We’ve always had some students who were “different”. But there were just a few. The past couple of years it’s been an explosion. Where are they coming from? I don’t think it’s because of better diagnosis – the kids we’ve enrolled are not “slightly disturbed” – they are very, very disturbed.
We students who take serious anti psychotic drugs, students who have violent rages & students who are schizophrenic. We have more and more children who are autistic. Some are diagnosed and some aren’t , but after a number of years in the profession any seasoned teacher can spot the “look” across a crowded room.
Perhaps it’s because I’m at a low SES school but I still find it amazing that a child can reach age 5 or 6 without a parent realizing something isn’t “quite right”. Maybe they don’t note the milestones in the baby book as obsessively as a helicopter parent does or perhaps they are just in deep, deep denial .
Once the paperwork process starts some fight it tooth and nail and others ignore all communication from the school and don’t show up at the STAT and ARD meetings. Papers sent home get lost and are never signed – and without those signatures the schools hands are tied.
Then the parent and child up and moves and the process starts all over again. And again and again and again. It’s not uncommon for a child to reach the 5th grade without a diagnosis. And you can’t start treatment without a diagnosis. That results in 6th graders who can’t read above a first grade level and have no social skills what so ever.
Who gets blamed for that ? Why the schools of course.
No, it’s not the fault of the school. I really do think there is something in the water.