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Nothing To See Here

image from www.rescuepost.comBy Anne Dachel

Numbers mean nothing. Cost is meaningless. NO MATTER HOW BAD THINGS GET IN SCHOOLS, THERE WILL NEVER BE A REAL PROBLEM. Behavior is out-of-control. Special education is exploding at the seams. Mental health concerns are a more critical topic than academics in our schools. STILL, everything is fine. Experts are working on it. We’ll survive this.

Here are around 70 stories from the last two weeks. They’re from all over—the U.S., Canada, and Britain. They’re about schools adding sensory rooms so kids can calm down and make it through the school day, about more and more schools spending vast sums on mental health services, about schools in Britain so overwhelmed that there aren’t enough places for all the disabled students, and about increasing incidents of out-of-control kids in the elementary schools attacking teachers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has their own study from 1998 to show that the changes in kids’ health and behavior are the result of bad parents who expose them to trauma at home. This is what teachers are being taught everywhere. I’m sure it will work. The press is already reporting on it as dogma. Schools need to take over and counter what parents are doing. Teachers have learned to ask, “What happened to this student” and not, “Why did the student do this?” Every mom and dad whose child has behavior issues should hang their heads in shame.


March 25, 2018, (UK) Maidenhead Advertiser: New Dorney school creates safe learning space for children in care

The head of a new school for young people in care says it aims to put each child at the centre of everything it does.

Stephen Rodgers is head of education at the Eton Dorney Residential School, which has room to house six young people and 18 day spaces for 10 to 18-year-olds.

Inside, Natalie showed off the sensory room, which is used if a child is anxious and is a place to reassure them.

These children can be in the care system for a number of reasons including learning and behavioural difficulties,” said Natalie.

Mar 26, 2018, Lexington, MA Wicked: Winchester to fight mental health stigma, offer resources

Winchester High School Principal Dennis Mahoney told attendees that the social and emotional well-being of students is a major priority of his. He noted that the school has a staff of 12 psychologists, guidance counselors and adjustment counselors, and students are offered individual, small-group, and entire-school programs….

Representatives from several local mental health providers spoke about their services.


Mar 26, 2018, WTHI—TV, Terre Haute, IN: Mobile clinic brings health care to students and more

It’s a mobile health clinic. It travels to 15 different schools in Parke and Vermillion Counties. One school in Vigo County has just added the list as well.

The bus is equipped with a nurse practitioner, nurse and behavioral health specialist around the clock.


Mar 26, 2018, (UK) Huffington Post: We Need To Understand Why So Many Children Are Unhappy—With such a rapid rise in demand for mental health services, it’s urgent we understand the causes of poor mental health

It’s thought that as many as one in ten children has a diagnosable mental health condition and referrals to specialist treatment have gone up 44% in the last three years.

We need to get to the root of the problem. We need to understand what is causing so many children to feel depressed and anxious

We need to understand what it is about Britain today that is making children unhappy.

But with such a rapid rise in demand for mental health services, it’s just as urgent that we understand the causes of poor mental health and what can be done to prevent mental illness.


Mar 26, 2018, Toronto Sun: Wynne Liberals promise $300M funding boost for special needs education

Ontario’s Liberal government is promising to spend more than $300 million over three years to improve supports for children with special needs and hire more teachers, a pledge that comes just months ahead of the spring election.

Mar 26, 2018, Energy Institute of Alabama—Yellow Hammer News: Alabama mental health commissioner calls to tackle issues in schools

Beshear said the state must focus on identifying behaviors that trigger school violence and proactively treating mental health. The state’s school-based mental health services put clinicians into schools to counsel students. Only 36 school systems in Alabama have the services and Beshear advocated for expanding it to the other 106.

One in five U.S. children experience a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder, the American Institutes for Research reported.

Mar 26, 2018, Glenwood (MN) Tribune: Local schools continue to improve security

With $15.9 million proposed to enhance safety for students, teachers, parents and staff, and an additional $5 million for school-based grants that would, “provide mental health services to students who need added support,” the proposal is aimed at reducing the amount of school shootings in Minnesota for the future.

