Nov 13, 2018, West Paterson, NJ, Paterson Times: Paterson needs $1.5 million to address special ed. speech backlog, says superintendent http://patersontimes.com/2018/11/13/paterson-needs-1-5-million-to-address-special-ed-speech-backlog-says-superintendent/ The school district needs $1.5 million to tackle the backlog of thousands of hours in speech therapy owed to special education students, superintendent Eileen Shafer said last week. Shafer said the district hired 20 speech therapists, bringing the total to 48 to ensure students receive services this year. “Now we have the speech therapists, but we need a million and half dollars to run a Saturday or an afterschool program, or both, to be able to provide these services to the children we owe,” said Shafer on Wednesday night. The district owed 18,800 hours of speech services to 1,960 students, according to data made public in February. Shafer promised to “make whole” special education students, who went without mandated services in the 2016-17 school year, when she became superintendent at the retirement of her predecessor Donnie Evans. … The district’s slow progress and failure to address the backlog shocked the Education Law Center which filed a fresh complaint with the New Jersey Department of Education, calling for a new investigation into the district’s special education program in late August. Shafer said the district is two years behind. Last school year, the district had difficulty recruiting speech therapists. Some wanted exorbitant amount of money and others declined to take assignments in rougher parts of the city for safety reasons. …
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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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