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Twenty Years Post Columbine: American Schools are SPED Psychiatric Wards

Abadnonned schoolBy Anne Dachel

On my website, LossOfBrainTrust.com, I continue to post stories on the decline of education and childhood in the 21st century.  I can only conclude that this disaster will never be addressed for what it is by officials. SOMEHOW we’ll just struggle on until everything collapses. These stories are just a sample and they speak for themselves. I really have no words of my own for this

April 21, 2019, (UK) Telegraph: Seven-year-old boy threatened to stab pregnant teacher in stomach as union warns of rise in pupil violence

A seven-year-old boy threatened to stab a pregnant teacher in the stomach over a literacy lesson, it emerges as a union warns of a rise in children who do not respond to any form of punishment.

…families need to be held accountable for their children’s behaviour, explaining: “If your child is constantly disruptive, if they are violent, if they are abusive, I think it’s about time that schools and teachers question the parenting of those children.

April 20, 2019, (Canada) Study Finds: Study: 1 In 5 Children Suffers From A Mental Health Disorder 

One in five children suffer from a mental disorder — with notable increases in depression and anxiety over the past 30 years — yet less than one- third have had contact with a mental healthcare provider, a new study finds.

April 20, 2019, (Canada) Durham (ON) Region: Durham school board expecting 350 to 400 more students with autism over the next year Board chair says budget process will be 'very difficult' 

The Durham District School Board is anticipating an influx of students with autism over the next year, as a result of changes to Ontario’s autism program.

A new report says an additional 350 to 400 students with autism who have "significant needs" are expected by winter 2020 — about triple the normal amount.

April 20, 2019, (UK) Guardian: One in four teachers 'experience violence from pupils every week'—Many say poor behaviour is making them want to leave the profession, NASUWT finds

One in four teachers in the UK say they experience physical violence from their pupils at least once a week, and many say poor behaviour is making them want to leave the profession, according to figures compiled by a teaching union….

Nearly nine in 10 teachers said they had received some sort of verbal or physical abuse from pupils in the past year. Eighty-six per cent said they had been sworn at and 46% said they had been verbally threatened….

“Having taught for almost 40 years I have witnessed a demonstrable and seemingly unstoppable deterioration in pupil behaviour,” one said.

April 19, 2019, Fox26, Fresno, CA: Sinclair Cares: Popular places catering to autistic children

The number of children living with autism has jumped 15 percent over the past two years.  And now many popular attractions are learning how to cater to that growing population.

April 18, 2019, NH Public Radio: With Rising Budget Woes, Manchester Struggles To Meet Special Ed Needs 

For schools across New Hampshire, special education is a growing need and a growing cost. Nowhere is that more apparent than in Manchester, the state’s largest district, where special ed expenditures have nearly tripled in the last twenty years.  …

Mosley has done this work for 40 years. And in the last decade she’s noticed more runners and more kids with extreme, complex needs that require expensive services.

“What we are seeing for the needs of children has changed dramatically," she says. "A lot more aggression; a lot more poverty; a lot more trauma. And we know that trauma can change how the brain functions.”

April 18, 2019, (UK) Bury Free Press: Special school proposals for Wetheringsett Manor 

Education chiefs at Suffolk County Council admitted that demand for specialist places was increasing by around 18 per cent, which prompted a new £45 million [$58M US dollars]plan to create more than 800 extra spaces at new and existing schools….

The report said there was 'clearly a significant need for this type of facility within Suffolk' and the plans would create 'significant economic benefits'. The school will cater for 54 youngsters aged 11 to 19, and operate a teaching day of 8.45am to 3.15pm. …

Education chiefs at Suffolk County Council admitted that demand for specialist places was increasing by around 18 per cent, which prompted a new £45 million plan to create more than 800 extra spaces at new and existing schools….

April 17, 2019, (Ireland) RTE: Teacher union calls for national special needs training

It is estimated that up to 25% of [Irish] students have a special educational need. This can range from a condition such as autism or Down Syndrome to dyslexia or an attention deficit disorder.

April 16, 2019, (UK) Redditch &Alcester Advertiser: Special needs teachers under pressure as cuts take their toll  

It is not unique to Warwickshire and the big pressure is the massive increase in demand for special education needs and our ability to meet that demand in the manner than our public expect us to.”…

And there were also concerns from Cllr Jerry Roodhouse (Lib Dem Eastlands) who added: “This is not going to go away and the pressure is building.

