If only it was an evil organisation, perhaps the Pupil Eco Committee could combat it.
However, and alas, 'the spectrum' describes the new pupil reality that finds a significant proportion of pupils credited to this shady group and apparently working for it as professional-level class disrupters, a task at which most excel. Why so many children, and especially boys, are arriving as basically psychiatric cases sporting a veritable alphabet of autist-like descriptive labels, ADD, ADHD, ODD, etc, and in need of various types of extra support (and funding), is a question that can be discretely asked (noting that walls have ears in school!), but cannot be honestly answered. Identifying the various environmental toxics, device radiation, late motherhood, broken families, intentionally single parents, phoney pedagogy, classroom stressors like BBC Newsround, the IT/TV existence and the whole panoply of a garbage lifestyle lived indoors, would not be permitted. And, not least, metabolic poisoning obtained by eating and drinking basically sugar. This is why I make no reference to these factors here.
(To those who propose genetic collapse as a factor, I present, as a contribution to the debate, the current batch of Scottish MPs.)
Precisely how many of these children are genuinely handicapped, as opposed to just some variety of strange that would be fixable by the simple remedy of fresh air, sunlight, exercise, proper food, sleep and discipline is a question that an old school teacher could answer, but would be more safely left nowadays to top dollar funded experts.
Of course, I do not wish to deny children support they need, but still wonder how much the diagnoses are linked to a feedback loop wherein artfully constructed (or disingenuous) definitions access funding and encourage a swarming class of professional beneficiaries allied to concerned, confused or (honestly) victimhood-seeking parents, each driving the other to create more of the same and hence further justify itself. The motivation and behaviour of any one actor (be they parent, teacher or health professional) within this loop may be entirely rational, even while the loop itself may be irrational– except if viewed as yet another manifestation of the society-destroying processes which shape our modern lives.
What think ye?
This reflection was inspired by a recent article that described the dramatic rise in autism diagnosed over the last generation as, in fact, mainly a rise in its reporting.
This allegedly based on two related phenomena; the social trend of shifting spectrum children, who would have formerly attended a specialist institution, into mainstream schools (aka, mainstreaming) with this development making such children more visible and leading in turn to concomitant changes in reporting protocols; and (as noted above) the politicisation and monetisation of definitions and diagnoses.
While I find myself in broad agreement with part of the author’s thesis, my Spidey sense tells me that she is more wrong than right; in that there is indeed a true rise in the numbers of such children for at least some of the reasons already referred to. The comments accompanying the article demonstrate how politicised (weaponised even?) such science has become with the protagonists seemingly unable to approach evidence free from partisan proselytising of their preferred societal agenda. One cannot ‘trust the science’ here. And it is for this very reason that I have abandoned to oblivion all such studies, where they pertain to education, as sources of either information or policy; preferring instead the scientific evidence of my own eyes and ears.
Regardless, no useful ‘expert’ conclusion will ever be reached about this issue as autistic and related type pupils are among the many passengers locked aboard the runaway train to hell.
(The focus of the article was the USA, but its descriptions probably apply to anywhere in the West.)