Aug 26, 2018, Idaho State Journal: Creating safe environments for our children https://idahostatejournal.com/opinion/columns/creating-safe-environments-for-our-children/article_afcc4165-b009-5e1e-8e6f-59923fa02f32.html Roger Sherman is the executive director of the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund which is the state affiliate of Prevent Child Abuse America. …From my lens as an advocate for children with a focus on preventing child abuse and neglect, our schools need to become trauma informed. Teachers need to learn more about the impacts of traumatic childhood experiences and their prevalence. Research tells us that over 50 percent of Idaho’s children have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lives. We all need to learn more about what drives a young person like Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter, to become a killer. We need to understand that hurt people will hurt other people…. The landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides some clues. It showed that childhood trauma, i.e. abuse, neglect and serious family dysfunctions, have long-term behavioral and health effects into adulthood. Researchers have found links between ACEs and health and social outcomes including depression, suicidal ideation and suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, hallucinations, insufficient sleep, intimate partner violence, heart disease, sexual assault, teen pregnancy, low yearly income, separation and divorce. School personnel are in a unique position to address the needs of children who are in pain because of the ACEs they have experienced. We know that children who have experienced several ACEs live in a near constant state of toxic stress which makes learning difficult if not impossible. Failure in school and resultant social isolation and bullying can lead to the kind of alienation that Cruz and other school shooters have felt….
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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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