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Best of Dan Olmsted Upon The Debut of Denial

Marc Tucker's Cure for SPED

SPEDBy Anne Dachel

I recently ran across an article on Education Week entitled, Have We Got Special Education All Wrong?

It called for putting even more money into schools while we do nothing to address what’s really happening to kids.

The blame game

Education expert Marc Tucker thinks he’s figured out why the U.S. has such a high percentage of children who are in special education compared to other developed countries.

It has to be SOMETHING SCHOOLS ARE DOING WRONG. According to Tucker, special ed should only be for the kids with a specific mental or physical disability. The child whose behavior gets them consigned to sped shouldn’t be there.

TUCKER’S SOLUTION: More $$ for support services, better teacher/student ratio, more $$ for schools with minority students, more work with social services, more time on students who need extra help, and better monitoring of students.

Those things might help if children didn’t have to live in the 21st century. Our schools are filled with disabled kids who weren’t here 25 years ago. Look at the accommodations on IEPs for kids just in regular ed. I’ve had students who are allowed to pace in the back of the classroom or walk out and sit in the hall if they feel overwhelmed. Large numbers of students couldn’t function in school if they weren’t medicated. We modify tests and assignments for kids who can’t deal with regular work. And that’s just what’s happening in the mainstream classroom.

More money for services and monitoring for the child with out-of-control behavior without asking why so many children today do things that makes them a danger to themselves and to others is pointless. In Tucker’s world the only problem is how we’re dealing with these kids; there is really nothing wrong with the children themselves.

Sorry, but he’s wrong, and things will be getting worse.

Tucker cites a national average for sped of 13 percent, and he wants to get it down to levels of some European countries. He needs to look around because I’m finding lots of places where things are far worse. (It’s hard to believe that these numbers would be dramatically different if we just spent more on vulnerable kids with behavior issues.)

Hazelton, PA: 15 percent of children are sped.

Sioux Falls, SD: 15 percent of children are sped.

Baltimore, MD: 15 percent of children are sped.

Spokane, WA: 15 percent of children are sped.

Oakland, ME: 16.6 percent of children are sped.

Hackensack, NJ: 18 percent of children are sped.

Falmouth, MA: 19 percent of children are sped.

Brooklyn, NY: 19 percent of children are sped.

Reading, PA: 19 percent of children are sped.

Dayton, OH: 20 percent of children are sped.

New Haven, CT: 20 percent of children are sped.

Rochester, NY:  20 percent of children are sped.

Glen Falls, NY: 21 percent of children are sped.

Ellsworth, ME: 22 percent of children are sped.

Waterville, ME: 23 percent of children are sped.

Fitchburg, MA: 23.5 percent of children are sped.

Staten Island, NY: 24 percent of children are sped.

Woodland Hills, PA: 25 percent of children are sped.

We keep looking for ways to explain what’s happening to our children, while we pretend nothing has changed. I’ve heard lots of teachers say things like, “they come with so many issues from home,” “they used to be kept at home,” and “they used to be in institutions.”

The truth is, kids today live in a chemical soup. Toxins are everywhere. They breathe toxins, eat toxins, and have toxins injected into their bodies. It’s amazing they’re doing as well as they are.

When you look at the number of chronically sick kids that fill our schools, is it such a stretch to realize that their developmental health (social and behavioral) has been equally impaired?

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.


David Weiner

The truth is, kids today live in an ELECTROCHEMICAL soup which is interfering with their ability to learn.

Birgit Calhoun

David M Burd. Not all autism is strictly related to vaccines. There are other factors. Don't ask me why I am so shocked. I have been around the block a few times. And the numbers are shocking. What I am more shocked about than anything is the complacency of the scientific community and its lack of honesty in assessing why the percentage of disabled children is so high. "Denial", yes I am plugging the book has an awful lot to do with it. It takes true curiosity to understand why we are upset. So let me continue to be shocked!

cia parker


I agree that prevention is the most important course to take. It just needs the general public to wake up and pay attention, and not wait until it happens to them to care. We're getting there, although it surprises me how long it's taking. They'll start to care once they see their taxes go up to address the many problems brought by this disaster. So in a way, the more money is thrown at the disaster, the closer comes the day of reckoning. What a pleasure it will be to see so many pharma operatives in prison. But it will probably be like after WWII, when very few Nazis in the big picture were ever brought to justice.

