Nov 1, 2018, Newsroom: Thousands of students with special needs, but no data https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/10/31/301219/no-data-on-dyslexia-as-many-as-80000-kids-affected About 80,000 school-aged children are believed to have dyslexia, but the Government can’t be sure because there is no centralised data on those with greater learning needs. Laura Walters reports. … Martin is currently working on the Government’s Draft Disabilities and Learning Support Action Plan. This plan is a rethink of how the education system recognises and supports students with disabilities and those who have become known as neurodiverse learners – people with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and those on the autism spectrum. … “We know nothing, absolutely nothing,” Martin said. Dyslexia has been officially recognised in New Zealand since 2007, but there is no centralised data collection, no standardised assessment or screening, a lack of professional development and training, and private diagnosis can cost about $2000. A Parliamentary inquiry, which reported back in 2016 and received about 400 submissions, found as many as one in seven people have dyslexia. That’s as many as 80,000 school-aged children. … The plan is to put in place standardised screening across the country, to pick up on learning difficulties when kids started school. By the time they are six or seven, they would be able to be screened for dyslexia by teachers. Standardised screening would allow the Government to collect data and identify where further tools and resources were needed, Martin said. …
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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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