Levi Quackenboss: Seven Silver Linings of the Pandemic
Covidian April 11, 2020

Government Has Never Even Tried to Flatten the Autism Curve

Abadnonned schoolNote: Anne has been compiling thousands upon thousands of stories about the catastrophic rise in pediatric illnesses that have both hobbled and stymied schools around the world. It's clear that we CAN respond to emergencies on a dime. The world has come to a crashing halt because of COVID. Not so for autism. The rates have increased like the red line on a thermometer, up, up, up and then what?

Distance learning for students with special needs is a huge challenge. My daughter's team is doing a great job of Zoom calls and work to complete here at home.  I really appreciate their efforts. Still, it doesn't come to close to what she needs. I've wondered if the shut downs will be beneficial for budgets? Surely there are savings for districts if only in building operating costs.

By Anne Dachel

Loss of Brain Trust: March stories https://www.lossofbraintrust.com/

The COVID19 pandemic has been the sole focus of news outlets over the past couple weeks, yet previous to this happening media coverage of the dire situation in our schools was nonstop throughout March both here in the U.S. and in other places.

A pandemic of sick and disabled children continues with no significant interest on the part of national leaders or public health officials. “Increasing demand” is something repeated over and over in so many of these stories.

More and more children who cannot learn or behave without massive and costly accommodations are the subject of endless news reports. Sadly, the public is being schooled to accept the decline of education and children’s health, no questions asked.


Palmdale, CA, AVPress.com: Breathmobile can rescue students “Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger unveiled the Breathmobile — a new mobile clinic that will visit Antelope Valley schools to treat youngsters with asthma and allergies — at a Friday afternoon ceremony at Dos Caminos Dual Immersion School. …

“‘This truly is a very exciting day for this community. This is something that we have been working on for quite a while,’ Barger said at the ceremony, attended by children, parents, Palmdale School District trustees, administrators, county officials and other community leaders.

“There is a huge need in the Antelope Valley for the Breathmobile, the supervisor said.

“‘The statistics prove it,’ Barger said. ‘Our Los Angeles County Department of Health Services confirmed that 14.2% of children have asthma in the Antelope Valley and don’t have access to services. That is far too many of our youth — from infants to teenagers — who are suffering.’ …

Palmdale School District trustee Nancy Smith toured the Breathmobile prior to the ceremony.

“‘I think it’s wonderful that we’re going to have access for this for our kids,’ Smith said.”

WLKY-TV, Louisville, KY: JCPS opening health clinics in 2 of its high schools “Two Jefferson County Public Schools schools are getting their very own health clinics.

“They're still under construction, but in just a few weeks, students at Central High and Pleasure Ridge Park will be able to see a doctor while they're at school.

"‘We're wanting to make sure that these students are ready to learn, that they're in the classrooms, they're here, they're healthy. So, this is a great resource for us to have,’ said Blaire Adams, JCPS nurse practitioner….

"‘We have nurse practitioners and nurses in the school building to treat those and be able to do the school physicals, immunizations, sports physicals to make sure that they can have access to all that health care,’ said Adams….

"‘Our partnerships with Shawnee Christian Care with Park Duvalle and with Norton, it's really to expand and access the services that the students have. So if their asthma is poorly controlled or diabetes is not well managed, those all impact their ability to attend school and learn well,’ said Eva Stone, manager of district health services.

“According to Stone, about 10% of students at Central suffer from a chronic illness such as diabetes or asthma. School leaders say they are excited about the addition, describing it as critical.”


Chicago Daily Herald: Constable: Teachers say ban on 'timeout rooms' one reason injuries increased

“A special-education teacher for 24 years, Kerry Doctor knows there can be dangerous moments working in a classroom with adult-size people who have behavioral issues.

But Doctor says a change in the school's enrollment and the state's recent crackdown on use of locked timeout rooms designed to alleviate tense situations have increased the risk for injury this year.

"‘I'm not so naive to believe that I won't get some bumps and bruises working with my kids," Doctor says. "I've gotten bit. I've gotten kicked. I've gotten scratched.’

“But what happened to the 49-year-old teacher on Dec. 16 during an incident with a student at Kirk School in Palatine still has her recuperating at home in Arlington Heights, waiting for her concussion symptoms to stop and her confidence to return. …

 “While Kirk staff members had no days missed due to injuries in January 2019 and 32 missed days in January 2020, most of that is the result of Doctor's concussion. The number of staff members treated by a Kirk nurse increased from two in November 2018 to 10 in November 2019, a number that could also reflect a change in student population at Kirk….