Mar 26, 2018, Bremerton, WA, Kitsap Sun: Program meets growing demand for mental health services in Mason County

Behavioral Health Resources has expanded in the last year to Belfair, with a therapist at North Mason Resources three times a week and a full-time therapist available for all five schools in the North Mason School District.

Mar 26, 2018, (Ireland) Independent:  'I can't keep my child locked away at home' - Boy (5) with autism has no school place for September

The mainstream school does not have an ASD unit for primary level students and so Linda is desperately searching for a school place for her son for the next school year. …

"There needs to be more schools with basic ASD units for children with autism. The Department

of Education should be ashamed that these kids are left with no schools to go to."

"Ryan has a basic right to education yet there is no school with an available place for him. I'm disgusted by how hard I have to fight for Ryan constantly."

Linda said that six other children in Ryan's class are facing a similar struggle to find a primary school for September.

"It's not just one child that is affected. It's dozens and it happens every year. There is no place for the kids to go.

Mar 26, 2018, West Virginia Public Broadcasting: New Therapy Dog Arrives for First Day of Work at Mary C. Snow Elementary

Axelle has been trained to specialize in helping children cope with emotional stress and trauma, and to encourage students to enjoy learning. He’ll be working with all of the students, but especially with special needs students.

Mar 26, 2018, NBC6, Idaho Falls, ID: District 93's Special Education Program Struggles to Keep Up with Growth

But since District 93's special education program started five years ago, the program has grown from just over 1,000 students to almost 1,700 students.

Mar 27, 2018, Falmouth (ME) Forecaster: Under pressure: Mental, emotional support for Portland students largely 'crisis driven'

According to School Department records, the city is spending $1.5 million on high school guidance and counseling services in the current fiscal year. That’s over $200,000 more than the district spent in 2016.

Mar 27, 2018, KOTA—TV, Pierre, SD: Lawmakers to study mental health, special ed

The panel also approved a study on the increasing need for special education in schools and how to adequately fund it. Republican Sen. Jim Bolin says it's a very important issue that's "not going away."

House Speaker Pro Tempore Steven Haugaard supported the mental health study, saying it's an opportunity to direct state resources in that area and to help counties figure out how to address the "burgeoning problem of mental illness."

Mar 27, 2018, (UK) Tes: Exclusive: SEND pupils 'being pushed out' of school due to funding squeeze

And local authorities warn that further funding cuts could make the situation worse

Funding pressures are “pushing out” children from mainstream education – fuelling the rise in exclusions and home education, local authorities are warning.

The claim was made at an event in central London at which local authority education leaders, headteachers and governors discussed the financial squeeze facing schools.

Mar 27, 2018, Emporia (KS) Gazette: CrossWinds holds open house at therapeutic preschool

CrossWinds staff invited guests to take part in an open house and ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the new CrossWinds Pre-K Monday afternoon.

Located on the third floor of the First Christian Church at 202 E. 12th Ave., the therapeutic preschool helps socially and emotionally-troubled students by providing a unique learning experience throughout each three-hour class day.

Mar 27, 2018, NBC4, Reno, NV: CDC: 1 in 5 children suffer from a mental health disorder

According to the Center for Disease Control, up to 1 in 5 children suffer from a mental health disorder. Mental disorders among children are described as serious changes in the way they typically learn, behave or handle their emotions, which causes distress and problems getting through the day. Symptoms of mental disorders change over time as a child grows, and symptoms can include difficulties with how the child plays, learns, speaks and acts, or how the child handles his or her emotions.

Mar 27, 2018, Knoxville (TN) Journal Express: School disruption concerns echo back to board

Parents brought more concerns about behavior and discipline among second graders to the Knoxville school board Monday night.

Three weeks after a mother and a teacher both spoke about violent classroom outbursts, two more mothers shared their fears during the public comments portion of the board's agenda.

Angeline Blackburn said that outbursts and the classroom evacuations that follow harm education and the students’ peace of mind.

