Note: We're grateful to Anne Dachel for sharing these stories with our AoA readers weekly. While they may seem repetitive, they are indicative of the scope of the problem the autism epidemic continues to present. Every story represents families in turmoil, school districts in a quandary and nations in trouble.
By Anne Dachel
There’s more autism; there are more schools, especially in the U.K., to accommodate affected kids. Costs are steep, but people are accepting and in denial about anything being seriously wrong. I have been cataloguing these stories for years at my site Loss of Brain Trust.
Here are examples I found last week.
The MP from Ellesmere Port, England local MP recognizes that there’s a “huge demand” for special education, and his solution is, of course, more funding.
Part of the challenge is the huge demand placed on stretched local authorities and schools; one in six children in England have a special educational need or disability which is the equivalent of five in every class. A lack of specialist help is also a huge issue with children are stuck on waiting lists for many months before they can access support from occupational therapy to speech and language assistance...
More generally, I support calls for a National Excellence Programme to include plans to recruit more than 6,500 new teachers…
In Scotland there’s a 3 year wait for an autism assessment.
In Ireland a 4 year old has an 18 month wait for autism services.
Denbighshire, England is moving closer to building an autism school for 220 students. There is “a growing need” and former schools are ‘full to the brim.’
Dorset, England autism diagnosis center opens to help with current 3 year rate for assessments.
Minnesota: Recently proposed special education bill will help with “budgetary holes” caused by soaring costs.
Sponsored by Rep. Heather Edelson (DFL-Edina), HF3963 would create a new category of special education aid, called “high-cost services aid,” to provide additional special education funding for school districts that serve students whose total special education costs are more than three times the $19,644 statewide average special education costs per student. …
Heidi Nistler, director of special education for the Sherburne and Northern Wright Special Education Cooperative, said creating a program for one student can sometimes cost $200,000 to take care of medical and safety issues involved. Being responsible for about half of those high-service costs hinders the district’s ability to meet the needs of other special education students, she said.
South Bend, IN: Autism center celebrating “Autism Acceptance Month.”
“We still have these increasing stats of kids getting diagnosed. The most recent one is 1 in 44 kids is diagnosed with Autism, and one of the big pushes at Lighthouse is really getting kids diagnosed earlier,” said C.O.O. Leila Allen.
A piece from New Jersey proposes that their rate of one in 35 is really just better diagnosing.
These numbers ask why the Garden State is a desirable place to live for children with autism and their families. Is it possible that educators and doctors in other states are not as keenly able to name autism when it manifests in youth?
Oklahoma: An autism provider in OK and 11 other states plans on hiring more than 4,000 new employees and adding 40 new locations. This is to “meet growing need.”
In New Hampshire the general school population is going down, but not the special ed numbers.
There are more stories posted, but they merely cover the steady decline amid passive acceptance.