 “Doctor says, ‘I'm not exaggerating when I say it's only a matter of time before someone dies.’

“While it wouldn't have prevented her concussion, Doctor says the state's prohibition against timeout rooms took away a valuable safety tool….

"‘We want flexibility. We want training. We want support,’ says Hackett, who was in Springfield last week educating legislators about the complexity of students. ‘We feel very good about the work we're doing.’”


Disability Scoop: Ed Department Records Steep Rise In Students With Autism “The percentage of American schoolchildren receiving special education services as a result of an autism diagnosis doubled over 10 years.

“New data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that 10.51 percent of all students with disabilities ages 6 to 21 in 2018 were identified as having autism. Just a decade earlier, that figure was at 4.97 percent.”

Show Low (AZ) Independent: State schools chief pleads with lawmakers for special education

“Arizona Superintendent of Education Kathy Hoffman last week appealed to the state legislature to make up a chronic, $100-million shortfall in the money the state provides for special education students….

“The percentage of special education students has remained relatively stable at about 12 percent since 2013, but the increasing severity of the disabilities has driven an increase in costs, according to an analysis by Anabel Aportela, director of research for the Arizona School Boards Association.

“The percentage of students with multiple disabilities like autism and severe intellectual disability rose 33 percent between 2013 and 2016.”

(UK) Schools Week: Time for an alternative perception of alternative provision

“DR SAM PARRETT OBE CEO, London & South East Education Group A dramatic rise in pupils being diagnosed with special educational needs means many schools are facing significant challenges.

“We have to rethink our systems and assumptions accordingly, writes Sam Parrett London South East Academies Trust consists of seven schools, only one of which is mainstream. The others – two alternative provision (AP) academies and four special schools – look after children whose needs can’t be met in the mainstream system at particular points in time. Young people between the ages of five and 18 arrive at our schools for a wide range of reasons. For some, it’s the culmination of various difficult behaviours. …”

Laboratory Equipment: Autism Rates Declining Among Wealthy Whites, Escalating Among Poor, Minorities

“Wealthy, white California counties—once considered the nation's hotbeds for autism spectrum disorder (ASD)—have seen prevalence flatten or fall in the last two decades, while rates among poor whites and minorities keep ticking up, new CU Boulder research has found.

“The study, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, raises the possibility that parents in wealthier counties are successfully reducing environmental exposures that may contribute to autism risk, or taking other steps to curb its severity early on….

"‘While autism was once considered a condition that occurs mainly among whites of high socioeconomic status, these data suggest that the brunt of severe autism is now increasingly being borne by low-income families and ethnic minorities,’ said lead author Cynthia Nevison, an atmospheric research scientist with the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, who also studies environmental health.”

New Jersey101.5: New Jersey’s autism rate at 1 in 32 — highest in the country “Nationwide, the rate of children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder is one in 54, according to a new federal report.

“In New Jersey, the rate is one in 32, still the highest rate in the country. For the eighth consecutive year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found autism prevalence increased in the U.S., and the rates are at their highest nationally and in the Garden State, as of 2016. In a 2012 report, of children in 2008, New Jersey's rate was recorded at one in 49.

"‘Changes in awareness and shifts in how children are identified or diagnosed are relevant, but they only take you so far in accounting for an increase of this magnitude,’ said Walter Zahorodny, an associate professor of pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and leader of the New Jersey Autism Study.”


(UK) Barking and Dagenham Post: Town Hall chiefs agree to sell former Dagenham depot to make way for new special school The council has agreed to sell its old depot to make way for a new special school…. Cllr Dominic Twomey, presenting the idea to cabinet chiefs, said: “This is a win, win.”…

The site is due to be developed into a special school for pupils with severe learning difficulties and autism….

Cllr Twomey explained that there are “fantastic” special schools in the borough, including Trinity in Dagenham and Riverside Bridge in Barking, but demand for places for children with special educational needs and disabilities is growing.

Seattle Times: (Editorial) Fully funding special education remains a work in progress

“Special education is basic education — the constitutional right of every student in Washington. Yet despite recent progress, state lawmakers still fail to fully fund programs and services for students with special needs.