It’s becoming a norm for my son to go to school and expect to be evacuated because some kid is acting bad,” she said. “They’re just expecting to see these kids throw desks and for it to be OK. It’s really not.”

Mar 28, 2018, Wahoo, NE, Ashland Gazette: Public gives input on school growth options

Currently at least 20 percent of our study body right now is special education,” she said.

Mar 28, 2018, Stockton, MO, Cedar Republican: Stockton Elementary School to be fenced in

A classroom and specially-trained staffer for a room created to handle students with severe behavioral issues at the district's middle and elementary school campus.

Snow told the board this is not an alternative school situation, but said this is a growing problem in the elementary grades.

Many times these students have to be disciplined and are sent home during a school day or taken off bus routes, she said. …

there are days when between 10-20 elementary and middle school students at different times may display extreme behavioral actions requiring intervention. …

Mar 29, 2018, Rockland, ME, Courier Publications: RSU 40 budget to tug at taxpayers' consciences, wallets

She said with the rising cost of special education, if the district's budget remains at its current level, even with the funds added back into the budget, she foresees it being unable to serve the increasing population of students in need of special education, especially with the intensity and duration of services some students require.

She said the special education population in the district is fluid over the course of the school year, and noted that in one month it climbed from 423 to 430 students identified as being in need of services. She further explained that 10 of those 430 students attend out-of-district placements at a cost ranging from $250 to $360 a day.

RSU 40's special needs population is currently at 24 percent. The state average is 15 percent.

Mar 29, 2018, KQ2—St. Joseph, MO: The St. Joseph School District is working to better meet the needs of students who have experienced trauma

The St. Joseph School District is working to better meet the needs of students who have experienced trauma. Teachers, counselors and community members met Wednesday morning at the Troester Media Center for ‘Healing the Experience of Trauma’, a seminar hosted by social worker Jean West.

West said one of the biggest indicators of toxic stress in a child’s life is sleeping problems and behavioral outbursts. According to West, children who have experienced trauma or extreme stress often exhibit behavioral signs like irritability, clinginess, aggressiveness and intrusive thoughts.

Mar 29, 2018, Juneau (AK) Empire: School district budget cut another $3.5M—School Board requests more money from city than ever before

One point she presented is that there is a higher-than-normal number of special needs students at the district. Therefore, more money is allocated. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 13.4 percent of students are identified as children with disabilities in Alaska. The Juneau School District’s number is at 18 percent according to the district’s website. The school district is considered a magnet school — a public school offering special instruction and programs not available elsewhere, designed to attract a more diverse student body from throughout a school district.

We do not have time or a mechanism to determine if we are a magnet school,” Weiss said. “What we do know is that our number (of special education students) is increasing.”

Mar 29, 2018, (Ireland) Irish Times: Children aged four to six have mental health issues, says FF TD—James Browne claims social media contributing hugely to their difficulties

Children as young as between four and six years are presenting with anxiety, stress and other mental health issues, Fianna Fáil TD James Browne has claimed.

Browne said increasingly teachers and principals were meeting young children who had nothing physically or intellectually wrong with them but who were presenting with speech, language and social developmental issues.


He said there should be an increase in the number of release days for school principals to allow them attend mental health training.


Mar 29, 2018, KCCI—TV, Des Moines, IA: 2 bills aimed at mental health signed into law

Parents who have lost children to suicide have fought for the bill to require all Iowa teachers from Kindergarten through High School to be trained in suicide prevention.


Mar 29, 2018, (Canada) Prince Edward Island Journal: P.E.I. teachers trained in new provincial mental health curriculum

More than 30 P.E.I. educators received their master training this month in how to deliver a new provincial mental health curriculum to students….

Mar 29, 2018, Norfolk, Virginian—Pilot: Two Virginia Beach educators cleared of assault charges involving student

Two Rosemont Elementary School educators were cleared Thursday of misdemeanor assault charges that stemmed from incidents involving a student.

A judge quickly found Principal Cari Hall and Alison Williams, a special education teacher, not guilty….

Eric, a first-grader at that time, testified Thursday that he’d been dragged and had his head pushed down after he disrupted class “a little bit.”

