July 26, 2019, Connecticut Mirror: Program aims to reduce the suspension of Connecticut’s youngest students https://ctmirror.org/2019/07/26/program-aims-to-reduce-the-suspension-of-connecticuts-youngest-students/ Paisley Galindez was only two but she could handily disrupt a pre-school class, her mom Vatrece Williams-Galindez recalls. “She was screaming, yelling, biting, hitting, scratching, throwing toys, breaking things,” Williams-Galindez said recently. “She had her moments where she would be very aggressive toward the children. We couldn’t figure out what was setting her off.” It’s the kind of behavior that can lead to the suspension or even expulsion of a very small child — a troubling phenomenon that continues despite a 2015 state law that has helped to reduce suspensions of Connecticut’s youngest children, but has far from eliminated them. That law set strict parameters on the use of suspensions for young children. There were 1,943 incidents of young children — pre-school through grade two — suspended in Connecticut in 2017-18, according to state figures. That’s down from 5,000 incidents in 2014-15, but still significant…. The statewide program, which is managed by the non-profit agency Advanced Behavioral Health, was created in 2002, prompted by the high rates of suspension and expulsion of young children. Since then, 42,000 children have been served, according to Advanced Behavioral Health’s figures, both individually and in classrooms served by the partnership. … When Vatrece Williams-Galindez’s daughter, Paisley, was acting up in pre-school, Angelica Thompson, right came in to help through the Early Childhood Consultation Partnership program. Thompson worked with Williams-Galindez and with the child’s teacher, Shirley Leslie, at left, along with others. … “We had kids with really significant behavioral challenges in the past and I found generally that we could manage this, but there were just children showing up who were much more challenging and needed outside help,” Bye said. “There were a couple of kids who without ECCP would never have made it and would never have been able to remain in the classroom.”… Angelica Thompson, a consultant with The Village for Families and Children, steps in helps pre-school children with troubling behaviors. She recently left the Village for another job. “I’m a big fan of we need to rule things out,” Thompson said. For example, Thompson learned that there had been a few significant changes in Paisley’s life — her family had moved and there was a new baby in the picture – which were challenging for a child who had difficulty with transitions. A visit to the pediatrician also helped clear up some of the other factors influencing the little girl’s behavior, such as an allergy medication that can cause children to be depressed and emotional and minor hearing loss from frequent ear infections. …
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.