Feb 7, 2018, (Canada) Edmonton, Alberta, U of Alberta, The Gateway: Support autistic kids in Edmonton https://www.thegatewayonline.ca/2018/02/support-autistic-kids-edmonton/ … In recent years, the number of kids with autism attending school here in Edmonton has risen drastically. Since 2004, the number of autistic kids has gone up over six and a half times and while the district has also grown by 23 per cent, this increase was unexpected. As a result the challenges that schools here in Edmonton are being faced with when addressing the needs of autistic kids has been brought to light. Moreover, this increase has demonstrated how when schools fail to meet these children’s needs they and their families are negatively affected. … The problem is that despite school plans, many parents and their children feel they don’t have proper support. As Amanda Drier — whose daughter Shyann is autistic — puts it this can lead to autistic kids being “looked at like they’re bad kids. But they’re not bad kids.” When speaking with the Edmonton Journal last week, Drier raised concerns about her daughters experience at her elementary school which has been met with a variety of different challenges such as aids who have not been properly trained, restricted access to sensory rooms, and a general lack of knowledge by the school on how to provide aid for her daughter. Drier is not the only parent who shares these concerns, … Overall autistic kids and their families face challenges here in Edmonton. The only way to address this problem is for schools to offer the proper programming. Of course no one is suggesting that teachers and their schools care less about their autistic students, but what needs to be recognized and addressed quickly here in Edmonton is that schools have shortcomings and that these shortcomings can be addressed — in part — by reeducating staff, and getting the proper infrastructure that their autistic students need to achieve their goals.
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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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