurological problems. So, the schools have a really impossible task. Unfortunately, children are the victims of these educational and medical policies that are so wrong. Few adults are really willing to examine the results of what we have done in the name of progress.
Posted by: CT teacher | January 25, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Theresea 66, no I have not but I will now. Thanks! I really do see and hear about quite a few of these types of kids-one of whom got himself so upset it sadly involved a need to go to the hospital.
Today Orac is stating the flu vaccine as at somewhere between 60-70% effective. That 's quite a diff from what I heard on recent Canadian surveillance which puts it at 45-50% (and it's a good match supposedly this year!).
Posted by: Jen | January 25, 2013 at 10:50 AM
Carbon base companies -- really!
That is a problem too.
Make no mistake - there is trickiery to get the American people to go along with higher taxes, and (Far-fetched) environmental fake ideas.
As in giving babies booster after booster of 3, 6, 9 vaccines in one day - but they can handle it.
Posted by: Benedetta | January 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM
This is the MSDS for thimerosol:
It says don't get it on your skin, don't breath it in, don't ingest it in any amount, that it can cause all kinds of organ damage, that it's a Calif prop 65 substance known to cause reproductive toxicity, etc., but it doesn't say anything about injecting it or it being a bactericidal agent in medication. This can't be the same stuff that is injected into pregnant women, babies, children, men, those suffering from chronic illness and the frail elderly? Is it?
Posted by: Linda | January 25, 2013 at 12:46 AM
I wonder if the obsessive perfectionism is due to PANDAS/PANS
or another auto immune disorder.
Ever read the book Saving Sammy ?
Posted by: Theresa 66 | January 24, 2013 at 09:11 PM
I can't drink soft drinks much without feeling sick. I don't think I handle the HFC (mercury laced or whatever), and I wonder if it is a good idea to use aluminum cans for soda or any food, but I suspect injected Hg and probably injected aluminum have much more culpability in the obesity epidemic.
The CDC ventured to fund controlled epidemiology to "study" the link between vaccines and autism (believed to affect around 1 in 150 at the time), and I think, after the Verstraeten study, they sort of held their breath on the more prevalent NDs and hoped not too many noticed. I bet they won't even attempt to "study" a link between vaccines and something as prevalent as the obesity epidemic, so they probably do not really want to do away with "culprits" like soft drinks. They need something to blame or to keep blaming as they don't show any intention of phasing out the injected pollutions.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | January 24, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Ohhh the salt, pepsi police:
There is a war coming;
It is going to be a war between Big Agricultural companies, and Big Food companies against Big Pharmaceutical companies.
Electrical companies/coal fire plants have already been side lined for now. They have taken a hard hit for the blame in the rise of autism and introduction of mercury into the environment. Although they have dug up mercury and other chemicals -- they are not responsible for the rapid rise in the last thirty years of autism and diabetes. Humans have been mining, and burning coal for a good long time.
Big Food companies and Big Agricultural Companies have a real fight on their hands because Diet is involved.
The public may well look at just diet; and this is what they are going to find - as their GI track hurts them from one end to the other:
Easy access to misinformation or not the whole information:
On the cable TV there is a station that puts out a lot of environmental stuff.
A typical show they had on last night was about genetic modified foods - esp corn. They talked a lot about Bacillus thuringiensis (or Bt) is a Gram-positive, soil-dwelling bacterium, commonly used as a biological pesticide and they have put it right inside the corn. They also have made the corn genetically resistant to Roundup. (That is an amazing piece of work since corn is so sensitive to roundup to begin with. All this to make it less labor intensive in tilling the corn.
There is plenty on the tube about Big Food Companies putting in tons of sugar and MSGs into our food.
Big Food and Big Ag do not have "MEDIA BLACK OUTS" like Big Pharma.
Will the public as a whole ever know it is really the vaccines?
Will they ever hear Dr. Wakefield say that right after plutonium the most deadliest substance on earth is mercury.
Will the public know that the Lancet once upon a time published an article in which Dr. Wakefield by listening to the observations of parents said they observed the vaccine started the gut trouble?
Because of media blackouts will the public ever know that Dr. Folwer in his presentation on bimetals in front of the HHS officials had plenty to say on the dangers of mercury, and combining of metals. During that meeting aluminum was turning out to be very dangerous too.
Will they ever know that MSGs, aluminum and mercury all in vaccines along with polysorbate 80 to help it all slip easily into the brain?
Will the public ever know about Professor Alessio Fasano of Maryland University after trying for 20 years to invent a cholera vaccine; found that it caused celiac disease.
Still Big Pharma does have a cholera vaccine by the way. Travelers to areas were cholera is a problem, do not take it. People that live in areas that cholera is endemic, do not take it. Poor Haiti with their poor and unloved masses after the earthquake -- had problems with cholera. They were not shipped in tons of fresh water, soap, and lysol, but WHO gladly stepped in, and gave out cholera vaccines. How many now have celiacs?
How many people know that research has shown that the Ketogenic diet cures a certain percentage of those with epilepsy, helps is arthritis, and many other autoimmune diseases?
How many people knows that recent research shows a modified Atkins diet can work just as well as the Ketogenic diet, and will the public think to stop blaming carbohydrates long enough to start asking what is wrong with our own metabolism?