“This session, the Legislature appears poised to take one more small step toward meeting its legal and moral obligation to some of the state’s most vulnerable students. SB 6117, filed at the request of the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, would increase special education funding for students spending 80% or more of their school day in a general classroom. …

“It was unanimously approved by the Senate. SB 6117 builds on recent increases to allocate an additional $12.5 million in special education funding. In an interview, Julia Warth, director of policy and research for the League of Education Voters, called it “an important step.”

“But the increase would not close a $71 million funding gap for the 2020-21 school year — let alone cover projected future needs. The bill does not remove the artificial and arbitrary cap that limits state special education funding to 13.5% of a school district’s student population — regardless of how many students qualify.”

(UK) Hunts Post: Councils proposal to transfer special educational needs funding rejected by government

“The council had previously asked the government to approve a 1.8 per cent transfer out of the county’s ‘schools block’ budget.

“Cuts in support for Cambridgeshire students with special educational needs and disabilities are expected this year as the sector faces a £6.6 million [$8.5M US] shortfall.

“Cambridgeshire County Council's latest and last effort to shift more education funding to its ‘high needs’ budget for the year failed on Tuesday (February 25).

“ The council had previously asked the government to approve a 1.8 per cent transfer out of the county's ‘schools block’ budget - a government grant directly for primary and secondary schools - to the "high needs block" budget, which supports a range of special education needs and disability (SEND) programmes and support, including special schools, as well as behavioural support.

“When the government blocked the 1.8 per cent transfer, the council then attempted to pass a 0.5 per cent transfer, which is the most it can move between its ring-fenced grants without government approval - but the Schools Forum rejected that proposal on Tuesday. …

"‘These special needs children are everyone's children. Our strategy in SEND is everyone's business,’ she said. ‘We can't end up in a system where we only support the most able children - but we are starting to get into that’. …

“Despite the discussion on cuts and changes to services, funding for the county's schools is due to rise this year. The total schools grant from government to Cambridgeshire will be £368.2million, up 6.7 per cent compared with 2019/20, the latest council figures show.

 “Funding for pupils with SEND has also increased, by around nine per cent, to £75million.

“But the council says demand is increasing faster, and the sector has overspent for several years, leaving a deficit.

“Mr Lewis told the Schools Forum: ‘We are still seeing a huge amount of increase in requests for Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) coming through. We are running at three times the level we were 12 months ago for requests’.”

Lebanon (TN) Democrat: Edison School targets fall opening in Wilson County

“Parents struggling to find educational support for children with autism, ADHD and more may have a new option this fall in the Edison School….

“The Edison School has a sensory room to help students who are feeling overwhelmed, and the children can even sit on beanbag chairs and sensory balls in the classroom.”

(UK) NI Belfast Live: Special Educational Needs assessments under Stormont spotlight over big delays

“Children waiting to be assessed for special educational needs help have been kept waiting as long as two years, a Stormont committee heard today.

“Under scrutiny from the Assembly's Education Committee senior managers at the Education Authority admitted delays being faced by hundreds of children are ‘unacceptable’ and have ‘caused distress’.

School kids are supposed to be 'statemented' within 26 weeks, thereby paving the way for additional support to be provided to the children and staff teaching them. But at one stage more than 1,000 young people had been waiting longer, with EA bosses today admitting some had gone "more than 100 weeks" without being assessed.

“The figure is now down to 676, however the authority was unable to give an estimate to MLAs as to when it will be reduced to zero. There are currently 22,000 children in Northern Ireland who are 'statemented'.

“Asked how many children have been waiting longer than 100 weeks, the EA told Belfast Live it was 20.

“EA Chief Executive Sara Long, who was appointed to the post late last year, told the committee the body's ‘immediate priority’ is to deal with children who have been waiting the longest. However, she warned that to "address the backlog" in the immediate future they ‘will require additional funding’.”

(UK) Docklands & East London Advertiser: Protest parents deliver £12m [$16M U.S.] invoice to Downing Street for special education needs

“Parents and schools across the East End have handed in an ‘invoice’ for £12 million [$16M US] to 10 Downing Street calling on the Prime Minister to fill the funding gap in special educational needs.

“They delivered their 'invoice' on Friday after a protest march from Parliament Square, signed by hundreds of parents and Tower Hamlets school staff.

“It follows a long campaign by Tower Hamlets Council and the National Educational Union for Whitehall funding to catch up with rising costs and rapidly rising demand for special needs services which is leaving local authorities to pick up the bill.

