July 13, 2018, St. George (UT) Spectrum: Defense witness: Teen in school bomb case was seeking attention https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2018/07/13/defense-witness-teen-school-bomb-case-seeking-attention/784315002 / A teen's autism spectrum disorder diagnosis was again the center of scrutiny in his court case Friday. The 16-year-old boy is accused of bringing a backpack bomb to one Southern Utah high school and vandalizing another with ISIS messages. Defense attorney Steven Harris called Lillian Adolphson, vice president of behavior services at Utah Behavior Services, to the stand to testify about a brief psychological evaluation UBS conducted on the teen specific to his autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Adolphson is a rebuttal witness to a state witness who on July 6 questioned the teen's high-functioning, level 1 autism diagnosis, saying some characteristics and factors of autism don't line up with the crimes of which he is accused. Friday's proceeding marked one of the last hearings of the secondary portion of the preliminary hearing in the case, used to determine if the teen will be tried in juvenile court or if his case will be transferred to adult court…. Although an individual diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder may not appear to have communication deficits, there may be delays in comprehension, Adolphson testified. … Authorities say the defendant left a homemade incendiary device in the cafeteria at Pine View High School in St. George in March. He was charged with two first-degree felonies: attempted murder and use of a weapon of mass destruction…. During Adolphson's testimony, she said the teen would be a better fit in the juvenile court system because he would have better access to mental-health treatment and could be integrated into society in a more therapeutic setting. … Judge Paul E. Dame will hear closing arguments Monday, marking the end of the preliminary hearing in the case. The court will then decide whether or not the teen's case will be tried in adult court.
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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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