by Anne Dachel
One of my favorite historians is Thomas Cahill who’s written all kinds of books on European history, including Jewish history and Irish history. It’s very insightful and revealing writing.
One book covering the 20th century had a couple of lines that stood out to me. They were on the rise of Fascism in Europe in the 1920s and 30s, which eventually led to the tyranny of Nazism and the savagery of World War II.
"To us, reading history backward, the rise of Fascism in Europe has all the goosestepping inevitability of Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will. But through the twenties and thirties many Europeans refused to acknowledge the direction in which events were heading."
This is what all the stories I’m collecting seem like to me. We will eventually pay a huge price for the decline in the health and behavior of our children that we see happening everywhere. Coming up with all kinds of programs and innovations while pretending nothing is really wrong can’t prevent the inevitable.
How will we accommodate today’s children when they reach adulthood? All the issues in these stories will still be here. Mental health and behavior problems are the most critical topics to educators today. Adding more security, guidance counselors, psychologists, sensory rooms, and therapy dogs won’t change things at all.
Looking over the past week I picked out ten stories from Loss of Brain Trust that really prove my point about what’s happening in schools.
(New Zealand) "A growing number of young people...[suffer] from some form of mental illness"
Aug 17, 2018, Stuff: The rise and rise of mental illness among our young
In the 15 to 25 age group presentations increased from 209 to 330 in the same time period. And there was a 154 per cent increase in people from that age group calling the Mental Health Crisis team, now called the Assessment and Brief Care team (ABC), for help - up from 854 in 2013 to 2168 in 2017.
In Taranaki the number of people in the 10 to 14 age group being prescribed anti depressants went up from 240 in 2013 to 417 in 2017, and from 1063 to 1944 in the 15 to 19 age group.
Nationally, 10,146 children in the 10 to 14 age group were prescribed antidepressants in 2017 and 56,700 in the older age group. And 1788 children under the age of nine were also prescribed anti depressants.
And of course parents are receiving the blame for the way they raise their kids.
"Some of the biggest contributors to youth distress are adverse childhood events, including family violence, bullying, poverty, sexual abuse and social exclusion. Early intervention is important." …
Watervliet, NY: District adds in-school clinic; mental/behavioral help provided
Aug 17, 2018, Albany Times Union: Watervliet to open school-based health center
…The center will provide primary and preventative medical services to students enrolled in. the program, and promote overall health including mental and behavioral… School-based health centers are operated as a partnership between a school and a community health center, such as Whitney Young Health.
Roanoke, VA: New school "exclusively" for autistic students based on "perceived need"
Aug 18, 2018, Roanoke (VA) Times: New autism school planned to replace former Roanoke grocery store
A new school for students with autism is on track to open in an old grocery store building in southeast Roanoke….
Centra’s motivation for a second Rivermont school in Roanoke is based on a perceived need for more room for its autism program in the region….
Rivermont’s present Roanoke school serves students with special needs between the ages of 2 to 22, including those with autism. The new school would be exclusively for students on the autism spectrum.
Baton Rouge: First autistic charter school opens; response to community demand
Aug 19, 2018, KLFY, Lafayette, LA: Louisiana's first tuition-free school for children with Autism welcomes first class Monday
Louisiana's first charter school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, The Emerge School for Autism, is set to welcome its first class and begin operations on Monday, according to WAFB-TV. …
“For years, Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities have called for extended educational services for children with autism,” said Jean-Paul Perrault, Board Chair of The Emerge School for Autism.
Dayton, OH: 20% of kids have mental health issues; anxiety/depression on the rise
Aug 19, 2018, My Dayton Daily News: With roughly one-fifth of students showing mental health concerns, schools are taking more steps to help them cope
VIDEO ON VACCINE REQUIREMENTS IS ADDED TO THIS STORY Reading, writing and math remain important for teachers, but local schools are dramatically increasing how much attention they pay to students’ coping skills, behavior and mental health.
Districts are adding counselors and mental health therapists for at-risk students while implementing school-wide behavior and decision-making programs for all students.
New York City: 744 special needs preschoolers have no places; kids on waiting lists
Aug 20, 2018, New York Daily News: EXCLUSIVE: City preschools shut out hundreds of kids with severe disabilities
Jacelyn is just one of hundreds of city preschool kids with disabilities who are shut out of the special education classes promised by state law, simply because there aren't enough seats to accommodate them.
Figures published by the state Education Department on Aug. 3 indicate that the city is short by 744 seats for kids aged 3 to 5.
The funding for the classes is there — but the classes themselves aren't. So hundreds of the city's toddlers with the toughest disabilities, including severe autism, developmental delays, blindness and difficulty hearing, are left out each year.
(UK) Bury: SPED school adds more space for kids with ASD; increase to 112 students
Plans have been submitted for a two-phase work programme at Millwood Primary Special School to create additional classrooms, group rooms, toilets, nurseries, soft play areas and quiet rooms for early years pupils with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)….
The community special school was designed to provide a building suitable for accommodating an increase to 112 pupils and is based on a 'hub and three wings' design, which includes 16 classrooms. Bury Council Children's Services has applied to extend the single-storey Whitelow wing to create extra capacity for early years children with ASD. …
Joplin, MO: High school opens on-campus mental health clinic for students with anxiety/
Aug 21, 2018, Joplin, MO, Four State Homepage: Mental health clinic to open on Carthage High School campus
The Carthage Tigers will soon offer a unique option to help students dealing with anxiety or depression.
It's a clinic opening on the high school campus similar to health clinics that operate at some southwest Missouri high schools.But this one will focus solely on mental health….
(UK) N. Ireland: No schooling for autistic boy; 23% of students have special needs
Aug 21, 2018, BBC (NI): No school for five years for Antrim boy with autism
A 12-year-old boy has not been to school or received any education for most of the past five years because there are no suitable school places for him, according to his mother. Callum, who is from Crumlin, County Antrim, has autism.…
He has tried both mainstream and special schools without success….
Callum's mother, Lorraine, who is also an autism campaigner, told BBC News NI her son struggles with the environment of mainstream schools. She said he came out of school following a suspension at the start of primary four, which was "the end of education for him"….
The most recent figures from the Department for Education show a steady increase in the number of children with special educational needs in Northern Ireland between 2003 and 2017.
More than 79,000, 23% of all pupils in schools, have some form of special education needs.
Autism NI chief Kerry Boyd said the charity receives about 4,000 calls every year, the majority of which relate to education.
Chicago Tribune on the role of school nurses: “It’s a scene that school nurses are expecting many times over as the new year opens, reflecting both the growing number of mental health issues among school-age children,…”
Aug 23, 2018, Chicago Tribune: Teens are anxious and depressed, and turning to the school nurse for help. But most Illinois schools don’t have one
The prevalence of mental-health issues has prompted structural changes at Stagg and other schools. Three years ago, district officials allowed Vollinger and other school staff to create an “intervention” classroom located between the nurse’s office and the guidance counselor’s office.
The classroom is designed to help both students who have been out of class for disciplinary reasons and those who have had mental-health-related absences transition back to the daily routine in a more nurturing setting than being thrust back into busy hallways and full classrooms….
While such classrooms were unheard of even a decade ago, they are becoming more common across the state as schools recognize the adjustments needed to address students’ growing mental health needs….
Elementary school nurses are also encountering students with mental health needs.