Feb 28, 2019, The Daily Iowan: Iowa City Autism Community distributing ‘Calm Kits’ to high-need elementary schools https://dailyiowan.com/2019/02/28/iowa-city-autism-community-distributing-care-kits-to-high-need-elementary-schools/ Dina Bishara and Jessie Witherell have experienced the adage that no one knows a child’s needs better than a mother. Knowing this, the two founded the Iowa City Autism Community more than four years ago to support children with autism…. Today, the group works on providing Calm Kits and weighted lap blankets for autistic children in local elementary schools, Bishara said. “We do a lot of advocacy in the community for neurodivergent students and individuals,” Bishara said. “One of the missions of the Iowa City Autism Community is to create a more inclusive and accepting community, including in our schools.” … Each kit is complete with various items targeting sensory areas. There are tactile toys, mindfulness cards, visual sensory devices, noise-dampening headphones, and breathing exercise and mood identification papers, Bishara said. The kits cost $60 each to assemble, so resources are limited, she said. … There will be a volunteer event this weekend at the Coralville Public Library to sew weighted lap blankets and assemble the Calm Kits. The Autism Community’s goal is to sew as many weighted lap blankets as possible to distribute to more schools in need, Bishara said. … “We are mostly about promoting acceptance and inclusion. We are not working towards getting a cure or promoting medical research, we just want to create a place that’s very positive,” Witherell said.
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.