April 16, 2019, Great Falls (MT) Tribune: Autism Awareness: The growing tide of supports and services

When I was training to be a special education teacher 30 years ago, a common response to the mention of autism was, “never heard of it.” We didn’t learn much about it, we didn’t prepare to teach children with autism, nor did we have kids in our classrooms who were identified as autistic. It was another 10 years before educators started talking about a new wave of student behaviors and challenges in the classroom. Autism information began to flood our mailboxes and school staff meetings. It wasn’t long before our education and family-focused social service systems were overwhelmed. We didn’t see it coming and we weren’t prepared for it. 

The number of autism diagnoses has been steadily rising in the United States.

April 16, 2019, Denver Post: Letters: Increases in autism; …

The Colorado Department of Education’s government data reports that since 1992, Colorado student population grew by 49 percent while autism increased by over 400 percent. That is 17 Colorado students with autism were reported in 1992 and the CDE reported that 7,805 students in 2018 have autism.

Colorado is not alone. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this month that autism spectrum disorder rates in New Jersey 4-year-olds rose by 43 percent in four years.

April 15, 2019, University of Delaware: Transforming Special Education

As the number of students who qualify for special education increases to record levels, educators are struggling to keep up. According to the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, the number of students who qualify for special education has risen by 18 percent — or 3,141 students — in a little over a decade. Statewide, over 20,000 students — or 15 percent of all children enrolled in Delaware public schools — receive some form of special education.

April 15, 2019, New Jersey News12: CDC: 1 in 35 NJ 4-year-olds are on the autism spectrum

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 1 in 59 4-year-olds nationwide were identified on the spectrum. In New Jersey, the likelihood rises to 1 in 35. …

Michelle Perez believes that number is in part due to early detection and awareness in New Jersey.

April 15, 2019, News Medical: Why have autism rates 'exploded' in New Jersey? 

Researchers at Rutgers University have revealed that pre-schoolers in New Jersey have the highest rates of autism ever recorded in the US. They report rates of autism have increased faster in children living in New Jersey than in other states.

The study, which was conducted in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), states that up to three percent of children in the US live with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)….

Autism rates increased by 43% between 2010 and 2014

April 15, 2019, (UK) Belfast Live: Call for more support to educate Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable children

Around a third of the pupils are considered to be in the lowest quarter of the population academically, many have significant self-esteem issues and a negative attitude towards education….

April 15, 2019, (UK) Big Issue (England): Funding shortfalls for special needs schools causing ‘untold misery’

Demand outstripping funding for special education needs and disabilities (SEND) provision in schools is forcing English councils to cut staff and increase assessment waiting times.

The National Education Union (NEU) said funding allocated to local authorities since 2015 has not kept up with rapidly increasing demand, with many councils having “reached crisis point”.

The number of children and young people granted an Education Health Care Plan (which states their legal entitlement to funding for extra educational support) has rocketed by more than a third since 2015, from 240,000 to 320,000.

April 13, 2019, (UK) Northern Ireland, Ulster Herald: Tyrone mum frustration over support for autism

…Currently in the North, one in 34 children are diagnosed with a form of autism….

April 13, 2019, (UK) Northumberland Gazette: Search for partner to run Northumberland's special free school

Coun Wayne Daley, the cabinet member for children’s services, highlighted that Northumberland has seen a 50 per cent increase in the number of pre-school children with complex needs since 2013 and the number of pupils in special schools has risen by 32 per cent in this period.

April 12, 2019, (Canada) Toronto London Free Press: Troubled students. Terrified classmates. No easy fix

Throwing books and upending chairs. Kicking, punching, yelling. Lockdowns regularly called during violent outbursts, meaning classrooms and even whole school floors grind to a standstill – and learning stops.

Parents of children at some schools in the Thames Valley District school board say they’re at their wit’s end when it comes to constant disturbances at their schools caused by students who not only interrupt their children’s education, but also scare them so much they no longer want to attend. …

Aggressive behaviours, violent tendencies “pervasive”

“We are losing control of our schools,” declares one local teachers union leader, who describes violence as “pervasive.”…

…I believe that we have more and more children entering our schools with more needs than they have in the past. What we require is additional support to assist those students.”…

April 12, 2019, (UK) Ilford Recorder: New special educational needs school could be built in Newbury Park 

“[It] will cater for pupils with severe learning difficulties and a range of complex needs including autism spectrum disorders, social, emotional mental health (SEMH) communication difficulties and medical needs,” according to planning documents….

Apr 11, 2019, (UK) Weston Mercury: Schools in funding crisis with huge cuts and increasing costs 

“The numbers of children who require additional or specialist support has significantly increased and this puts an additional and serious strain on school budgets where we are trying to support these children and families – as well as delivering high quality teaching and learning.

