Schools: We're Drowning in Special Needs Students
By Anne Dachel
I've read dozens of stories about what's happening to special education in recent days. I wrote this piece about the heated reaction to an Australian lawmaker who said that inclusion of severely autistic children in regular ed classes is taking a huge toll on teachers.
While health officials, doctors, and of course the media have spent the last two decades telling us our children are fine, all we have to do is keep on vaccinating them and shine those blue lights every April. These same three groups have scoffed at the idea that vaccines are damaging kids and pretended that more and more disabled students in our schools is better recognition. It's much more than just the rate of autism, something that no one is really concerned about, no matter what statistics are out there--it's also the flood of kids who can't speak, can't learn normally, and can't behave in a classroom. We've made up endless labels for them without any questions being asked.
This story from California tells it all. So how long have we got as a country? How bad does the situation have to get before this is a crisis? REGARDLESS of the controversy over the cause, we have to admit there is something going on.
June 24, 2017, Bakersfield.com: The price of special education: As autism rates surge among children, so does the cost to educate them
An unexplained increase in autistic and emotionally disturbed students is driving up special education enrollments — a huge problem for school districts that aren't getting any additional state and federal funds to cover the ballooning costs.
All they can do is dive into their reserves.
In 2013, the Kern High School District had 3,173 students with Individualized Education Programs. It's projected to serve almost 1,000 more next year. The Bakersfield City School District saw 64 new autistic students last year, bringing the total number of its special ed students north of 3,100 — a 4 percent increase over the prior year.
Experts can only speculate as to why autism diagnoses are on the rise – they've been attributed to everything from genetic deficiencies to better detection to vaccines. But those in special education are sure of one thing: the costs are staggering.
“We’re drowning,” Roberta Joseph, a speech language therapist at Leo G. Pauly Elementary School said.
Some disabled students cost more to educate than others. But on average, KHSD paid about $19,170 to accommodate each of about 3,800 special education students last year. BCSD educated 3,146 students at $16,326 apiece. ...
“The number of special education students has been rising and the cost of an individual special ed student, especially the more challenging students, is significant,” said Julianna Gaines, executive director of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Consortium SELPA. ....
KHSD will see 333 more disabled students next year, an 8 percent increase over last year. It has already hired more special education teachers to add to the 235 on staff, and added classrooms to accommodate them, Niday said.
Most special education students require two to three times the staffing of a general one.
“In your basic special education classroom, they would have a teacher, and then most students require additional supports, so there’s additional staff members. There’s speech pathologists, a mental health clinician, behaviorists, psychologists,” Niday said.
Autistic students also typically require orthopedists and physical therapists, she said.
One in 68 children in the U.S. has been diagnosed with autism, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cause of the spike in cases has been speculated to be everything from vaccine and herbicide exposure to greater public awareness of the disorder.
BCSD enrolled 64 new autistic students last year, bringing its total to 451. In 2002, it had just 47. And while 64 new students may not sound like a significant increase, in special education, where class sizes are kept to about 10 students per room and each student has specific needs, it hits school budgets hard.
June 24, 2017, Toronto Star: Violence in Ontario schools prompts call for more front-line staff
Their kids have witnessed “vulgar” verbal attacks, seen teachers chased down the hall, even assaulted, and say too-frequent lockdowns at their elementary school have made students anxious.
A group of Oshawa parents says the situation has grown so out of hand at Beau Valley Public School that their children sometimes don’t want to go to class. And they are calling on the Durham public board and province for changes to help curb such disturbing incidents across all boards — and better support students with special needs who need more support workers with them in class. ...
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is urging the government to fund more staff this fall — from educational assistants to social workers to counsellors to psychologists — as well as implement better training and reporting procedures.
President Sam Hammond acknowledged the government has made “some progress on these issues, (but) there is much more work to be done . . . We’re talking about the need for more services to address children’s mental health, as well as the need to ensure that funding for special needs is also allocated to front-line support services to help ensure the success and well being of every student.” ...
One special education teacher in the Toronto board said he’s happy with ministry initiatives on youth mental health, but what’s needed is early intervention. Integrating students with behavioural issues into mainstream classes is the goal, he said, but they must be properly supported or their learning, and that of their classmates, suffers.
June 23, 2017, National Post (Canada): In rare display of unity, opposition hammers Trudeau on ‘cold-hearted’ autism funding decision
....As it stands, he said, Canada doesn’t even have reliable statistics about the prevalence of autism, because health services are delivered provincially and can vary from province to province. ...
