Sept 27, 2018, Boston Globe: Making sure Boston students come to school ready to learn https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/09/27/making-sure-boston-students-come-school-ready-learn/dkOg7OIHsHHo20ntTVl8iL/story.html …Students’ social and emotional wellness challenges are complex, but there are some simple things we can do to make substantial changes in their lives. First, we need a full-time nurse for every school. We are one of the only school systems in Massachusetts that does not meet this benchmark, and it has serious consequences. It is not hard to imagine two emergencies — for instance, an asthma attack during gym class at one building, and a student who is contemplating harming him or herself in another. While many may still see nurses as Band-Aid dispensaries, they are in fact leaders on the front lines of protecting our students’ welfare. That’s why we also need adequate resources for psychologists, social workers, and other staff who support students’ social and emotional needs. Together, these teams can identify student issues, work with families, and connect them to appropriate community resources when necessary.
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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