Disabled Youngsters Develop as much as be Disabled Adults
Newsflash: Disabled children grow up to be disabled adults
Loss of Brain Trust update
Editor’s note on the photo: Cutting edge education hub for traumatized children launched The smiling admin believes the gravity of her mission.
By Anne Dachel
One thing that is very hard for me to understand is how no one in charge in the UK (or elsewhere) seems at all concerned about what the never-ending increase in special education numbers means in the long run. Can this continue forever? How many special schools will they have to build across Britain?
Disabled children don’t outgrow their disabilities.
We see the constant news reports telling us that government officials and educators are ‘excited’ and ‘delighted’ to announce another new special school or the creation of more and more special ed places in mainstream schools. Costs are in the millions. We’re told that everyone expects numbers to continue to increase. People acknowledge that more “high needs” students are a big part of this. (And any parent dealing with a severely autistic child knows what that really means.)
I continue to compile these stories which should have officials desperate for answers because when the system finally goes bankrupt, no one will be able to say they had no idea that the situation was really so bad.
Eventually things will have to implode. It’s simply unsustainable that any country could care for massive numbers of handicapped adults aging out of the schools (and in the UK, since 2014 special ed services are provided until age 25) while at the same time educating more and more special needs students.
There are signs of worry on the part of local government officials in Britain, but their usual answer is that the national government needs to cover more of the cost.
This past week I found several stories from Norfolk County in the east of England. They are addressing special education concerns big time. The plan is to spend $161M on three or four new special schools (depending on the source) for students from nursery school through secondary school over the next five years. They hope to create 500 additional special needs places.
In case anyone is worried, county council members are quoted saying things like this:
“We very much hope this increased capacity with all these new places will make a real difference to the lives of children and young people with SEND and their families.”
There is usually someone smiling in an accompanying photo.
From Wiltshire in southern England is a story of a boy waiting over 10 weeks for a special school place after his family moved from another county.
His father said: “He’s getting frustrated; he needs to be with children of his ability.” Wiltshire Council said it is trying to help but all suitable school places are full.
Tucked into this piece was this line:
In Wiltshire, the number of children aged 5-15 with these plans has risen from 2,215 three years ago to 3,095 this school year.
That’s almost 900 more disabled kids in 3 years. Shouldn’t someone have to explain why this is happening?
Actually one person from the Wiltshire Council took at stab at it saying, “Many children survive premature birth now who didn’t in the past, and we’re much better at recognizing now when a child needs extra support.”
So, this is just the result of saving more preemies than we did a few years ago and greater awareness.
wirral in NW England is another spot in the news. A report from the office that inspects schools in the UK “revealed huge problems” when it comes to special education services. It was described by one council member as ‘a litany of failure’ and reform is clearly needed.
In cheshire, Also in the northwest, they’re planning to turn a medical facility into a special needs school for 32 students/15 staff members by 2024. Of course these are high needs students.
The children enrolled would have varied levels of specialist requirements, including autism spectrum condition, speech, language and communication difficulties and learning difficulties associated with challenging behaviour. …
There isn’t usually a lot on disabled children from Australia, but one story did make the news. It was about a mom with 3 autistic sons, all nonverbal. She has made it her mission to teach the police about autistic behavior.
Every day, police officers will encounter a multitude of people in emergency situations. And just as each emergency situation differs from the next, so does the individual involved – “especially when it comes to people on the spectrum,” Kathrine adds….
The piece also champions neurodiversity and the claim of no real increase in autism.
Senior Sergeant Gregory Giles from Queensland Police had also seen a need for front-line officers to have a better skill set and knowledge around not only mental health, but neurodiversity too.
In the past two decades, our country has seen a rise in autistic statistics most likely due to a better understanding of what it looks like and diagnosing ability. …
We have to hold on to the myth that whatever happens there’s never a real increase. Imagine when all this finally collapses.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.