First-grade teacher Holly Roth testified that Chapman created issues on two days in early June.

One day, he kicked over boxes, threw a book that hit another student, and hit his own head on a table he’d crawled under.


Mar 29, 2018, East Moline (IL) Dispatch—Argus: Sensory room will aid Winola students

Winola Elementary School on Wednesday unveiled a sensory room designed to help students deal with anxiety….

Ms. Roberts said the room was designed to meet the needs of special education students as well as students with sensory needs or behavioral issues. The room is divided into two spaces — a calming area and an active one.

"It’s amazing what some time in a tent with a weighted blanket can do for some of these students that just need the break," Ms. Roberts said.

Mar 29, 2018, Lewes (DE) Cape Gazette: Children & Families First trains Cape district staff on childhood trauma

The program helps middle school and high school employees learn how childhood trauma affects students, and how a trauma-informed approach helps adolescents build resilience and move toward thriving, self-sufficient adulthoods….

Defined in the late 1990s by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ACES Study, adverse childhood experiences are abuse, neglect and household dysfunction which directly correlate to negative life outcomes such as diabetes, depression, asthma, heart disease, lowered educational achievement, unemployment and lower income potentials.

Current data from the National Centers on Child Health report 1 in 10 adolescents has an ACE score of 4 or higher, with the stress in home environments echoing in classrooms through disruptive behavior, social isolation, difficulty in focusing, poor decision-making skills and medical problems interfering with attendance.

Mar 29, 2018, Rochester (NY) Spectrum: IInInside Rochester City schools, mental health services front and center

"I can't think of one particular school in which we don't have a mental health professional working there. We take it very seriously," Grasley said.

The Rochester City School District estimates that at least 40 percent of its students have had some kind of Adverse Childhood Experience, or ACE. A recent study estimates that number could be as high as 64 percent for all of Monroe County.

Mar 29, 2018, KXLY—TV, Spokane, WA: Mental health experts offer advice at SPS suicide prevention symposium

A NEW special free school will soon be set up in Alveston, following a successful bid from South Gloucestershire Council.

The school, which will be the second of its kind in South, will be based on the Marlwood School site, offering 112 places over a three-year period for children aged two-to-19-years-old with severe learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorder and with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

Mar 29, 2018, Batesville (IN) Herald: Autism in education

According to the Indiana Department of Education, last year, the state identified 15,210 school-age students whose primary disability was autism spectrum disorder; this year, it is 15,721, an increase of 511 or 3.3 percent. "This has been the trend for the last several years," said Pamela Wright, IDOE director of the office of special education.

She's been in the field for several decades, and when she started, it was one 10,000 nationally; now it's one in 68. No one really knows why, whether it's increased awareness, better diagnosis or other factors, she said….

And not only is she seeing more children with ASD, "I'm seeing more children who have co-occurring mental health issues as well. We know that anxiety is very common among children on the spectrum, and with anxiety comes depression," Pratt said. "But in addition to that, I also see children who have other co-occurring issues going on. So we have more kids who are coming to us with more complex issues."

Mar 30, 2018, Joplin (MO) Four States Homepage: Legislators approve funding increase for Southeast Kansas schools

Kansas House Bill 2445 increases funding in several areas, including providing more than $44 million dollars in additional money for special education.

Mar 30, 2018, Wellesley (MA) Wicked: Wellesley Town Meeting covers shortfall in special education tuition

Town Meeting made relatively quick progress on Monday, the first night of its 2018 session. Among the items taken up was a request from the Board of Selectmen for $776,000 in extra funds to meet unexpected costs for special education out-of-district tuition in fiscal year 2018.

Tuition costs exceeded the budget by $948,794. According to the Advisory Committee, one factor was that seven new students needed out-of-district (OOD) placements arrived. Three of them were so-called “unilateral” placements with which the School Department did not agree, but reached a settlement with the families of the students.

As students grow older, their needs and the programs to address them can often become more intensive and costly,” according to the Advisory Committee report.