And then prevention is not that easy either. People have to put their children first and have the mother stay home with the children for at least two or three years, and breast feed them. And not all mothers are able to do that, or are willing to. I think we should keep the DT series after the age of two years old. And stay alert in case something serious and epidemic like polio comes back. Do studies on homeopathic prophylaxis (nosodes). Also studies on outcomes of treating all serious cases of disease with IV vitamin C. It will take a sea change in Western culture to pull it off, I hope we can.

bob moffit

Hi Cia

"I agree that prevention has to happen, but in the meantime we've got millions of kids who are going to live for another eighty years, and they have a lot of needs that can only be addressed with money."

I am not suggesting that we not spend MONEY to "address the MILLIONS of kids who are going to live for another eighty years .. because .. we all agree .. "they have a lot of needs that can only be addressed with money".

As I said .. there is something very wrong when they have never had the "will" .. to spend MONEY .. seeking a PREVENTION and CURE ..

As I said in my original response to Aimee .. there are critical PREVENTION studies and research that .. AFTER DECADES ... remain DELIBERATELY undone .. because .. instead of PREVENTING the problem ... their solution the money is better spent "addressing the needs MILLIONS of kids who are going to live for another eighty years"

All I am trying to say is ... the WILL to spend the time, resources and MONEY seeking PREVENTION AND CURE ... ought not always be their LOWEST PRIORITY.

cia parker

Bob and Aimee,

I agree that prevention has to happen, but in the meantime we've got millions of kids who are going to live for another eighty years, and they have a lot of needs that can only be addressed with money. Lots of it. A new program has just opened here, a day program for the autistic. Funny how we never had one before. Guess we didn't have the numbers of autistic to justify it until now. So they have a terrific plan for trillions of field trips, go to the St. Louis zoo, go to the swimming pool, go to the mall, play softball, Ping-Pong, ride horseback, go on hikes, on and on. But really, what else are you going to do with this many young people no longer in school who either have a menial, part-time job or none? Someone is going to have to watch them and entertain them, LOTS of someones, every day for the next century, at least.

Schools have NO viable plan on how to teach them anything. You still need to pay a lot of people just to watch them there and interact in a friendly, accepting way with them.

I got a letter from the school bus company last week. It said that they will ONLY send a special ed bus if ALL other possible options have been totally exhausted, and the "experts" at the IEP meetings have decided that there's NO other safe way to get them to school. FIRST time they ever sent such a letter. I think that means that they, like everyone else, are overwhelmed by the new numbers of damaged children. They, like nearly everyone else, thinks that it CAN'T really be happening. It MUST be that perfectly normal children are being foisted off as damaged for nefarious reasons. "Better diagnosis" in reverse.

david m burd

Hi Birgit, WHY are you so shocked? When 95% of American kids/infants are damaged by vaccines' extreme toxicities, thus physically and neurologically damaged, of course there's an astounding rise in the Special Education (Sped) population?

Personally, my extended family has clearly been badly, permanently, by the vaccines' damages - until this horror is exposed, we can expect only worse times for our American families and culture.

bob moffit

Hi Aimee

"I don't think we really disagree. I agree with the emphasis on prevention (the vax issue) - but I'd like to see equivalent emphasis on the ways in which we take care of our kids/adults who are already injured (the injury issue). Many parents of disabled kids talk about the difficulty of accessing treatment and therapies."

Probably could be a better way to say it .. but .. solving problems simply by throwing MONEY at them .. has become the politically convenient .. safe .. "do something" .. MAIN solution .. for too many PROBLEMS .. for too many politicians, educators, public health officials, etc ..

You are right .. we probably agree with each other more often than not .. such as .. hopefully ... establishing PREVENTION as the first and foremost .. highest PRIORITY .. to address ANY PROBLEM.

Aimee Doyle

Hi Bob -

I worded my comment poorly ("What would you suggest?") I definitely am in favor of spending money on a vax-unvax study - I'm definitely in favor of searching for a cure for those who want one. I can see the reasoning that spending money after a brain is damaged doesn't do anything to prevent the damage in the first place.

But I don't think it's pointless to spend money on kids who need it for education and therapy and treatment. And I don't think it's pointless to spend money for supports and services for disabled autistic adults. Both of those take a lot of money. And it takes a lot money to do research for appropriate education, therapy, treatment, cure, supports, and services.

I don't think we really disagree. I agree with the emphasis on prevention (the vax issue) - but I'd like to see equivalent emphasis on the ways in which we take care of our kids/adults who are already injured (the injury issue). Many parents of disabled kids talk about the difficulty of accessing treatment and therapies. And, I know for my son, an adult with autism, there's never enough money for adult supports and services.

bob moffit

@ Aimee .. regarding money always being their chosen solution to every problem ..

"What would you suggest?"

How about using your OWN suggestions on solving problems .. which were .. first and foremost PREVENTION .. followed by ... research into effective treatment, therapy, and cure.