“Tower Hamlets received £49m from the government last year for special needs education — but it cost another £7m to keep the services going.

“The gap is forecast to reach £12m by 2022, the East London Advertiser has learned. …

“Demand for special educational needs has risen in the East End by 43 per cent in the past four years, yet the funding only increased by 5pc, according to the teachers' union.

“This has left a £7m shortfall, which increase to £12m in the next two years.

“The union's district secretary Alex Kenny said: ‘We have so many children out of school because lack of funding means that specialist support can't be provided.’”

(UK) Buckinghamshire,MKFM-Radio: School’s expansion planned as number of special needs pupils grows in Milton Keynes

“A council consultation has started on proposals to add two classrooms to a Milton Keynes school as the borough faces running out of room for a rising number of children with special needs.

“Milton Keynes Council is spending £3.2million in a three-pronged strategy to both increase the number of children included in mainstream schools, and on refocusing specialist provision. …

“Romans Field School is currently oversubscribed, with 57 pupils on the roll despite only having 50 official places, the council says.

“Now the council, in a consultation lasting until May 9, wants to expand this number of places by 16 to 66.

“The school is concentrating on children with social emotional and mental health needs and complex needs including autism….

“‘There is a high demand for special school places across Milton Keynes, with a number of special schools in Milton Keynes already at capacity or oversubscribed,’ says Caroline Marriott, the council’s head of special educational needs and disabilities.”

Charleston (WV) Daily Mail: Susan Johnson: Dearth of autism services leads mother to open nonprofit

“Last week, the Daily Mail WV reported on yet another bill in the West Virginia legislature that is already having the effect of driving young families to other states. House Bill 4723 would have placed applied behavior analysts into the West Virginia student loan forgiveness program.

“An estimated 6,000 children are affected by autism in our state. This bill would have attracted the kind of professionals children like Ben Isaiah need.”

Orlando (FL) Business Journal: Academy chalks up local expansion plans

A Melbourne-based firm that provides services for children and teens with conditions like autism and attention deficit disorder plans to expand in Central Florida. Puzzle Box Academy's executive team is targeting up to 10 locations in Osceola County to open in the next 12 to 18 months, CEO Pamela Furr told Orlando Business Journal.

The company is considering locations near public elementary schools or with access to buses. The company's existing locations offer services ranging from school to after-school programs for pre-kindergarten up through 12th grade. …

Dozens of new jobs to be created

As part of that push, the company expects to hire and train more than 100 employees, Furr said. Those positions will include behavioralists, registered behavioral technicians and administration staff….

Puzzle Box's expansion comes as related company Puzzle Box Academy of Orlando Holding LLC received more than $5.5 million in funding as part of an equity deal with an undisclosed party on March 2, according to documents submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Continued expansion Puzzle Box is not the only local autism service provider in expansion mode.

For example, Lake Mary-based Florida Autism Center LLC added 16 new therapy centers in 2019 to total 50 at the end of last year. That's up from only five centers roughly four years ago. The company grew its revenue from $4 million in 2016 to $40 million in 2019….

(UK) BuzzFeedNews: These Heartbreaking Accounts Show How Families Are Being Pushed To Breaking Point By A Failed System For Kids With Special Needs

“To launch a major ongoing reporting project, BuzzFeed News spoke to more than 20 parents who revealed the stark human cost of an ambitious Conservative education reform that's gone disastrously wrong….

“In the East Midlands, Kathy Trent (not her real name) is in the midst of her latest dispute with a local authority she claims has badly failed her two autistic sons. Years of battling an unsympathetic bureaucracy has left her mentally exhausted, in chronic pain, and profoundly disillusioned about the way society treats its most vulnerable children. ‘I feel like a war veteran,’ she says.

“In Nottingham, Buffy Iles logs into a government website to check whether any council-owned houses have become available in her area this week. For ten months, she’s been bidding for a place in social housing so that her three autistic teenage sons have a secure place to live. But on this day, again, there’s nothing for them. Only one property matches Iles’s criteria and she’s 30th in the queue. She’s growing increasingly despondent.

“‘I feel I’ve failed my kids,’ Iles says. ‘I’ve struggled with every part of the system, health, education, and it’s broken me as my kids don’t have the future they deserve. Did I do the right things at the right times? Hard to live with that now.’

“Across England, thousands of parents like these are despairing about the future of their children with complex special needs and disabilities (SEND).”