Finally , some of costs of the OOD tuition sky-rocked. during fiscal 2018.

Mar 30, 2018, Montevideo (MN) American—News: New special education school to be built in Montevideo http://www.montenews.com/news/20180330/new-special-education-school-to-be-built-in-montevideo

Like a bolt from the blue, the City of Montevideo announced last Friday that a new special education facility is set to be constructed in Montevideo….

The proposed $4.5 million, 18,000 square foot facility will employ up to 30 special needs education professionals and will serve 30 to 40 students

Mar 30, 2018, (UK) Lancashire Post: Alerting our young to the dangers of a ‘false reality’

This is one of the messages Sam Tyrer wants to pass on to young people as part of his mission to tackle mental health issues and reduce the number of suicides and self harm incidents in Lancashire.

We want to get the school talks into the school curriculum at high school age and the aim is to get young people to develop a more resilient mind and develop coping strategies.

Mar 30, 2018, (UK) Lancaster Evening Post: Rising number of exclusions at Lancashire schools

A report presented to county hall’s education committee revealed 346 exclusions across primary, secondary and special schools in 2016/17.

The number has risen from 305 the previous year in addition to 6,700 fixed-term exclusions.

6,700 disruptive children excluded from Lancashire school

Mar 30, 2018, (UK) Swindon Advertiser: Wooden Spoon funds £14,500 sensory room at school

SPECIAL needs school Crowdy’s Hill opened a new sensory room this week thanks to a £14,500 donation from local charity Wiltshire Wooden Spoon….

The sensory room has been created at Crowdys Hill School, in Jefferies Avenue, whose students are aged between five and 19 years with both moderate and complex learning and medical needs including autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, global developmental delay and cerebral palsy. ….

Mar 30, 2018, (UK) Get Surrey: Parents secure legal aid funding to take county council to court over 'unlawful' £21m savings to services supporting children with disabilities

According to SCC, the number of children with a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan (EHCP) has increased by 44% from 2010 to 2018.

In an attempt to tackle the "unprecedented increases in demand", SCC has boosted the overall budget for children, schools and families by £25,377,000 from £454,738,000 (2017/2018) to £480,115,000 (2018/2019).

Mar 30, 2018, Winthrop (MA) Transcript: School Committee Presents Budget for 2018-2019

The Special Education Department is requesting a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA), due to the increase in referrals from early intervention and preschool screenings with students that fall within the autism spectrum.

Mar 31, 2018, (UK) Hartlepool Mail: Government accused of failing to address worries over Hartlepool schools funding

The council added a 2.6% ‘high needs’ funding increase for children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities is not enough to meet “unprecedented” levels of demand and the town faces a shortfall of £825,000 a year.

Mar 31, 2018, Presque Isle, ME, The County: Special education costs a perennial concern for school districts

SAD 1 provides special education to 18.5 percent of its students, more than the state average of 16 percent and national average of 12 percent….

While service center communities like Presque Isle or Bangor often have higher rates of special education needs, it’s also a concern for smaller districts. At SAD 42 in Mars Hill, 20 percent of students receive special education services, a majority of them for speech and language needs, said superintendent Elaine Boulier.

Special ed costs go up almost every year because we tend to have more kids with needs,” Boulier said.

Mar 31, 2018, U.S. News: Idaho Schools Grapple With Special Education Growth

Several south-central Idaho schools — including in Twin Falls, Jerome and Cassia County — are seeing a growing number of special education students, and more of those students have severe needs or behavioral issues. Though they make up a small fraction of the total number of students who need special education services, the number is increasing.

Mar 31, 2018, Racine (WI) Journal Times: All-inclusive Wadewitz playground finally coming to fruition

Of its nearly 600 students, 22 percent have special needs — including autism, physical limitations and intellectual challenges.

Mar 31, 2018, Athens (AL) News Courier: Major changes coming for Athens City Schools

Increasing the availability of mental health care in the schools was also broached. Dr. Trey Holladay, superintendent of Athens City Schools, said a contract with the Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama gives students access to a traveling mental health counselor, but the schools are looking at hiring additional mental health professionals.