Will the public ever know that mercury as well as aluminum interferes with the endocrine system. Probably messes up the insulin sensitive hormones, so we can't use carbohydrates that we depend on as a major food source in this civilization.
Right now what we have are plenty of pediatricians willing to beat the drum against the Genetic modified foods, they are more than eager to talk about tight junctions in the GI track being loose, causing the immune system to attack our food that gets into our bodies.
They however, will never mention the part that vaccines played in the loosening of those gut cells.
Meanwhile the Ag companies will turn the genetic modified food into gas to run our cars, and will get the GMF out of the food chain - they will not be hurt in the end.
Big Food companies -- will not be hurt because they will change it to whatever food we can still digest. We have to eat something.
When we as a whole - the public don't get better (DOCTORS) will have a reason. The BT modification of the corn got into our gut bacteria, and now all of our gut bacteria is messed up, so it is the BIG Ags fault - go sue them .
Do not look to the doctore to get the science together and go help you prove itbecause well it is none of their business - now is it besides it hides the truth?
A War is coming and the ones that have the most at stake - is the misinformed/uninformed public!
Posted by: Benedetta | January 24, 2013 at 01:18 PM
"As a teacher, I find it interesting to read comments here suggesting that if teachers complain about a child being ADHD, then surely it must be the ignorant teacher's fault. I.E. Teachers probably just get annoyed with fidgety kids.."
@ Lisa .. with all due respect .. the question was:
"5 percent of kids now have ADHD, up 24 percent in a decade. Wonder what that's all about it?
I would respectfully ask you go back and read my response again .. I was not suggesting that "ignorant teachers" are responsible for the rise in ADHD .. I was merely quoting 2009 Harvard Review of Psychiatry .. which stated the diagnosis of ADHD arises primarily from teacher's complaints.
Do you think "the diagnosis of autism arises primarily from teacher's complaints"? If so .. the rise in autism must be due to "better diagnosis" by teachers .. no?
Again .. no offense meant to teachers .. as I have nothing but the greatest respect for the difficult and very rewarding careers they have chosen.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | January 24, 2013 at 08:10 AM
As a teacher, I find it interesting to read comments here suggesting that if teachers complain about a child being ADHD, then surely it must be the ignorant teacher's fault. I.E. Teachers probably just get annoyed with fidgety kids. Yet, if those same teachers help a child get identified by the school system as autistic, well in that case they're just doing their job.
Yes, all children, especially young ones, fidget. And yes, all are inattentive to some degree. But when one or two children in a classroom of 20 or 30 stand out as being much more fidgety, much more inattentive and unable to focus, much more impulsive than most other children their own age, usually the teacher is identifying something physiological that is very real and needs to be addressed. And yes, the number of such children has exploded in the past two decades, right along with the autism epidemic (coincidence? unlikely). And yes, if children with ADHD don't get the help they need, they are just as likely to fail in school and in life as other children with developmental disorders that aren't addressed.
Posted by: lisa | January 23, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Hi Dan- it seems this lady has a pretty good idea-
by Dr. Rima E. Laibow, Md
Posted by: ottoschnaut | January 23, 2013 at 04:22 PM
You ask "what's it all about?"
There are some who suggest ADHD is a by-product creation of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) .. which is to psychiatry what the Bible is to religion.
In 1980, the DSM III identified "Attention Deficit Disorder" (ADD) which listed "hyperactivity", "inattention" and "impulsivity" as primary symptoms. Since many .. if not most .. children are inattentive and fidget in their seats .. ADD diagnoses began to rise and there appears to be no end in sight.
Indeed, in 2009, the Harvard Review of Psychiatry noted the diagnosis of ADHD arises primarily from teacher complaints .. which should surprise no one.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | January 23, 2013 at 02:54 PM
My son, looking for work - got tested for drugs today.
He is on seizure medications
He is on prescribed adderoll.
They did not take a urine test.
They took a sample of his hair.
Not an easy thing to do with the short hair styles. He does wear it long on top and in the top back so they cut a big piece out of it there.
So what now! How is that privacy about the medical history going to pan out now?
Can they legally report prescription meds?
Posted by: Benedetta | January 23, 2013 at 01:49 PM
I'm seeing lots more of a perfectionism OCD thing- little boys who will even claim that something is not done or erase and re-do work until it's "perfect." in one boys case, unless it looked like computer printing he was not satisfied.
Posted by: Jen | January 23, 2013 at 09:58 AM
I saw on the news that there was approximately a 90% increase in ADHD in African/American girls. Of course, according to the news, the increase is all due to better diagnosing. Makes one wonder what the peds learn in med school since there are so many things that they weren't good at diagnosing.
Posted by: Shelly | January 23, 2013 at 09:08 AM
If we look at the conditions/diseases that continue to go up yearly such as autism, ADHD etc., it only points to vaccines, yet the official stance by the Drug industry funded medical associations is that we have better diagnosing, and awareness.Pretty soon they will get so good at diagnosing that most children will have a diagnosis, and they still won't admit that its vaccines are at fault.How hard is it to diagnose a child with autism? not hard at all, everywhere I take my son, children as young as 4 years old stop and stare at him, they even know there's something wrong, maybe its increased awareness from these preschoolers that has contributed to the better diagnosing .Its sad that millions more will have to go down "that road" of vaccine damage, and a lifetime of devastation before it stops.
Posted by: victor pavlovic | January 23, 2013 at 09:02 AM