Sept 25, 2018, Irish Times: ‘My 11-year-old was locked in a room for five hours’ https://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/my-11-year-old-was-locked-in-a-room-for-five-hours-1.3641271 Killian was about 11 years of age when he was placed in a small room with a single window and no furniture as a “last resort”, says his mother. He had a diagnosis of autism and ADHD and was liable to have a meltdown if he became overwhelmed. “We had no problem with it at the start,” she says. “Safety was paramount. They called it the ‘calm room’. . . but after a while it became a punishment room,” she says. “Soon he was being put in there for trivial reasons such as not doing schoolwork quickly enough or talking in class,” says his mother…. He had previously received therapeutic intervention to help him cope with his condition in the mainstream primary school, but it was withdrawn in fifth class. This, she feels, may have been a contributory factor in his behaviour, but she feels the use of the isolation room led to a dramatic change. “He said he didn’t want to go back because they’d lock him up. He was in a class with 30 kids, he couldn’t cope, he wasn’t getting sensory breaks... He needed to be taken out of a class, but not locked in a room.” … While she approached the school seeking support to help defuse the situation, she says its response was to expel him…. “He was just 11 and he was made out to be a monster . . . as far as the school was concerned, it felt it did nothing wrong.” Today, a few years, her son is thriving in secondary school. She says he is receiving excellent support and has had no behavioural problems. …
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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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