April 1, 2018, (UK) Telegraph: Special needs children 'paying price' for education funding 'crisis'

The National Education Union (NEU) claimed that local councils are being "starved" of the money they need for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), with youngsters forced to stay at home because authorities do not have the cash to provide a suitable education.

Overall, as of January last year, there were 287,290 children and young people, up to the age of 25 in England, that had an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), or a statement of special educational needs. …

The year before, there were 256,315 children and young people with an EHCP or statement, and again the vast majority were 19 and under….

Meanwhile, a separate survey by NASUWT union has shown more than a half (59%) of all special educational needs teachers said they had been attacked by their pupils in the last year.

Staff among the 1,615 polled said they had been head-butted, punched, kicked and spat on - including, in a handful of cases, on a daily basis.

Almost three-quarters (74%) said they experienced verbal abuse in addition to physical assault. Some 7% said they were not encouraged to report such incidents to their school….

"Pupils with special needs who exhibit violent and disruptive behaviour need more help and support and all too often their needs are not being met."

April 1, 2018, (UK) Tes: SEN teachers 'are headbutted, spat on and punched – sometimes every day'

Nearly three-fifths (59 per cent) said they had been attacked in the past year, and 74 per cent said they had experienced verbal abuse.

Teachers revealed that they had been headbutted, punched, kicked, bitten and spat on, sometimes on a daily basis, leaving them bruised and injured. One teacher said they had received more abuse than friends who were police and prison officers.

April 1, 2018, CT Mirror: A more common school safety problem: assaults on teachers

Since then, the district has retreated from employing so many security staff to protect students from outside threats and is focusing its efforts and resources on another school safety issue: assaults on teachers by students.

Statewide, there has been a lack of progress in stemming aggressive student behaviors as student suspension and expulsion rates steadily decline. That dynamic has fueled a debate over whether the state’s push to reduce student suspensions and expulsions – and instead provide students with supports so they can stay in school – actually is working to make schools safer. …

For this Sunday Conversation, we sat down with Tod Couture, a special education teacher from Enfield, to talk about school safety. As the leader of the teachers’ union in his district, he regularly hears stories from teachers about the issues they face….

How about teachers? Do teachers feel safe at school?

There’s two different things going on with school safety issues: those dealing with threats from the outside coming in and there is a whole other issue of student assaults on teachers. It’s a major issue, not only within our district, but across the state and really across the nation.

Where this is happening really is not at the high school level, it’s not the middle school level, it’s at the lower elementary level – kindergarten through second grade….

We thought about this a lot as to why has it been a relatively recent phenomenon. It hasn’t been around for years and years and years.

I think it’s a multitude of factors. You’re dealing with probably more instances of substance abuse. We’re dealing with learned behavior.

Every school has a crisis intervention team….

It could lead to some restraints, just to protect everybody,…

April 1, 2018, Wichita (KS) Star: Wichita school district has new plan for elementary students with behavior problems

Starting this fall, the Wichita district will have a new option for young students struggling with behavior problems.

Bryant Opportunity Academy — located at the former Bryant Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary near Ninth and West — will serve about 100 kindergarten-through-sixth-grade students "who need a more highly structured, controlled environment,"

April 2, 2018, (UK) Independent: School mental health problems extend to primary-age pupils amid cuts to support

The vast majority (96 per cent) of teachers say they have come into contact with pupils of all ages experiencing mental health issues, according to research from the NASUWT teaching union.


Of these, around one in seven (14 per cent) said that pupils experiencing these difficulties were aged between four and seven, while over a quarter (27 per cent) said they were aged seven to 11.



April 2, 2018, Chicago Daily Herald: U-46 studying how trauma affects students, revising teaching approach

Officials estimate roughly 30 percent of U-46 students are experiencing multiple ACEs and dealing with such children is "exhausting teachers" who suffer from compassion fatigue.

"We are having trouble with growth as an organization, as a country," Heiderscheidt said. "Kids in toxic stress are operating in fight, flight or fear mode." …

That doesn't mean misbehaving students get a pass, but with training, teachers can be better equipped to understand and meet their social-emotional needs, he added.

