Jan 23, 2019, Normal, IL, NPR, University of IL: Colene Hoose Addition Helps Meet Expanding Special Education Needs http://www.wglt.org/post/photos-colene-hoose-addition-helps-meet-expanding-special-education-needs#stream/0 Unit 5 board members joined Normal Town Council members for a tour of the new addition at Colene Hoose Elementary School on Tuesday night. Unit 5’s board approved a $1 million contract for the work back in July. Land dedication fees collected by the Town of Normal from developers served as the primary funding source for the project. Unit 5 spokesperson Dayna Brown said the final cost totals about $1.12 million, with the town contributing about $720,000 and Unit 5 covering the remaining $400,000. Adam Zbrozek, the school’s principal, said the conversation began a few years ago with the need for larger classrooms for the school’s special education program. “It’s a program that is growing in numbers, and as a district we wanted to be sure we were providing the best possible service that we could,” he said…. Rather, “We want to help them learn the skills and dispositions they need in order to work with and amongst all the other students that may be in other classrooms,” with the goal of eventually reintegrating students into general education at their home schools, he said. Zbrozek gave the group a look inside the school’s old special education facilities, including a “calming space” at the end of a narrow hallway. Zbrozek explained the small padded room with a glass window is for students “who may be unsafe for themselves or others in the classroom,” Zbrozek explained. “If there’s a physical concern, at that point we definitely have to work with students a little bit differently, and for students who struggle with emotional regulation that is something we have to do on a regular basis with this program,” he said. The addition includes three new, larger padded rooms. They’ll eventually be outfitted with speakers so that teachers can play soothing music or send reassuring messages to children in distress. Zbrozek said the calming spaces are a last resort. With the addition the program now offers four full-size classrooms, nearly tripling the available learning space, Zbrozek 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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