I wholeheartedly agree with your "suggestions" .. beginning with .. conducting that "vaccinated v. unvaccinated" study .. to ascertain once and for all .. if the fully vaccinated child's health is better or worse .. than the unvaccinated child? conducting proper research. How about demanding the vaccine industry follow scientific protocols BEFORE attaining approval .. such as .. using a control group given a true placebo .. rather than using a placebo that contains every adjuvant in the vaccine except the antigen? How about pre-testing infants for mitochondria deficiencies or possible allergies to various adjuvants in vaccines? Titers? How about public health officials OPENLY AND LOUDLY SPEAK OF SEEKING A CURE FOR AUTISM .. rather than remaining SILENT so as not to offend those who believe autism is a GIFT that does not require a cure?

As I said ... I don't think the SOLUTIONS to all our PROBLEMS is to throw more MONEY at them .. while at the very same time .. ignoring those solutions stated above.

But, that's probably just my own frustration .. all I see is MONEY being spent to accommodate the ever increasing .. growing special needs children ... while PREVENTION efforts ... with real potential SOLUTIONS that may at the very least slow down those ever increasing special needs children .. being ignored.

Birgit Calhoun

Is there a way to correlate the above numbers to autism numbers? I am really shocked about the high numbers of sped children. Maybe Mr. Tucker doesn't know in which way these children are disabled. How does he know what is disabling these children. It isn't just poverty or minority status or whatever else might be behind the narrative. The IQs of these children might be fine, but they need help. Yes, they do need help, and they may or may not be in special education classes. Mr. Tucker seems to think that it's money. No, it's not the money. It's the disability. Some of these children are hard to identify, but if they looked in the right places they might find that these kids have autism, high IQ or not. They might even spend some money on finding something wrong with mercury or some other toxic material or vaccines. Maybe these investigators could actually find out what truly ails our children.

Angus Files

My NT son came home today and told me one of the boys in his class with apsergers flipped the table over shouted at the teacher and ran out of the class because she told the whole class they wouldn't be doing what she said they were going to do My son says "its the teachers fault as she knows the boy has apsergers and she shouldn't have changed the class" -I say the lad shouldn't be in the class with his classroom assistant upsetting the class in the first place.The boy has been left out of classes for weeks before until he calms down and the school know they cant expel him because he has the label - Very sorry for the poor boy with aspergers but isn't it just a mad world, that nobody is receiving a suitable education!.

Pharma for Prison


Aimee Doyle

@Bob -"Money will always be their solution" and @Anne "more money for pointless"

I respectfully disagree. Money does solve some problems (like when parents are broke as a result of the financial black hole that is autism) and paying for education and services is not pointless. There are benefits to education and services.

Kids who are already damaged - and likely to stay that way (the full recovery rate from autism is very low) - need education. And special education is very expensive. And ancillary therapies like speech, OT, sensory integration, auditory integration, music therapy cost a fortune. The solution to educating kids who are already damaged does require money and lots of it. What would you suggest?

I agree that you need prevention and to address the vaccine issue. But you also need to help kids who are already injured...with research into effective treatment, therapy, and cure. And with appropriate education to help them reach their potential.


One thing those inclusion advocates fail to ask themselves is if all children with special needs can attend regular or milder special education classrooms. We need to invest in vocational education for the mildly disabled and lifelong nursing care for the severely disabled. I agree the cause of autism and Developmental Disabilites plus most mental illnesses is environmental not just a few vaccines but everything is toxic these days.


Sigh; Except the schools do have separate classes for mild learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities, and behavior problems.

The general public has no idea.
Even parents that have kids in the regular special ed class (I can't believe I said that); those students that will receive a high school diploma; have no idea there are different special ed classes for the more severe and for behavior problems.

Yeah that is right, the schools have sorted even those that are in the regular classrooms too. They have the ones that test high, high average, do very well, from the average guys. Most people don't know they have the average guys sorted too.

They may have a whole class room of lower average, but most often the teachers go through them and take their share of the low average in with the average.

bob moffit

Unfortunately .. we ought not be surprised that an article in Education Week ... "called for putting even more money into schools while we do nothing to address what’s really happening to kids"

After all .. in today's world .. those appointed or elected to solve problems .. whether those problems are deteriorating education, rising crime, increasing poverty, drug use, chronic autoimmune disorders ... on and on .. their "solution" is always the same ... MONEY.

As Anne observes: "More money for services and monitoring for the child with out-of-control behavior without asking why so many children today do things that makes them a danger to themselves and to others is pointless."

Yes .. it is pointless ... but ... none-the-less .. MONEY will always be THEIR SOLUTION.

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