April 2, 2018, Bountiful, UT, Davis Clipper: Local principal goes above and beyond

There’s been an increase in children with adverse childhood experiences and it impacts their learning and ability to interact with peers and teachers.”

April 2, 2018, (UK) Sun: BAD EDUCATION—Teachers ‘headbutted, spat at and have eyes gouged by kids as young as FOUR’

The claims were made at an education conference, where staff have lifted the lid on outrageous and shocking behaviour seen at UK schools.

The extreme violence has even forced some teachers to change the way they dress in order to avoid being harmed by students.

Teaching staff across the country have also reported suffering dangerous levels of anxiety when heading into work. …

She said: "In the last two years behaviour in children has increased to an extremely violent level.”

Kelly, who is the only dedicated SENCO at her school, said she was repeatedly called to deal with a four-year-old boy who "scratched, gouged eyes, and pulled hair".

She said: “The last two years have been the worst I've ever had in my [16-year] teaching career.

April 2, 2018, Hornell (NY) Tribune: Committee told space tight at C-G Elementary

The elementary school could use at least three more classrooms just for special education students, the principal said.

Brownell said a sensory room for the 22 special needs students plus one additional conference room for the entire building “would be useful.”

April 2, 2018, New London (CT) Day: Proposed Norwich budget is up 2.4 percent

But, Superintendent Abby Dolliver said that the school district has lived off grants and cuts for a number of years and now “absolutely needs a 9 percent increase to continue.”

She added that although enrollment has been stable, the district has seen a serious surge in the number of special education students, as well as English as a Second Language students. In fact, Dolliver said that there are now nearly 600 ESL students in the district, and there have been 100 new special education students since 2016.

April 3, 2018, San Jose, CA, East Bay Times: Albany [CA]: School district urging residents to lobby state for more funds

Williams has been pushing a second bill, AB 3136, which would reform the state’s funding mechanism for special education. …

The needs of students with special needs have become much more complex,” Williams said. “Students on the autism spectrum, students who are visually impaired, students with learning disabilities.”

April 3, 2018, (UK) Guardian: Teachers have sounded the alarm – it’s time to listen

For many children, the Easter holidays are in full swing. But spare a thought for the more than 4,000 children who have learning disabilities. They won’t be taking a break from school: they’re stuck at home for the long-term, as no local schools can take them.

The number of children with special educational needs in England without a school place has more than doubled from 1,710 in 2016 to 4,050 in 2017. …

Parents have told me of the battle to gain a diagnosis for their children, who are often written off by teachers as troublesome and disruptive, especially in the case of autism.

April 3, 2018, Fitchburg (MA) Sentinel & Enterprise: Shortage of nurses seen in Leominster school system

A snapshot of student health in local schools that was presented to School Committee members Monday night showed a need for more nurses and a rise in mental health issues. …

"Based on the population, I really should have three-plus nurses at the high school. We have two now and one is usually filled by subs," she said. "I have a sub list of 21, but can never find anyone to work. It's been an extremely challenging year." …

Among mental and behavioral health issues being seen in students, 657 have been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD, 326 with anxiety, 239 with depression, 183 with autism, and 105 with a known history of trauma.

April 3, 2018, (Canada) CBC: Magazine names Channel-Port aux Basques most autism-friendly town in Canada

Today's Parent has declared Channel-Port aux Basques the most autism-friendly town in Canada.

It helped a local hotel become the first autism-friendly lodging option in the country— modifying some units and creating a sensory room.

Autism Involves Me approached Hotel Port Aux Basques owner Cathy Lomond about donating existing space within the facility so it could be transformed into a sensory or quiet room. …

Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest rate of autism spectrum disorder in the country at one in 57 children between ages five and 17, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

According to the Today's Parent article, 14 of the 300 children in Channel-Port aux Basques's elementary school have been diagnosed….