Tom Frazier, chief science officer at Autism Speaks, said U.S. statistics show the prevalence of autism has increased significantly in the last 25 years, partly as people have children later and as the rate of survival of premature infants increases.
Lake, whose 21-year-old son, Jaden, is autistic, said he worries about the options for the growing number of adults with autism, and he plans to keep fighting for the partnership.
“What happens when we’re gone?” he said. “Will we have a society that cares for our kids like we care for our kids?”
May 31, 2017, Global News (Canada): Violence in Durham Region classrooms has seen teachers bitten, punched and kicked
The union representing elementary teachers in Durham Region says violence in some classrooms is hurting its members, which has parents and officials calling for more supports.
Durham Local Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario held a meeting in Oshawa Tuesday evening entitled “Safe schools for all” to discuss increased violence in schools, the education funding formula and special education. ...
Mastin said the union is aware of an “extremely large number” of student incidents and instances involving students and teachers.
“We’re talking about everything from biting, from kicking to pinching, all the way to grabbing hair, smashing heads on the desk. If you can imagine it, it’s happening,” he said.
The meeting comes after Global News heard from educators and parents across Ontario about their concerns over integrated classrooms and supports being offered to children with disabilities.
“I was punched in the head multiple times in one week,” Jennifer said, adding some of the children who initiated physical contact have been as young as seven or eight years old.
Jennifer works in an integrated classroom where students with special needs and those without are in the same class.
June 23, 2017, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth: Community of Support for Young Adults With Autism Moves Forward
It's estimated that 50,000 people with autism age of out of the school system every year and that 85 percent of adults with autism are unemployed.
June 23, 2017, London (Ontario) Free Press: Special-ed funding, demand on the rise | The London Free Press
June 23, 2017, Chalkbeat.org: In first for Aurora, charter school to run center for special education students | Chalkbeat
May 31, 2017, Michigan Live: New $885K Ottawa ISD facility serves growing special needs population
May 11, 2017, Morningside, Maryland: Baltimore City Schools Spends More Than One-Quarter Of Its Budget For Special Needs Programs
April 11, 2017, KELO Sioux Falls, SD: More Teachers Needed For Growing Special Education Enrollment
Jan 23, 2017, Chicago Tribune: Critics: CPS Special Ed Policy Is ‘Delay And Deny’
Jan 19, 2017, Texas Tribune: Expecting spike in special ed students, advocates push for better services
2016 New Jersey School Boards Association: Meeting a Growing Need for Special Education
The first thing I would do after a vaccine injury would make a bentonite clay mask and slather them down with it and drink some or use activated charcoal slurry like they do in hospitals after a poisoning. The child has been poisoned and needs it out and fast...after letting the clay dry, rinse off in bath. Also, 1 tsp. Vitamin C , add 1/2 Tsp. Baking soda to buffer the acid then add juice or water and after it fizzes, drink. I read that Vitamin C is an anti-toxin. See more at bentoniteclayinfo.com, I believe is the website. A lady named Perry A. is an expert on clay.
Posted by: Marie Koch | August 08, 2017 at 02:02 AM
FAO Anne, Angus, John. " GARDYLOO!" Available online
Health and Sport Committe. Scottish Parliament 17 January 2017 .
Evidence of strategic perception management SPSO Ombudsman Service and Health and Social care leadership.
Angus No information data gathering apparent from FOISA request ?
Means no information gathered then  no assessment or record of individual care needs met or unmet!
 no data ,no assessments , means No plan of action to provide identified care provision because assessment not done !
 No implementation of care provision because no data no assessment no plan of action = predictable pandemonium and chaos
 Review of current care provision for autism/learning disibilities / physical disabalities
What review ? no review because no data ,no assessment ,no plan of action so no review .
OH HELP! " GARDYLOO!"
Posted by: Morag | June 28, 2017 at 06:24 AM
Look at these figures for Missouri. Autism has increased more than eleven times in the last twenty years, and that doesn't even count those diagnosed with just a language disability.
Posted by: cia parker | June 27, 2017 at 12:26 PM
I recently learned that even our military is having to adjust how they deal with the damaged generation! One of my daughter's friends was visiting after going through basic training for the Air Force at Lackland AFB in Texas! Having done so in the 80s, I was eager to hear of her experiences and see if things had changed much!
I could not believe it when she told me that some in basic training now wear a special rope on their uniform to identify them to TIs (Training Instructor)! These individuals are treated with kid gloves, not yelled at or put in extreme pressure situations, which really is what Basic Training is all about!