(UK) Liverpool Echo: Parents in battle with council over children with special needs missing years of school

“Families with children with special needs have faced hefty legal bills to fight Liverpool Council for support they are entitled to. Children with special needs are missing years of school and Liverpool families in have been driven into debt - due to legal battles with the council over their children's education.”

(UK) Guardian: New budget rules for councils may hit special needs school spending

Campaigners have raised fears that children with special needs, such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, could lose out from new government rules that will prevent councils from subsidising education spending from other parts of their budgets.

 The failure of government funding to match growing demand has led many councils to overspend on their education budgets and raid their reserves, with the situation particularly acute in special-needs education.

 From next month councils will no longer be able to reduce education budget deficits by taking money from other areas of spending. Instead they will have to clear their education overspending with money from within their education budgets, unless they get special permission from the government.

…If school budget overspends have to be carried over to future years we could see more early years funding diverted to plug these gaps….

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We are increasing high-needs funding for local authorities by £780m [$1B US] next year.


“A headteacher has spoken of the struggle of catering for the special education needs and disabilities (SEND) of children in mainstream schools.

“Executive headteacher of Oakfield CE Primary School, Colin Haley, spoke following the school’s latest Ofsted inspection.

“He said SEND provision across the Island, not just Oakfield, is a ‘challenge’ after inspectors found the school’s curriculum was ‘not consistently well-planned’ for SEND pupils and the ‘pupils did not do as well as they could’. …

“Mr Haley said: ‘Our mainstream Island schools are having to cope with pupils who, in many instances, would benefit from specialist provision or additional support within their education setting.

“‘The inspectors witnessed us working with a number of high needs pupils and they saw that the mainstream setting, and the associated training levels of staff, does not provide as well as a specialist setting would for these individuals.’”

 (UK) Shropshire Star: More than 600 children home schooled in Shropshire

 “More than 600 children were home schooled in Shropshire last year, new figures have revealed. The Association of School and College Leaders says it is concerned by a national rise in the number of home-educated children, and that young people are better off at school.

“Data from the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) shows that 648 children were home schooled in Shropshire during 2018/19 – a rise of 23 on the year before. …

“Across England as a whole, a 15 per cent rise over the period meant more than 60,500 children were registered as home-schooled in March last year. The OSA, which works with the Department for Education (DfE) on school admissions, said in its annual report that the figure was likely to be higher in reality, as parents do not have to register their children as home educated.”

“‘Schools have had to make significant budget cuts, which have affected the extent of the support that they are able to provide to children with additional needs, and this may have led to unhappiness among some families.’”

(UK) Dunstable Today: Central Beds' SEND failures blasted as 'catastrophic for countless families' at scrutiny meeting

“Failures in Central Bedfordshire’s care of children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) have been "catastrophic for countless families", a parent has said.

“Last month, an inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the performance of CBC and Beds Clinical Commissioning Group to be “ineffective”. Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

“‘Since the SEND action group was set up five weeks ago, more than 550 people have joined and there has been an endless stream of distressing stories.

“‘Parents, carers and schools are facing a constant battle to get the most basic support.’”

Lewiston (ME) Sun Journal: Lewiston school budget linked to goals-Superintendent Todd Finn proposed a $91.04 million spending plan for fiscal year 2021

“The data paint a picture of a struggling school system:…

“1,106 of the district’s 5,211 students receive special education [21% of students].”

(UK) Independent: Schools forced to ask parents for money for classroom resources as funding cuts continue to hit

 “State school headteachers are asking parents to donate money in order to provide vital classroom resources and repair crumbling buildings.

“One school leader is even planning a skydive to raise funds for pupils, while a number of schools across the country are being forced to send children home at lunchtime on Fridays….

“Unions say extra funding is needed to cover the higher pay rises for teachers introduced by the government, as well as provision for a growing number of pupils with special educational needs.”

(UK) Oldham Times: ‘Marvellous’ school for children with autism completed in Saddleworth

 “A SPECIAL school for children with autism that has been hailed as ‘marvellous’ by councillors and funded by a local business has been built in Saddleworth.”

(UK) Chronicle Live: New Sunderland school for autistic youngsters opens to help youngsters 'reach full potential'

 “MP Julie Elliott said the school was a ‘shining example’ of setting the national agenda for the care of autistic people A new school for autistic children has opened its doors in Sunderland to help pupils ‘reach their full potential.’…

“Thornhill Park, which caters to young people between the ages of four-19, currently has 45 young people but now have the facilities to take on more pupils.”


