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.
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. John Stone, 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
Oct 20, 2018
6 min read
(Ireland) Cork 10 year old faces hopelessness of multiple diagnoses
Oct 20, 2018, Dublin Irish Sun: SUICIDAL BOY'S NIGHTMARE Cork mum’s heartbreaking plea for help after son, 10, leapt in front of car in bid to kill himself and was sad he didn’t succeed https://www.thesun.ie/news/3279467/cork-mum-plea-son-suicide-bid/A YOUNG lad leapt in front of a car in a bid to kill ¬himself and was sad he didn’t succeed — but his desperate mum can’t get the help he urgently needs.
Troubled Sean Hurley, ten, has also told teachers that he plans to stab himself — and every morning mum Jennifer wakes up worrying he’s killed himself overnight.
Now Jennifer, from Mallow, Co Cork, is begging Health Minister Simon Harris to help save her ¬suicidal son’s life.
He is currently being assessed by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, which helps families with mental health problems.
But Jennifer says her autistic lad has ¬deteriorated so much in the past few months that he needs to be put under the care of a psychiatrist.
She said: “He has attempted ¬suicide. He has thrown himself out in front of a car two weeks ago.
Jennifer is begging Health Minister Simon Harris to help save her ¬suicidal son’s life
“When he was in CAMHS he told the woman who asked him why he was mad it didn’t hit him. He said he did it because he was hungry.
“He does not understand the ¬finality of suicide. He is not coping with life and the demands on him.
“He is after telling his teachers he is going to stab himself. He had a meltdown last week at home and said he was going to throw himself out the bedroom window. …
Concerned Jennifer said the lad’s condition is not just down to his Asperger’s and autism — and believes he has serious mental health issues that need to be addressed.
She said: “It is something much deeper and more sinister. He is not coping with life.
“If this was an adult he would be diagnosed with depression or some other illness but how do you define a child who wants to kill himself, who just doesn’t want to go on living.
“I can only care for him as a mother and I am not trained to deal with this. But I don’t want him institutionalised, his place is here at home with his family.”
Mum-of-four Jennifer says Sean has got so bad that he will hit her and hurts his siblings….
Jennifer's email to Irish Health Minister Simon Harris:
IT is with a heavy heart, sore eyes and a lost soul I write you this email.
I’m a 29-year-old mother of four. The reason for this email is my first born — my ten-year-old son.
I’m not anyone special nor am I fully educated but I can clearly see a system that is failing my son as a person and us as a family….
A few years later, say around age four or five, my son has a bad day at school — the worst day of his life would have been his exact words.
Bear in mind, Minister Harris, he has had plenty of those days but he has his meltdown, he has his cup of tea afterwards and Mammy says, ‘Tomorrow is a new day and we will face it together.’ This tea has no magic power but that was our hope, so to us it was magic.
My son is now ten, he is suicidal and has attempted suicide. A cup of tea after a ¬meltdown is no longer magic, mammy’s words are no longer magic, he has lost hope as have I. …
I’m fully aware you don’t know my son and he’s just another number on waiting lists but to us he is our world.
But, Minister Harris, what happens when your world crumbles in front of you and you cannot fix it?
The phone calls I’ve been making, the doctors appointments I’ve been attending, all to no avail.My son is crying out for help. He is not coping and the days are getting worse, nights are longer and hope could not be further away.My son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of six (2014). I was given information on this and sent home with a report for myself and for his mainstream school.
Recently, he was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. It is now 2018 and my son has been left in limbo, for the want of a better word
He’s had two OT (occupational therapy) appointments in four years and not one full night’s sleep in almost 10 years.
His meltdowns are more frequent with no self regulation — all the visuals I’m using barely help. He has shut off and shut down.
He is linked in with CAHMS, which only took a year by the way, but they can’t promise me tomorrow. Neither can you but at least if we had a good mental health system that could give me hope and not have me uttering false promises to my son that things will be okay he will learn to cope.
How will he learn to cope though? Just by dealing with the hands he was dealt?
My son never asked for autism but he accepted it, he never asked to be anxious but he accepted it. He never asked for sensory issues but he accepted them.
But my son has asked to die and cannot accept the fact that he has to live and has to live with these things also.
He never asked to go to school but still he attends school and tries to fit in knowing full well that he doesn’t but he tries….
To understand my son I had to do my own research. Is this what the Irish health system is about? You’re informed of what you have and you’re to go home and help yourself and live in hope that time heals a broken mind? …
Minister Harris, broken children end up being broken adults . . . that is if they make it to adulthood.
The mental health system is neglecting my son, the services are neglecting him. This system, your system, is failing him.
Therefore I as a mum end up failing my child. We as a country are failing our children as I know I’m not the only mother up worried and crying about my child tonight.
The system, your system, is failing to give him his basic needs.
As a carer and mother I am limited but you can change this.
“There is no remorse as he sees no wrong in the way he is feeling and seems to think that he is justified. I wouldn’t punish for how he feels.
“He is very vocal about how he feels but he can’t regulate his emotions. When he is in a meltdown he has no breaks as he doesn’t stop and he doesn’t know how to stop.
“He keeps saying he wants to die and he wants to kill himself . . . he is very hard to manage and he has three younger siblings looking at him and are beating around the bush with him, wondering if he is OK today and did they upset him.
“I would wish for ten minutes of happiness in his life, ten minutes in which he would just be Sean the boy I know and love and that his ¬brothers and sister know and love.
“At ten he is constantly angry, constantly crying, constantly upset, he doesn’t want to be here.”
Yesterday Jennifer highlighted Sean’s problems on Red FM’s Neil Prendeville Show and realised the email she sent to Harris as she pleaded for some much-needed help.
Jennifer is desperate for help from Health Minister Simon Harris
She said: “I do not know how it is going to play out. I want people to take the finger out and help.”
The Cork woman said Sean is on sleeping medication and since Thursday is on an antipsychotic.
But she said: “He is not sleeping and to me they are only numbing a problem that has been going on for years. It’s going to get worse, it’s not going to get better.”
She added: “I know he is genuinely mentally ill. I just think his needs have been neglected since the age of six when he was diagnosed.
“There was no early intervention. I was sent home with a report. He should have been able to speak to someone who would have explained things to him, getting him prepared for teenage years, adult years.
“It’s beyond my power, I am only his mam. I am not powerful. This is something that needs to be addressed now. He is crying out for help and my family is broken.
“We are looking at him. He has not been the same boy for the past few months and he is getting worse. I don’t expect a reply to my letter from Simon Harris but I wanted to get it out there. I know I’m not the only mother with an autistic child….
“He is suffering from anxiety and has pains in his head, in his stomach. I just want someone to help my boy get his life back and to be happy.”