Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Expelled Preschoolers...ugh

Sure Senator Raoul, we really need to mandate 3-6 year olds here in Illinois to some of this pain.

I was listening to NPR while doing errands and only heard part of the discussion between the reporter and Mr. Gilliam about his study. He was asked why teachers who are trained to work with 3-5 year olds need a behavioral consultant to keep these little ones in school. His response was strange. He said that he was a former public school teacher and that is a very difficult job. Well, no kidding, but why that retreat? Anyway, this was also noted in his study:
A paper presented with the study noted that experts had found these children more likely to be ill-prepared for kindergarten and elementary school and more likely to be at risk for school failure.

The study found that on average, boys were expelled at 4.5 times the rate of girls, African-Americans at twice the rate of Latinos and Caucasians, and 4-year-olds at 1.5 times the rate of 3-year-olds. Expulsion rates were lowest in preschool classrooms in public schools and Head Start, and highest in faith-affiliated centers, for-profit child care and other community-based child-care settings.

So little ones are learning at a younger and younger age (just out of diapers)that they are ill prepared and pegged for school failure well before they even have to hear that at 7 (in Illinois). Or there's always the chemical restraints:

Myth: Children are not adequately treated for mental illness.
Fact: Children are over diagnosed and over treated with psychiatric medications and both problems will increase with wide spread screening programs.

300% increase in psychotropic drug use in 2-4 year old children between 1991-1995
300% increase in psychotropic drug use in children between 1987 and 1996
More spent on psychiatric medications for children than on antibiotics or asthma medication in 2003

I know there are rare cases of physical problems causing behavioral problems some kids have that require medication. But the above use of pychiatric medications for 2 year olds is crazy.

Our society needs some intervention all right. No drugs, just common sense.

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