Nov 24, 2018, Marietta (OH) Times: Finding Balance: ‘Mindfulness’ program seeks to treat child trauma http://www.mariettatimes.com/news/2018/11/finding-balance-mindfulness-program-seeks-to-treat-child-trauma/ PARKERSBURG [WV] — Educators are looking for ways to help children deal with stress and trauma, though one of the newest techniques may also be one of the oldest. Through Mindful West Virginia, area schools are introducing yoga for students as one way of dealing with behavioral issues caused by trauma outside of school. Pamela Santer, wellness coordinator for West Virginia University at Parkersburg, and Amy Snodgrass with Mindful West Virginia are both yoga instructors and have been working together to teach mindfulness techniques to teachers and families. Mindfulness is the ability to focus on the moment, to look at and accept feelings and to use techniques to help calm oneself and move forward. Mindfulness training is part of a growing effort to help children deal with trauma and mental health issues which affect behavior. … “Many schools are finding a new generation of students who, because of trauma, are unable to function in a classroom,” Snodgrass said. “And it’s not just one school. It’s all of them. Kindergarten and first-grade, they have kids that just cannot self-regulate. They just go.” Cathy Grewe, coordinator of assessment and student services for Wood County Schools, said the need has increased dramatically in recent years. More students are facing trauma at home due to a variety of factors. Instances of abuse, neglect, violence and sexual abuse have increased, as have family deaths and loss of housing. The opioid epidemic has increased the amount of trauma many children see at a very early age, she said. … “There is a definite issue with students who are just not able to manage themselves,” Grewe said. “It’s a paradigm shift for educators to look past dealing with the behavior to find out why the behavior is occurring. … Yoga is one of those tools, Santer said. The practice helps students slow down their breathing and heart rate, helps them focus and calm themselves, and provides an outlet for energy and physical exercise. … Franklin Elementary Center uses yoga on a daily basis, beginning school with a 15 minute warmup for students and staff, Snodgrass 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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