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.
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. John Stone, 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
Aug 3, 2019
2 min read
California: Legislature ok's $50M for in-school mental health services for students
The Mental Health Student Services Act, established through budget legislation this year, launches a grant program where county behavioral health departments — largely responsible for publicly funded mental health care — can partner with local schools to create campus-based mental health services. The goal is to reach students before mental illness becomes severe and disabling, preventing suicide, dropouts, homelessness and suffering.
The act builds on a common trend among California lawmakers, who have sought over the last three years to migrate the role of mental health care from the clinic to the classroom. Services provided on campus could serve as the first line of defense, with the potential to detect mental health conditions long before they worsen. Studies have found that close to half of all mental health conditions start by age 14, rising to three-fourths by age 24.
Santa Clara County Superintendent Mary Ann Dewan said she is prepared to pursue the funding. The shift toward school-based mental health has been driven by school leaders and school board members who understand the increasing need for student services, she said. A child's wellness affects how well they perform in school, she said, and many schools have already launched in-house mental health initiatives. …
… There were many conversations with teachers, said Ewing, who urged the state to support more mental health care in schools. …
It may seem unusual for school districts to lead the way on health care services better suited for a clinic, but Ewing said there's been increasing recognition from a broad range of school staff — from teachers to principals to superintendents — that schools have a role to play in mental health. California schools have long provided mental health care in a limited capacity through special education funding, but the growing consensus is that it's not enough.
"Often times there are kids who would benefit from and need mental health services where special education is not the right strategy," he said.
National studies have found that about one in five children have a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder, but only about 20% of those children actually receive care from a mental health provider. The delay in receiving treatment often spans six to eight years for mood disorders and nine to 23 years for anxiety disorders, with longer delays for males, minorities and lower-educated patients….
When asked whether the added responsibility of providing mental health care could become a burden on public schools, Dewan said she believes schools can balance mental and behavioral services on top of academics — so long as they receive adequate funding and trained, qualified staff. The real and immediate problem is that kids aren't getting the health care they need to be successful.
"The risk that we see now is that children in our schools need support, and the lack of support is impacting their educational progress," she said.