Oct 29, 2018, Chalkbeat: After this school launched New York City’s first comfort dog program, others joined the pack https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2018/10/29/after-this-school-launched-new-york-citys-first-comfort-dog-program-others-joined-the-pack/ Inside the main office of Shell Bank Middle School in Sheepshead Bay, … Classroom-ready comfort dogs have been a part of school life in New York City since 2014. Now in 45 schools, the comfort dog program will expand to 60 schools by the end of the school year, the city announced last week. … The program’s goal is to use the love between children and dogs to teach empathy, cooperation, self confidence and other life lessons. Thanks to early success at schools like Shell Bank, comfort dogs are now walking the hallways and visiting classrooms in more than 4,000 schools across the United States and Canada. … Once implemented, the program’s impact was analyzed by Yale researchers, finding that it resulted in significantly higher levels of empathy, prosocial behaviors, and a positive school climate. Principal Ahearn argues that it is not only benefitting her students socially, but it is academically rewarding as well. That’s why she’s strict about keeping her office door open so that students dealing with anything from relationship issues to academic problems can come and play with the dogs whenever they choose….
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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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