Sept 29, 2018, NorthJersey.com: For teens, a therapeutic day school combines mental-health care with academics https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/local/2018/09/29/new-therapeutic-day-school-combines-mental-health-care-academics/1436866002/ Teenagers who have spent time in a hospital or emergency room for an emotional crisis often need more psychological support than a high school or middle school can give them. This month, those in North Jersey got another option: a new therapeutic day school in Midland Park, where academics and mental health care get equal weight. The Paradigm Therapeutic Day School, a subsidiary of nonprofit Care Plus NJ, accepts students who are referred by their school districts and may have attempted suicide or received a diagnosis of severe depression, anxiety or phobia about school, among other mental-health issues. … One in five people aged 13 to 18 in the United States lives with a mental health condition, and half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, experts say. … The Paradigm School integrates mental-health care with special education. It is the “only state-approved therapeutic day school that is part of a continuum of service of the largest private provider of behavioral and mental health services in the region,” said Jeffrey Kahn, the school's principal and executive director. “We call it EduCare,” said Maureen Kerne, special education coordinator for 13 districts in Bergen County, who helped transform the idea for the school into a reality. She spoke Friday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the school, which welcomed its first students on Sept. 5. As she visited the school, she recognized several of the students from her work in their districts. … Care Plus NJ already has contracts with 24 school systems to embed mental health professionals in the districts to provide clinical support and instruction. As that program expanded, the need for a therapeutic school became apparent, Augustine said. Currently, 12 students — ranging in age from 14 to 21 —- are bused to the school from five counties. The student who travels the farthest lives in Bernardsville, while others are from Hackensack, Dumont, Elmwood Park and Ramsey. Two more, in grades 7 and 8, will start attending next week, Kahn said. The students' home districts pay $310 a day, or $68,400 in tuition for a 10-month school year. …
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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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