Newark (NJ) Advocate: (OPINION) Managing depression and anxiety in children

There’s much conversation about mental health in children and youth these days. At Welsh Hills School, local pediatrician Dr. William Knobelach recently spoke about depression and anxiety in school aged children to a standing room only crowd at a parent education event. The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES), which looks at the impact of childhood trauma on health and well-being later in life, frequently comes up in talks about mental health and addiction. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s new Student Wellness and Success plan allocates funds statewide to school districts to provide services that students need to thrive, both in and out of school.

Dr. Knobelach shared we are experiencing a mental health crisis, as the rates of occurrence are increasing while the number of providers of mental health services are decreasing….

Santa Clarita (CA) Signal: Wellness centers open at two junior highs

“Ribbons were cut in celebration of opening two wellness centers within the William S. Hart Union High School District Thursday.

 “The wellness centers, named “the relaxation room” at Rancho Pico Junior High School and ‘the break room’ at Arroyo Seco Junior High School, officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a tour of the rooms at each campus….

“Yoga instruction and other activities will be available at the relaxation room.

“‘We’re basically taking everything you could be doing in the comfort of your own home and bringing it to school,’ said Kathryn Perez, an eight-grade student and member of Club Thrive, the wellness organization at Rancho Pico. Linda Storli, board president of the Hart District, said it’s been a big project to bring the wellness centers to schools in the district, and describes walking in as ‘an immediate stress-reliever.’”

Fox12, Beaverton, OR: Salem-Keizer Public Schools prioritizing mental health in classrooms to address youth suicide  

“With youth suicides in Oregon climbing at alarming rates, public health officials, lawmakers and schools are starting to prioritize mental health as a cornerstone of public education. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) tracks youth suicides, which it defines as young people between the ages of 10 and 24.

“According to OHA, preliminary state data shows youth suicide increased by 26 percent in 2018. The number of children, teens and young adults taking their own lives has more than doubled in the past decade. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Oregon youth.

“The trend in Oregon follows a national phenomenon: youth suicides across the country increased by 56 percent from 2007 to 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The study, published in October 2019, also found that suicides tripled in the same time frame for children ages 10 to 14…

 “Schools in the district are also expanding employee suicide-prevention training. Now, even bus drivers, cafeteria workers and custodians will know the warning signs to look for in distressed students….

“The Oregon Health Authority wants to see more programs like these in schools across the state, and for the first time, it has the resources to help. Lawmakers recently dedicated $6 million over a two-year period to youth suicide prevention. Baker said the funding will allow OHA to form more partnerships, develop curriculum, and offer grants for training and other suicide-prevention education. …

“This coming fall, school districts statewide will be required to have specific suicide prevention and intervention plans. The law comes from Senate Bill 52, also known as Adi’s Act, that passed in July.”

Rohnert Park (CA) Community Voice: Helping elementary kids focus with a sensory pathThis spring John Reed School in Rohnert Park will be installing a new playscape sensory path, a way to improve young students’ gross motor skills and a way for them to get their wiggles out outside before coming in to focus on class. The path is being made possible by a $4,400 grant from the Rohnert Park Foundation small grants program….

“‘It’s a way to help those kids get out their energy in a productive way and then come in and focus and be ready to learn. It’s also good as a calming technique.

“’Little kids sometimes have difficulty regulating emotions so they can go do that instead, if they need a break or if they’re feeling overwhelmed or angry. It’s a great way for them to have a break as well and come back ready.’”

South Lyon, MI, Hometown Life: A happy tail: Olive the black lab will be first dog owned by South Lyon Schools

 “Students in South Lyon are getting a furry classmate. Olive, a 7-month-old black Labrador, is expected to join students at South Lyon East High School this fall, an unconventional addition to enhance the educational environment. ….

“‘I believe we have so many students that deal with anxiety and depression and we’re excited to offer support that is not as conventional,’ Katey White, a guidance counselor at South Lyon East, said. ‘For some students, I see this as a tool to help them get through the door every morning. Just having an animal to touch and is soothing can help a mood. …

“White first brought the idea for a therapy dog for South Lyon to East Principal Karen Fisher after reading and researching about the dogs owned by the Brighton school district. The dogs are not actually “therapy” dogs, but even more specialized and properly known as social-emotional learning dogs.

“Brighton was the first district in Michigan to put such dogs in every one of its school buildings….

