Aug 25, 2018, Laconia (NH) Daily: Laconia school tackling challenges of childhood trauma https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news/local/laconia-school-tackling-challenges-of-childhood-trauma/article_a6b1b8f0-a7c1-11e8-a391-6785dbfa5b44.html Traumatic stress early in life can significantly affect a child’s health, happiness and future. Studies show children who have gone through what are formally known as adverse childhood experiences — or ACEs — are more likely to develop diseases and adopt risky behaviors, ultimately shortening their life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those same experiences can also derail a child’s education and put that child at a steep disadvantage compared to peers. That’s why educators at Pleasant Street School have instituted initiatives — both in and out of the classroom — to help students deal with the strain, and thereby become better learners. ACEs can include divorce, a death in the family, poverty, or witnessing drug overdoses or incidents of domestic violence, explained Pleasant Street Principal David Levesque. Parents have been asked to fill out questionnaires on what potentially traumatic events their child may have been exposed to even before they enter school. With the incidence of ACEs among Pleasant Street students increasing, “We’re relying on parents to help by helping their child ahead of time,” Levesque said…. But a big part of the pilot program at Pleasant Street has been instituting a better support system within the school for students who are struggling with problems outside of school…. In cases where a student becomes extremely disruptive, rather than sending that child to the school office, the teacher will take the student outside the classroom to find what the problem is. Meanwhile, Levesque or another staff member takes over the class while the teacher has one-to-one time with the troubled student…. A big part of taking a trauma-informed approach is identifying behaviors not as willful misbehavior, but rather as a symptom of need….
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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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