What happens to a military when it has to accommodate ever more individuals with severe social and sensory issues? Are they limiting what jobs these people can have? Basic Training was always meant to weed out those not suited for the military, now we apparently cannot do that and still fill the necessary jobs! That is very dangerous indeed!
Posted by: Kendra | June 27, 2017 at 11:03 AM
Nobody is keeping accurate databases on autism heres my local councils stance after a Freedom Of Information Request submitted a few weeks ago.
"In respect of your request for a breakdown of people with Autism I have to
advise that the information you requested is information not held by the
Council and as such I must refuse your request in terms of Section 17 of
FOISA. However, in line with the duty placed on the Council in terms of
Section 15 of FOISA, I can advise we do not routinely record the data to
that level of detail."
There you have it if they dont know they dont have to put a budget aside for them or ever be accountable to autism.It might be worth rolling this request out nationwide just for a larf.
Pharma for Prison
Posted by: Angus Files | June 27, 2017 at 10:14 AM
I agree. In the UK - even more than two decades ago - the services were quite capable of distinguishing between types of dysfunction and disablement. Locally, there was no confusion between children with serious social problems who were actually being moved out of special schools at the time and the burgeoning new class with obvious neurological impairments. Again, there had been many cases of intellectual imparment, and now there were new cases with ASD who had simply not been in the system in any numbers before - of course, many had both but the ASD dimension was largely new. Back then we had a small moderate learning difficulty special school with an autism unit just opened, and there was much bigger, swisher severe learning difficulty school next door which had zero expertise in ASD, and no capability for dealing with it. Today the picture would be vastly different: we are talking about each London borough having 300 more autism cases a year, while in 1999 the number of cases in entire system from 3 to 18 was still only about 110 or 120, although rapidly rising. So, if the rate just the same for the 15 years that would be ~4,500 ASD school children per borough?
Posted by: John Stone | June 27, 2017 at 08:38 AM
Drowned Educator, I, too, write as a teacher from a family of teachers. Bearing in mind that this is an article on Special Needs children, I think there is a distinction to be made which is not mentioned often between two types of behaviour problem. One is behaviour caused by social attitudes as you describe, which I would describe as to a certain extent chosen behaviour. The other is behaviour which is a direct consequence of medical abnormalities in the person. For example, pain, allergic reactions, sensory disabilities, cognitive impairment and many others. I have studied psychology throughout my life, as a teacher, an autistic individual, and a keeper of various animals. I've noticed that vets (veterinary surgeons) make their diagnoses by observing their patients' behaviour, along with any obvious signs. They are able to distinguish between behaviour which is caused by illness and that which is a result of learned responses. It seems that most of our doctors, and teachers, unfortunately have no awareness that there might be a reason for children's behaviour. I'll give one simple example. When I was at secondary school I got into trouble once for keeping on my mittens, by a music teacher who liked to keep the windows open presumably so we could all breath! I now know that I have Raynauds Syndrome, which is another feature of my vaccine injury., and causes circuation problems. I have recently seen a description of an autistic boy who was electricuted to the point of bleeding because he wouldn't take his coat off at school. This blog is about people who have been medically injured by vaccines. It is not about badly brought up children. Doctors and teachers need to pay attention to the difference.
Posted by: Grace Green | June 27, 2017 at 06:23 AM
I am a fourth-generation teacher on my mother's side, though there have been many, many other teachers in my family over the decades. Based on our observations, it seems that changing social attitudes often spark increases in behavioral challenges at school. Out west after the Civil War, many of the boys in my great-great-great-uncle's classroom had no father figures at home, due to mass casualties in the war, and were treated leniently as war orphans; they decided to push boundaries while exerting their budding masculinity by physically abusing and running off multiple teachers in their one-room school. Later, my grandmother taught during the 1940s-1980s and noticed changes as the drug culture took over in the 1960s, leading to her first encounters with the extremely violent, emotionally disturbed children of hard-core substance abusers; however, at that time, teachers were shown greater respect/support from the general public and were given wider reign in terms of managing such behavior than they are now, so the behaviors did not grow out of control. I teach in the poorest district in my state where a lot of meth and heroin abuse occurs; parents of some of our most extreme behaviorally challenged students have actually admitted that "really messing up" a kid has financial perks through increased government assistance and easy access to "really good" prescription drugs, so there is often enabling support from home for extremely antisocial, violent, or defiant tendencies. Essentially, although there may be more identified explanations or labels behind violent, antisocial behaviors, these are often being used in schools as enabling excuses that, in conjunction with the empowering threat of legal action (which misbehaving students and their parents have been quick, in my experience, to remind administrators/police/teachers of), is creating a total, unreasonable, and thoroughly unsafe lack of personal accountability for student misbehavior that seems to uncontrollably spread to other "typical" students. It is frightening to think of where this "Lord of the Flies" rabbit hole will end.