Apr 11, 2019, (UK) Belfast News Letter: Education Authority overspends £13 million on special needs provision

The Education Authority (EA) has overspend of almost £17m [$22M US dollars] in 2017/18 was mainly due to spending on special needs, it has been revealed.

Apr 11, 2019, New Jersey Herald: Vernon's new special ed director embraces mandate

For Vernon, where the 19 percent of students receiving special education services is about in line with the state average,

Apr 10, 2019, (UK) Bury Times: Council bid for new special free school approved by Department for Education

BURY could be set to welcome a new school for dozens of children with special educational needs after proposals were given the green light.

A Bury Council bid to open a special free school in Bury has been successful and received Department for Education approval.

The school will provide education to 80 girls and boys, aged 11 to 16, with autistic spectrum disorders and social language and communication needs….

Bury has seen significant growth in the number of young children diagnosed with social communication difficulties, with around 80 per cent of children seen by Fairfield Hospital’s child development centre showing such interaction issues….

Apr 4, 2019, (UK) Guardian: Funding for pupils with special educational needs drops 17%

North of England has been worst hit, report finds, with funding down 22% since 2015 

Since 2015, government funding through the “high needs block” has increased by 11% across England, but demand has increased by 35%. In the north funding has increased by 8% but the number eligible for support has increased by 39%. …

Mar 31, 2019, UP students witness Oregon's crisis of disruptive learning

Behavior like this used to be less frequent. But over the last three years, OEA members are sharing more and more of these disruptive instances in Oregon classrooms. 

“Educators have reported a noticeable increase in disrupted learning environments across the state over the last several years,” according to the OEA. “This increase, however, is difficult to quantify.” …

The report cites overcrowded classrooms, student trauma, poorly trained teachers, lack of resources and a decrease in time for P.E. or play for the children as the main reasons for this increase of poor behavior from students across Oregon. …

“Many educators also note that more students are coming to school with substantial social and emotional needs, physical health needs and mental health challenges,” the OEA report says. …

Mar 26, 2019, KAKE TV, Wichita, KS: Local high school creates calming room, sparks conversation of mental health with students

Teachers and counselors at Maize South High School want to help students take a mental break from stress. Between worrying about grades, jobs, extra curricular activities, and the future, stress can add up leaving students feeling anxious and overwhelmed. …

The room is now a safe haven for students struggling with anxiety, anger, and other emotions. It's complete with blankets and pillows, calming music, and dim lighting.

 Mar 21, 2019, KGW8, Portland, OR: Classrooms in Crisis: Educators of special needs students sue districts

Paraeducators are suing districts after alleged physical abuse and emotional distress from students acting out. …

While Moore said she experienced some of these incidents throughout her career, she said things got worse during the last five or six years. 

“To not be able to protect other students, coworkers and myself, you know. You feel defeated,” said Moore.

Mar 31, 2019, (UK) Schools Week: These children need more than a system of escalating consequences 


Tens of thousands of children arrive in school with essential building blocks of their development missing. Before they learn their first letters, there is a gulf of disadvantage between them and their securely-attached, school-ready peers.

In the classroom we might see speech and language delay, physical delay, hyper-vigilance, poor impulse control, sensory processing difficulties, and a tendency to jump to flight-fight-freeze responses at the slightest provocation. …

Mar 31, 2019, Middletown (NY) Record: Little Britain Elementary School introduces flexible seating initiative 

Little Britain Elementary School recently introduced a Flexible Seating Initiative after conducting research on how to support students who struggle with school anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD), and sensory issues.

Mar 26, 2019, (UK) Telegraph: More than one in ten primary school boys is labelled with mental disorder More than one in ten boys at primary school are being labelled as suffering from a mental disorder, amid growing concerns about their classroom behaviour, research suggests.

Mar 22, 2019, San Rafael, CA, Marin Independent Journal: Novato schools OK $1.8 million in budget cuts 

“The costs for special education are up over $750,000 this year,” Hawkins told the board on Tuesday. “This is the largest increase in over 20 years.”…

Mar 21, 2019, Lewiston (ME) Sun Journal: Preliminary Auburn school budget up $2 million over last year

The number of young students with autism is rising. Last year Auburn had to place eight incoming kindergarten students out of district at a cost of $298,383. Of the eight, seven had autism. In the fall of 2018, Auburn placed four incoming kindergarten students with autism at an estimated cost of $260,763. In both years those costs were unanticipated, Grondin said.

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.