“Olive, who comes with a price tag of $10,000 after training is completed, is paid for not from the school budget, but by donations…

“‘I think this will make a difference in a student wanting to go to school and being more comfortable at school,” she said. “When you bring a dog into school, the whole dynamic changes, the atmosphere changes, kids are calmer and more excited…

 “‘I think it would be amazing to put a dog in every building, it just depends on their needs,’ Fisher said. ‘Other buildings (staff) have said, ‘If you get this approved, we want to be next.’”

(UK) Essex Live: 'Inadequate' Colchester school has pupils who are 'frequently violent towards staff', says Ofsted

“An infant school in Colchester has been handed an 'inadequate' rating by Ofsted with concerns raised over 'violent' pupils.

“St George's Infant School and Nursery's most recent inspection also found issues over the planning and delivery of the curriculum.

“Inspectors said ‘too many’ pupils with disabilities or special education needs weren't receiving the support they should, and that school attendance was too low….

“The report said: ‘A significant minority of pupils behave in highly inappropriate ways.’”

WSFA12: Alabama lawmakers considering teacher ‘House Bill of Rights’

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would create the teacher House bill of rights that supporters say would help ensure teachers receive respect in the classrooms. …

“Here is the list of the bills of rights:

“A teacher has the right to teach free from the fear of frivolous lawsuits, including the right to qualified immunity and to a legal defense, and to indemnification by his or her employing board of education, for actions taken in the performance of duties of his or her employment.

“A teacher has the right to use appropriate means of discipline up to and including corporal punishment as may be prescribed by the local board of education, and, so long as the teacher follows approved policy in the exercise of his or her responsibility to maintain discipline in the classroom, the teacher shall be immune from civil or criminal liability.

 “A teacher has the right to remove any persistently disruptive student from his or her classroom when the behavior of the student prevents the orderly instruction of other students, or when the student displays impudent or defiant behavior, and to place the student in the custody of the principal or his or her designee.

“A teacher has the right to have his or her professional judgment and discretion respected by school and district administrators in any disciplinary action taken by the teacher in accordance with school and district policy.

“A teacher has the right to teach in a safe, secure, and orderly environment that is conducive to learning and free from recognized dangers or hazards that are causing or likely to cause serious injury. A teacher has the right to be treated with civility and respect.”

(Ireland) Dublin People: Ballybrack school opens a new sensory room

LILY Kane (8) from second class and Charlie Khors (6) from senior infants enjoy the new sensory room at Scoil Cholmcille Junior School, Ballybrack.

The staff of Scoil Cholmcille Junior recognised particular challenges that children face on a day to day basis in school and decided that a sensory room could tackle some of these issues head on.

Broken Bone, NE, Sandhills Express: New study says 8% of children have suicidal thoughts

Eight percent of 9- and 10-year-olds reported suicidal thoughts and 2% reported a suicide attempt, according to a new study of 8,000 children in the U.S., published in Lancet Psychiatry.

Suicide is a major public health concern and the second-leading cause of death in youth after unintentional injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a 30% increase in suicides in the United States in the past decade, with rates increasing in all age groups. The rates of emergency room visits for adolescents and children complaining of suicidal thoughts have also increased over the past years.

The COVID19 pandemic has been the sole focus of news outlets over the past couple weeks, yet previous to this happening media coverage of the dire situation in our schools was nonstop throughout March both here in the U.S. and in other places.

A pandemic of sick and disabled children continues with no significant interest on the part of national leaders or public health officials. “Increasing demand” is something repeated over and over in so many of these stories.

More and more children who cannot learn or behave without massive and costly accommodations are the subject of endless news reports. Sadly, the public is being schooled to accept the decline of education and children’s health, no questions asked.

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.


sabina de sturler

it's NOT the fakedemic doing anything, it's the efforts to install global corporate fascism/totalitarianism. + eugenics.

Aimee Doyle

@Gayle - "we, the families have to keep hoping that someday sometime soon some very dedicated researchers will continue to study possible drugs that will cure our children of this devastating condition that is really an illness of the immune system-neuro immune dysfunction. This can be cured if the right researchers realize this is a disease and not a life long developmental disorder. "

I think we families also need to figure out how to counter the relentless, vocal pressure of the neurodiversity movement, which thinks that autism is a gift or just a difference, not a disability. The neurodiversity movement has been very effective at dominating the political perspective, the media representation, and the scientific approaches to treating autism. Consider the IACC, the Autism Cares Act, and the current movement to rebrand Autism Awareness Month as Autism Acceptance Month.