Posted by: Drowned Educator | June 26, 2017 at 11:16 PM
I hear you, it doesn't always work and "cure" is a big word. For us it was more like recovering from a catastrophic train accident where you always have a bad limp. My son will never see out of one eye and his speech is difficult, but it is speech. It sounds like your child made a recovery as well, you improved his outcome thanks to your efforts, which were different than ours. I don't know the recovery rates or levels, techniques may vary, but I do think many times parents can change the outcomes for autism. Unfortunately not always and my heart bleeds for them. I think you did it for the same reason as me, we love our kids. all the best to both of you
The numbers for LA 2016-17 are 187,845 disabled, 1,511,354 enrolled. 12.4%. 1 in 8.
Posted by: kws | June 26, 2017 at 04:39 PM
"As a parent, I can attest to the fact that the road to recovery lies in terminating vaccines, using natural supplements, organic foods, and where indicated, a bit of hyperbaric oxygen. Blaming or drugging the kids isn't going to help."
As a parent, I agree with you that blaming and drugging kids is not helpful. But terminating vaccines, using supplements, organic food, and HBOT, doesn't result in recovery for the overwhelming majority of the kids of do these interventions. We've tried everything in the 25 years since my son was diagnosed (including the interventions you mentioned). We've done the conventional, the alternative, and the downright fringe. He is much improved, but far from recovered/cured. I think the recovery rate from autism is well under 10% (haven't seen recent figures, so anyone can feel free to update).
My point is that we need much more intensive research to find treatments and therapies that work (there hasn't been anything new for more than a decade). Very frustrating.
Posted by: Aimee Doyle | June 26, 2017 at 03:17 PM
It is terrible to see the schools becoming overwhelmed by kids with special needs.
The bright side here, if there is any, is that maybe this is what it is going to take for people to confront this crisis. That kids cannot be educated properly and that schools cannot afford to educate their students any more.
Posted by: David Weiner | June 26, 2017 at 02:47 PM
According to a 2015 report from the Legislative Analyst's Office, 1 in every 10 students were receiving Special Education Services in Ca. schools. That was before SB277 Shot the kids, wondering what it is now since Autism jumped up 17% in Los Angeles Kindergarteners?https://edsource.org/2016/some-districts-exempt-students-in-special-ed-from-vaccination-law/92868
Posted by: Shelley Tzorfas | June 26, 2017 at 01:15 PM
I'm seeing a need for a Family Health Coach to be employed by every school to help train and support families with autistic spectrum children and other disabilities in the behavior and lifestyle modifications that not everyone new to these diagnoses is aware of. Wouldn't that be wonderful?
Posted by: Sharon DeNunzio | June 26, 2017 at 09:41 AM
Nothing to see here. Move along.
Posted by: Jill | June 26, 2017 at 08:55 AM
It may be time the emperor has no clothes article.
Today I have to resist the urge to condemn those who voted for Richard Pan or supported Merck lies and instead think about the kids who need an education to get through life.
As a parent, I can attest to the fact that the road to recovery lies in terminating vaccines, using natural supplements, organic foods, and where indicated, a bit of hyperbaric oxygen. Blaming or drugging the kids isn't going to help.
I wish Baltimore well and trust that the teachers and principals will teach pediatricians how to count better, somehow they didn't learn that at Johns Hopkins. I also wish Atlanta well and trust that the CDC can learn how to add - the number of kids going down from vaccines appears to exceed the so called benefits of vaccines.
Posted by: kws | June 26, 2017 at 08:46 AM
Schools: We're Drowning in Special Needs Students
Oh no, schools have been drowning all along.
There's no need for parents to panic over this. The drowning was just as prevalent 25 years ago, teachers back then just didn't recognize that they were drowning.
Teachers today are much much better at recognizing that their system is drowning in special needs students. And the inability of those older teachers to see it, was likely caused by some defect in their genetics
Posted by: Barry | June 26, 2017 at 07:29 AM
"Tom Frazier, chief science officer at Autism Speaks, said U.S. statistics show the prevalence of autism has increased significantly in the last 25 years, partly as people have children later and as the rate of survival of premature infants increases."
Shameful .. positively shameful ..
Posted by: bob moffit | June 26, 2017 at 06:54 AM