Adela Ludeke

In my generation, there were a lot of students who were autistic. They tended to be fat, clumsy, repetitive, and wonky. But I don't know of many older adults who are like that. Some epidemic deniers say that "the rates are rising because autistics are getting together and marrying and having autistic kids". Which I disagree with because many autistics can't even care for themselves, let alone children. This is upsetting, because while the millennials had their own problems, the zoomers have it worse thanks to the epidemic.

Carol Martin

"When a student on the spectrum is present, majority-neurotypical classrooms typically have one certified teacher—many without special-education training—and one or more teacher’s aides, who help students with special needs follow teachers’ directions and complete academic tasks. ASD Nest, meanwhile, places two certified and specially trained teachers in each participating classroom, which allows one of them to provide one-on-one social, emotional, or academic support whenever the need arises, without disrupting the lesson or pulling a student out of the classroom. On top of that, each classroom’s two co-teachers meet weekly with occupational, speech, and physical therapists to discuss each student’s progress and share observations about what’s working and what isn’t.

....Each [ASD] Nest kindergarten class typically includes four students with autism and eight neurotypical students, and Murray maintains that the Nest approach benefits all students, not just those with developmental disorders. 'Learning how to perceive the intentions and feelings of others and manage your own emotions is good for all students, not just autistic children,' she said."


So the classroom has a total of 12 students, a third of whom have autism and who, the article indicates, may be violent, prone to tantrums, disruptive, or just slow. There are two certified teachers for just twelve students. These two teachers meet weekly with occupational, speech and physical therapists to discuss each student. (Just the ASD students, presumably.) The article suggests that this is the model classroom and teaching structure for the future. If your child has been lucky enough to escape significant brain damage, you can be sure that he or she isn't going to be learning much, but you are going to be paying through the nose for it.

The article implies that classrooms were the same kind of maelstrom in the 70s, but back then you'd just get punched if you didn't understand something. Autism, they say, is a good thing because Greta Thunberg.

Barry Stern

Thanks to poorly thought through public health policies, the U.S. population has become the most medicated, vaccinated, wireless connected, overfed and fattest on earth, and one of the least fit. We consume most of the world’s barbiturates, anti-depressants and other drugs both legal and illegal. Kids and young adults are so engaged in social media that they get little exercise and have difficulty focusing their attention as well as relating and empathizing with others.

Despite accumulating evidence that health is endangered by over-exposure to vaccines and their toxic aluminum adjuvants and mercury-derived preservatives, the medical profession continues to stand by the continually increasing number of vaccines it recommends for children, soldiers, foreign aid workers and immigrants. Thanks to Pharma’s heavy lobbying this expanded out-of-control vaccine schedule has never been proven safe. If vaccination promoted health, we wouldn't have the sickest children of any American generation since World War II and of any industrialized country today. More than half of our high school graduates do not have sufficient mental or physical capacity to enter the military. Children from countries with far less resources are healthier and more fit than most of ours.

The elderly and even our prime age workers also suffer from our government’s anti-health policies. If our full medicine cabinets on top of our highest-in-the-world consumption of vaccines promoted health, as well as our obliviousness to the dangers of overexposure to electro-magnetic radiation, the U.S. wouldn’t be leading the world in the incidence of chronic diseases such as obesity, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, addiction to pain-relieving drugs and cognition problems.

Our military and economic security requires vastly improved governmental policies and personal lifestyles to get healthier and reduce the rate of increasing healthcare costs. The issue is greater than which health insurance system we should choose. Over the remainder of this presidential term and the next, the federal government has to get this right. In order to arrive at national consensus, government must get to root causes of why healthcare has become so costly yet ineffective. Somehow, Congress must allow the intellectually honest scientists to testify while minimizing the influence of lobbyists and their campaign contributions.


This is the true crisis of our age. You can bet your last dime that the mainstream media will not ask the hard questions-such as why is this happening all over the world.

“Trauma from home “ is always touted as the magical explanation.

Poverty and trauma were worse in the past. In my grandparents’ day children were routinely beaten. Many did not have enough to eat. Yet they managed to attend school and absorb a very challenging curriculum without the need of sensory rooms or therapy dogs.

Laura Hayes

I sent Anne's disturbing, yet important and needed, article to my email group, along with this commentary:

Does this sound Normal? Desirable? Sustainable?

Should it be Ignored? Dismissed? Accepted?

Do people really believe what "the experts" want us to believe...that it is ACEs (Adverse Childhood Events, i.e. bad parenting) to blame...and not the poisoning/destruction of our children, their childhoods, and their futures via vaccination, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, toxic food, toxic water, and toxic air?

Is today's school a safe place to be? Is it where you want your child? Would you want your child becoming a teacher?

