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
2 min read
(UK) BILLIONS MORE FOR SPED; different types of SPED kids "permanently excluded"
SED pupils without an education, health and care plan twice as likely to be excluded as those with plans
Special education needs and disabilities pupils who do not have an education, health and care plan (EHC) are more than twice as likely to be permanently excluded from school.
And they are more than five times more likely to be permanently excluded than pupils without SEND, according to Department for Education data published today.
And campaigners have highlighted funding cuts through which vital services for SEND children have been axed leaving them without adequate support.
Dame Christine Lenehan, director of the Council for Disabled Children, said: “We urgently need to identify how, where and why this discrimination in the exclusion process arises.
“The education system fails to provide many of these children with the tailored support that could enable them to remain in mainstream schools.
According to the DfE, a pupil has an EHC plan when a formal assessment has been made and a document is in place that sets out the child’s need and the extra help they should receive.
DfE figures from May this year show that, of the 1.3 million special educational needs pupils in England (around 15 per cent of total pupils), only around 270,800 have an EHC plan (while a further 1 million receive “SEN support”).
Julie McCulloch, of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "The context is government underfunding for both schools and local authority children’s services, which has made it more difficult to provide early intervention and support, and prevent behavioural issues escalating to the point of exclusion,"
Fears over SEND pupil exclusions
Today's figures show that the permanent exclusion rate for pupils with SEND with an EHC plan is 0.15, and for those without an EHC plan it is 0.32.
This compares with an overall exclusion rate of 0.06 for pupils without SEND.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT school leaders’ union, said: “We’ve seen cuts in local authority services such as behaviour support teams, combined with reductions in pastoral care. Speech and language therapists for pupils with additional needs are disappearing. In addition, there are frequently delays in providing mental health support for pupils who need it."
NEU assistant general secretary Rosamund McNeil said: "It is clear that underinvestment by Government in SEND support has led to cuts to support staff in schools and this removes what students need in order to engage with what's happening in class. There will be a real challenge in September around inclusion as DfE hasn't provided enough support on SEND.”
DfE statutory guidance says heads should, as far as possible, avoid permanently excluding any pupil with an EHC plan but take action to address the underlying causes of disruptive behaviour.
A spokesperson for the DfE said its forthcoming SEND Review would “actively consider” how to support children and young people earlier before issues escalate, adding: “We are also increasing high needs funding for local authorities by £780 million [$1B U.S.] this year and a further £730 million [$99M] next year, boosting the total budget to more than £8 billion [$10B] in 2021-22, helping schools to support children and young people with the most complex SEND.”