April 3, 2018, (UK) Telegraph and Argus: Protest unsuccessful as Council passes cuts to disabled children's services

A large group of parents protested outside City Hall to no avail today as Bradford Council’s executive voted through cuts to specialist teaching support services for children with disabilities….

Dominic Wall, head of Southfield Special School, said there is a “growing demand for children with complex needs” in Bradford.

He said: “In the past three years it has gone up in excess of 25%, but we have not had increased government funding to match the growth, but we get a fixed amount per place.

In the past two years we have had to take £5 million from normal schools to fund the high-need block.”

April 3, 2018, Minocqua, WI, Lakeland Times: Lakeland STAR open house attracts large crowd By Richard Moore

It started with a dream, continued with more than two years of hard work, and this past Wednesday the vision moved into the realm of reality with a large and engaged crowd attending an open house to kick off and celebrate Lakeland's new charter school, Lakeland STAR School/Academy.

The school is open to all students, and specializes in educating students with autism spectrum disorders.



Angus Files

Thanks Anne not happy with damage done now rehearsing for the big one



By Shawn Vargo
Posted Apr 11, 2018 at 10:22 AM
Updated Apr 11, 2018 at 10:22 AM

BATH - An emergency preparedness drill was held in the Haverling High School Gymnasium Tuesday to test local capabilities against a possible exposure to Hepatitis A from a fictional grocery store scenario.

“The mass vaccination drill is part of our Emergency Preparedness Program,” said Lorelei Wagner, Steuben County Public Health Education Coordinator.

“We’re testing our systems that are in place, testing our volunteers and staff to see if we have enough preparedness for an actual event.”

According to Wagner, Tuesday’s scenario was from the New York State Department of Health.

Wagner was sure that everyone involved knew it was a drill.

“It is a simulated scenario - nothing real about it,” she said.

The gym was separated into two sections - one for incoming patients and one for evaluation and treatment.

“We have our volunteer patients that get guided through lines and when they pass through the curtain, they go through medical screening, evaluation and they also get their vaccine,” Wagner said.

No vaccines were given to any of the volunteers, Wagner added.

“In our event, the vaccine is being given to oranges - which were donated by Sam’s Club. And it’s not vaccine fluid - it’s IV fluid,” she said.

The purpose of the drill was to see how many persons could be treated in a given time period.

“We are trying to get 77 people an hour through. We’re testing our timing so we know how many people we need to staff an event like this,” Wagner said. “Hopefully, we’ll meet our goal.

“I think we’ve been doing well. I know that adjustments were made earlier. Lines were out the doors, so we knew we needed more screeners to help get them moving faster.

Everything we learn here today, we’ll take into a real event and hopefully things will go as smoothly as possible.”

Wagner said that seven screening stations were being used, in addition to 14 vaccination stations.

While the County Public Health Department holds smaller-scale drills annually, Tuesday’s event was considered a big-scale drill.

“Our last big-scale drill was in 2015, so we have one about every three years,” Wagner said. “We have four locations, so this gives us an opportunity to test the structure at Haverling High School. Our last big-scale drill was at Corning-Painted Post High School.”



susan welch


Thanks, again, for this invaluable research. It is so compelling.

Joy B

I heard a radio ad about an upcoming local "embrace autism" or some such event, where there will be a "sensory" overload room, where people can experience what it feels like to be overstimulated just like an autistic person. Virtual Autism, I guess.

It is all becoming PERVERSE.

John Stone

Hi Anne

You have one of my very favourite film clips. I would like to add that as a result of your tireless research I placed some of the evidence under an article in the British Medical Journal by the President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Prof Russell M Viner. So far neither Prof Viner or anyone else has responded:


bob moffit

"Among mental and behavioral health issues being seen in students, 657 have been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD, 326 with anxiety, 239 with depression, 183 with autism, and 105 with a known history of trauma."

Odd the number of children listed in this one instance .. does not reveal how many of those 657 children with "mental and behavioral health issues" have .. since pre-K and up .. been on prescribed drugs .. such as .. Ritalin .. for those problems? Odd they acknowledge "105 with a known history of trauma" .. but .. make no mention of the number on behavioral modification drugs?

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