Questions we need to be asking ourselves, because this "new norm" ISN'T NORMAL AT ALL!

Jeanne J

No words. But, an analogy. If you have seen the movie "The Matrix", it is like everyone is going along like all is well, while the life force of our children is slowly being sucked out of them, and only a select few, who have been unhooked from the matrix, actually can see the danger. What are all of the alphabet soup agencies (CDC, NIH, AAP,... MOUSE) going to come up with now that they changed the criteria for autism in the DSM 5 and it still hasn't FIXED the numbers.

Shelley Tzorfas

Regarding NJ, The reason they show a higher rate of Autism is because they are the only place that requires it to be Reported. This number of 1 in 32-1 in35 depending on what NJ Newspaper or source you see reflects the true Autism numbers in America. CDC needs to dust off their script.

A shout out to Gary Ogden who said, "The newspaper folks in Colorado have a breathtaking lack of the mathematical skills any fifth-grader would have mastered by this time of year. From 17 to 7805 diagnoses, with a 49% increase in school population, works out to about a 30,600% increase, not a 400% increase. Thanks, Anne. Your words are well chosen. It is collapsing all around us. And in Colorado the legislators are only too happy to make it worse."

Dear Anne. Your materials need to be collated and printed into a small booklet so that when folks fight the senators, mayors, congressman, we can show them the booklets and show what co$t there is to the education system, health and others due to forced injections of aluminum, fetal cell DNA, animal and insect cells, deadly Peanut oils and more. I perceive this book to be easy to throw in a handbag or fanny pack, and about as high as your hand or their handout...

Posted by: Gary Ogden | April 23, 2019 at 08:59 AM

Beleaguered Autism Mom

If you live in California, please comment on SB 276 which will eliminate medical exemptions for California school children. https://legiscan.com/CA/votes/SB276/2019


My daughter's kindergarten teacher said that in the early aughts one of her kindergarteners attacked her and tried to strangle her. He was removed from school and returned when medicated.

My daughter's class had three autistic kids in it who were assisted by an aide. They were entirely non-violent and non-disruptive, though one would collapse on the floor with any change in routine, Often in the school library I would see a boy with a "mercury rising" gaze who paced continually, moaning and drooling. (Heartbreaking to see.)

Of course, peanut products were severely monitored and epipens were standard issue.

Very different from my experience of elementary school.

susan welch

I have no words, either, Anne, except to thank you for collating this really important information. I have forwarded this article, in a Tweet, to the BBC, Dept. for Education and Department of Health in UK, with the statement 'no-one is asking Why'.

It is such a huge 'elephant in the room' that surely cannot be ignored for ever. They can lie about health, they can call regression after vaccination a 'coincidence', but they cannot deny the cost, both emotionally and financially, that is happening in our schools.

Maybe it will be this crisis that finally breaks the silence/lies.

Gary Ogden

The newspaper folks in Colorado have a breathtaking lack of the mathematical skills any fifth-grader would have mastered by this time of year. From 17 to 7805 diagnoses, with a 49% increase in school population, works out to about a 30,600% increase, not a 400% increase. Thanks, Anne. Your words are well chosen. It is collapsing all around us. And in Colorado the legislators are only too happy to make it worse.

Hans Litten

Its been so tough for you Mindy ! hasn't it ?


'I remember some days that were so incredibly hard': Melinda Gates reveals how she and tech billionaire Bill have kept their marriage alive

Bob Moffit

Regarding New Jersey's 1 in 35 having autism:

"Michelle Perez believes that number is in part due to early detection and awareness in New Jersey."

"Early detection and awareness" does nothing to explain WHY .. in other words WHAT HAS AND CONTINUE TO CAUSE THE RISE IN AUTISM .. Perez simply saying authorities are better at "detecting" and more "aware" of the problem has not .. nor will not .. ever solve the problem.

The vexing problem of early child development is widespread and increasing .. and as Anne shows .. in article after article … year after year .. the problem is worldwide but it is especially troubling here in the USA .. where the problem is not recognized nor met with the same public health, political, media HYSTERIA given a few hundred cases of MEASLES. Consider .. in 1980 or so .. 12% of children suffered some type of neurological/physical development disorder .. today that number is 54% .. and the Mike Perez's of our country calmly say .. nothing to worry about here .. we are just better at detecting and more aware of the children's deteriorating health.

While everyone is greatly concerned the 'herd' be protected from MEASLES .. no one gives a damn the entire 'herd" is .. for some MYSTERIOUS INEXPLICABLE REASON .. is struggling every DAY just to live their life as normal children their age have done since the beginning of time.

There is no other word for it but … MADDNESS.

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