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.
Jun 7, 2019
2 min read
US schools adding MORE school counselors to meet mental health needs
June 6, 2019, Education Drive: With growing calls for more mental health services, states tackle school counselor caseloadshttps://www.educationdive.com/news/with-growing-calls-for-more-mental-health-services-states-tackle-school-co/556169/
A 250-to-1 ratio is recommended, but it's much higher in many states — Arizona peaks at 905-to-1. And funds aren't always available to help lower the numbers.
"Bare bones" and "random acts of guidance" is how Kathy Pelzer described counseling services in the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) in California when she was hired in 2014. "It was all about just reacting to the issues," said Pelzer, whose caseload at Capistrano Valley High School was over 2,300 students.
Then the district hired 30 counselors — one for each elementary and middle school and two at each high school….
"Now, we are able to be proactive. We are able to put in place programs that are based on students' needs," said Pelzer, a past School Counselor of the Year for California. "It’s remarkable what can happen with just a couple more counselors on staff."…
Now, after more than a year of discussion and recommendations from multiple state and national-level groups about increasing school-based mental health services, a few more state legislatures have taken specific steps to reduce counselors’ caseloads.
“There has been more activity when it comes to discussing school counseling services — in terms of prevention and early intervention — in the broad school safety conversation since Parkland,” said Amanda Fitzgerald, the director of public policy for ASCA.
Several large school safety packages, introduced in response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in February 2018 and subsequent acts of school violence, have included “a few sentences” about counselors spending more time on students’ needs and less time on paperwork, she said….
Pennsylvania is another state focusing on student support services. Its House Education Committee is considering legislation that would set ratios for counselors at 250-to-1. …
That’s the case in Virginia, where lawmakers passed legislation to bring ratios closer to the ASCA’s recommendation, but the state budget doesn't include funds for those positions….
The increase in school counselors across California — a 28% increase between 2004-05 and 2014-15 — was not the result of a mandate. Instead, Loretta Whitson, executive director of the California Association of School Counselors (CASC), can track those changes back to 2012 when then-Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed Senate Bill 1458, which broadened the education accountability system to include more than test scores.
Championed by then-Sen. Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat and now the mayor of Sacramento, the law emphasizes college and career readiness and dropout prevention, and it paved the way for the California School Dashboard to include measures such as chronic absenteeism, suspensions and graduation rates….