Oct 19, 2018, Ventura County (CA) Star: Oxnard opens classroom doors to a specialized program for students with emotional needs https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/education/2018/10/19/emotional-disabilities-oxnard-starts-specialized-school-program/990899002/ In Isabel Olachea's classroom at McAuliffe School in Oxnard, things run just a little differently. There are only a handful of desks — no more than six. The space is just as inviting and welcoming as any other elementary classroom, full of color and motivational posters. There are fidget bands — think an oversized rubber band — attached to the front of the desks so students with wiggly feet have someplace to channel their energy. There are things the kids can have at their desks like Play-Doh or stress balls to help them calm nerves. Then there's a door that leads to something that immediately sets the space apart from its counterparts on campus. It's a quiet room, a space where students experiencing overwhelming feelings or anxiety can seek refuge. It's a safe place, a haven for kids who are feeling overstimulated. The classroom is one of two brand new spaces in the Oxnard School District that are designed specifically for students who are classified as having a difficult time regulating their emotions. These kids often need smaller class sizes and a bit more structure to develop the skills that will allow them to be successful in school. … Christa McAuliffe School has a Therapeutic Learning Classroom, program started this year by the Oxnard School District. The schools two classrooms are for students who are classified as having a difficult time regulating their emotions. … ...The rooms are at McAuliffe School and are new to the district this year. … … The teachers work on making sure the students act in socially appropriate ways and give them the tools they need to cope in stressful situations. These are students who may have been disruptive or had outbursts in a general education classroom before. … The district had been doing its best to give students the support they need in a general education setting, but that doesn't work for all learners, Sugden said, and adding in the program and structure of the TLC rooms was a necessary step. … Giving the kids the support they need Mary Samples, longtime leader of the Ventura County Special Education Local Plan Area who retired last month, said she's thrilled Oxnard started the TLC rooms this year. … … It's actually great that they are opening these rooms. They'll be able to serve their own students and not send them out of their home district." … Samples said countywide the number of students who have this diagnosis has only gone up by about 100 in 13 years. In 2003, Ventura County had 922 with a label of emotional disturbance, in 2018 that number is 1,037. "But the acuity of the emotional issues are becoming much greater," Samples said. "The kinds of things happening with these kids are much more significant than they have been in the past." …
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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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