June 19, 2018, Winter Haven (FL) News Chief: Polk schools plan to boost mental health support http://www.newschief.com/news/20180619/polk-schools-plan-to-boost-mental-health-support A plan is taking shape to boost mental health services for students in Polk County’s public school system. The proposal unveiled during Tuesday’s School Board work session would allocate $2.4 million for the coming year to increase assessments, diagnoses, interventions and treatments for students deemed in need of some form of support. The allocation from the state Department of Education would add as many as two dozen mental health professionals to the School District’s ranks and create three intensive behavior units at Floral Avenue, Lake Shipp and North Lakeland elementary schools. Each of the three units would provide a spectrum of specialized services to five or six students demonstrating the most severe levels of disruptive behaviors…. Polk Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd said a rise in worrisome behaviors at the elementary school level led to the plan’s initial emphasis on that age group. “We have seen an uptick in elementary behaviors,” more so than at the middle-school level, she said. Students targeted for intensive behavior therapies at one of the three elementary school sites will be pioneers of sorts as district officials fine tune the plan for expansion into higher grades…. Nationally, 20 percent of all students had a significant mental health issue this year, according to the School District’s draft of its mental health plan. These children are at increased risk of dropping out of school, abusing drugs and alcohol, getting caught up in juvenile delinquency and suicide.
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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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