I personally feel that drugs alone won't be the answer. We'll need biomedical and therapeutic treatment as well. I also want serious research into how to help adolescents and adults. I want prevention, early intervention, and continuing intervention.

Fake Scientists

Perfect Anne, the title says it all.

Barry Stern

Strange how government scientists in this age of Covid-19 continually wax eloquent on TV on the need for independently verified double-blind trials lasting several years to declare “safe” their new vaccines and therapeutic treatments. Yet these same health authorities purposely waived such safety precautions for the majority of vaccines they recommend for our children (after 1986 when the feds passed the law to hold harmless the vaccine manufacturers). And they applaud when states like CA, NY, WV, MS and MD prohibit your children from attending school if they haven’t received CDC’s recommended spectrum of shots. When will the media call out these government scientists for such hypocrisy? When will someone from the White House press corps even ask such a straight forward question at one of the President’s daily briefings on Covid-19? Many readers of this newsletter at least would rate this a “great question”. The question for the general public is whether they can handle the truth when government has lied to them for decades about vaccine safety and efficacy.


The autism rates keep rising year after year with no end in sight and we, the families have to keep hoping that someday sometime soon some very dedicated researchers will continue to study possible drugs that will cure our children of this devastating condition that is really an illness of the immune system-neuro immune dysfunction. This can be cured if the right researchers realize this is a disease and not a life long developmental disorder. Our children can and must be cured and we can not allow all of them to suffer a life time of this illness. They can and must be saved now.

Angus Files

Thanks Anne

Maybe with the discredited WHO Corona figures.SOMEONE will take a look over all the other false claims...relax and lets dream...and correct the Autism Vaccine lies.


The organization said that “vaccine hesitancy” leads to an unnecessary 1.5 million deaths each year

By Julie Mazziotta January 17, 2019 11:48 AM
doctor make vaccinating to patient
There is no scientific link between vaccines and autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The World Health Organization named vaccine hesitancy — the “reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability” — as one of the top threats to global health in 2019.

Each year the World Health Organization, or WHO, publishes a list of the ten biggest threats to world health to set its agenda for the next 12 months. This is the first year that vaccine hesitancy has made the list.

While 2 to 3 million deaths are prevented each year, that number could be much higher, according to WHO.

“A further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved,” the group said.

According to a vaccine advisory group at WHO, “complacency, inconvenience in accessing vaccines and lack of confidence” are the main reasons why people skip vaccination. In the United States, those who skip vaccination for themselves or their children often cite religious reasons, or the incorrect notion that vaccines lead to autism. (The Centers for Disease Control said there is no scientific link between vaccines and autism.)

Pharma For Prison


Bob Moffit

"Wealthy, white California counties—once considered the nation's hotbeds for autism spectrum disorder (ASD)—have seen prevalence flatten or fall in the last two decades, while rates among poor whites and minorities keep ticking up, new CU Boulder research has found.

The study, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, raises the possibility that parents in wealthier counties are successfully reducing environmental exposures that may contribute to autism risk, or taking other steps to curb its severity early on…."

Duh … the obvious question of common sense … what is the vaccine compliance rate in "wealthy, white California counties" … as compared to those counties that have not seen "PREVALENCE FLATTEAN OR FALL IN LAST TWO DECADES"????? Another obvious common sense question … how did parents in wealthier counties successfully reduce ENVIRONMENT EXPOSURES that may contribute to autism risk, or taking other steps to curb its severity early on????

Of course we could easily "rule out" vaccines as the MAIN ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE contributing to autism risk .. which would be that long overdue study of vaccinated v. unvaccinated populations to ascertain once and for all whether the fully vaccinated population is HEALTHIER than the unvaccinated population .. in fact they could just use those "wealthy white community children as the control group … but ,... no they would rather continue their callous DELAY, DENY AND HOPE THEY EVENTUALLY DIE solution … to label that strategy a CRIME would be a crime in itself .. that strategy is deserving of the name HOLOCAUST … and all involved over decades should be judged as harshly and severely as were the original DESPOTS.

Reading through Anne's collection of global problems with the unhealthiest generation in HISTORY … feels like watching Rome burning in front of our eyes and NO ONE CARES ENOUGH TO SCREAM THE CITY IS ON FIRE.

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