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.
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. John Stone, 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
Nov 16, 2019
3 min read
NY Times: One in 5 teens engage in self-harm; "weakness of psychiatric care"
Nov 11, 2019, New York Times: Getting a Handle on Self-Harm https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/11/health/self-harm-injury-cutting-psychology.html…Self-injury, particularly among adolescent girls, has become so prevalent so quickly that scientists and therapists are struggling to catch up. About 1 in 5 adolescents report having harmed themselves to soothe emotional pain at least once, according to a review of three dozen surveys in nearly a dozen countries, including the United States, Canada and Britain. Habitual self harm, over time, is a predictor for higher suicide risk in many individuals, studies suggest.
But there are very few dedicated research centers for self-harm, and even fewer clinics specializing in treatment. When youngsters who injure themselves seek help, they are often met with alarm, misunderstanding and overreaction. The apparent epidemic levels of the behavior have exposed a structural weakness of psychiatric care: Because self-injury is considered a “symptom,” and not a stand-alone diagnosis like depression, the testing of treatments has been haphazard and therapists have little evidence to draw on.
In the past few years, psychiatric researchers have begun to knit together the motives, underlying biology and social triggers of self-harm. The story thus far gives parents — tens of million worldwide — some insight into what is at work when they see a child with scars or burns. And it allows for the evaluation of tailored treatments: In one newly published trial, researchers in New York found that self-injury can be reduced with a specialized form of talk therapy that was invented to treat what’s known as borderline personality disorder.
“It used to be that this kind of behavior was confined to the very severely impaired, people with histories of sexual abuse, with major body alienation,” said Barent Walsh, a psychologist who was one of the first therapists to focus on treating self-injury, at The Bridge program in Marlborough, Mass., now a part of Open Sky Community Services. “Then, suddenly, it morphed into the general population, to the point where it was affecting successful kids with money. That’s when the research funding started to flow, and we’ve gotten a better handle on what’s happening.” …
Whether this method of self-soothing is an epidemic of the social media age is still a matter of scientific debate. No surveys asking about self-harm were conducted before the mid-1980s, in part because few researchers thought to ask….
Among current American college students, a privileged group by definition, about 1 in 5 reports having inflicted self-harm on purpose to ease emotional pain at least once, according to surveys done at 10 universities by Janis Whitlock, director of the Cornell Research Program for Self-Injury and Recovery. The first episode occurs around age 15, on average, Dr. Whitlock said, but a large number of people who self-harm started later, at age 17 or 18….
People who become dependent on self-harm often come to treasure it as their one reliable comfort, therapists say. Images of blood, burns, cuts and scarring may become, paradoxically, consoling. In isolation, amid emotional turbulence, self-injury is a secret friend, one that can be summoned anytime, without permission or payment. “Unlike emotional or social pain, it’s possible to control physical pain” and its soothing effect, said Joseph Franklin, a psychologist at Florida State University….
In psychiatry, self-injury is considered a symptom, not a stand-alone disorder. As a result, people who habitually injure themselves often receive an underlying diagnosis, like depression, attention-deficit disorder, post-traumatic stress, borderline personality, bipolar or some combination, which may change from doctor to doctor. …