June 22, 2018, My San Antonio: Humble ISD’s growing special ed population leads to expansion of services https://www.mysanantonio.com/neighborhood/humble/schools/article/Humble-ISD-s-growing-special-ed-population-13015535.php Educational support services personnel presented the Humble ISD school board with updates about their departments during a meeting on June 14…. Koerner said the Integrated Athletics Program is anticipated to expand to the middle school level over the next two years. Humble ISD opened their new Insperity Adaptive Sports Complex during the 2017-2018 school year, which was built to accommodate children of all abilities…. Increasing special education needs Through the Child Find process, over 3,400 students in Humble ISD were served in special education during the 2017-2018 school year. The district also conducted 700 initial evaluations, out of which 539 students were identified as being eligible for special education services. Pomberg believes that the TEA’s action plan will serve to increase the number of initial evaluations even more. Building awareness may boost the number of students who are referred for Child Find evaluations. “I anticipate an increase in the number of evaluations that we’ll be conducting, so that 700 I anticipate will be much higher next school year,” Pomberg said. Humble ISD’s responsive services department consists of health services, Section 504 and dyslexia. Section 504 is a rule requiring school districts to provide students with a disability of any severity to “free appropriate public education.” According to Laura Dowdy, assistant director of responsive services, because of the Child Find efforts, Section 504 has increased by 20 percent over the last two years. “It’s a growing population and we now have 3,180 students at the end of the year that were served under 504,” Dowdy said. According to Dowdy, Section 504 used to concentrate more on medical issues such as asthma, diabetes and allergies. “Now we’re really seeing a shift and we have, but ADHD represents 34 percent of our populations,” Dowdy said. “If you add up ADHD and dyslexia, it’s 39 percent of our students served under 504.” Dowdy projects approximately 17 percent of the student population may have dyslexia. Because there are varying degrees of dyslexia, the district will likely not be able to identify all 17 percent, but they will identify those students who are struggling in order to provide early intervention, which she said is tantamount to countering dyslexia…. Dowdy announced that Humble ISD was one of the districts chosen by the TEA to receive a $1 million grant to use towards services for students with dyslexia. The district will utilize the grant funds beginning next school year. “This grant will help us identify students earlier,” Dowdy said….
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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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