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
Jun 25, 2018
2 min read
New York: First state to require mental health to be part of school curriculum
June 24, 2018, Oswego, NY WRVO Public Radio: First in the nation: New York requires mental health information in curriculumhttp://wrvo.org/post/first-nation-new-york-requires-mental-health-information-curriculum...In an effort to make more students aware of those warning signs, Green donated $10,000 to the Baldwinsville School District, where she relocated after Eric's death, to fund mental health training and programs for staff and students. It's training that all students in the state from the elementary level to high school will soon be exposed to. This fall, New York will become the first state in the nation to require mental health information in school curriculum. The goal is to introduce students to what mental health is, how they can cope with it and where to seek help.
"For students, it goes back to identification of feelings and emotions, regulation of those feelings and emotions and building empathy and understanding of those with differences," said Penny Williams, the Youth Development Director for Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES, which is designing the curriculum for school districts in central New York.
New York state recommends schools broach the subject in health class, but Williams says the information can be addressed in any course. And she says equally important to equipping students with the skills to handle mental health problems is preparing staff to recognize those who are struggling….
That model of getting staff to be advocates is currently in use at West Genesee School District in Camillus. There, all school staff -- including the custodians and food service workers -- have been trained to watch after the students in group settings (like at lunch time) for any signs that they may be distressed.
Superintendent Chris Brown says they're not only trying to encourage more connections between students and teachers, but students as well.
"With the number of broken homes that we have nowadays or the number of homes that are together but mom and dad have four jobs, I think the biggest thing is relationship building," Brown said. "I just don't think you can underestimate the power of building a relationship with a child."
Michelle Bartholomew Green says New York's new law is a step in the right direction, and she's hopeful that it can prevent other children from resorting to suicide.
"We do have an obligation, I think, to teach our kids how to cope," Green said. "I think that’s just as important as reading, writing and arithmetic."