Top 10 Censored Education Stories of the Decade
Rachel Norton posted the following list of top ed news stories of t...
. While I would agree that these were important education stories, they are all well known to most of the public. Yet each also has a hidden story behind it that has been ignored by the media. I’ve included Norton’s original list (in black). After each of her synopses I’ve added the hidden story behind it (in red).
10. The rise of autism: In 2001, the incidence of autism was thought to be one case for every 160 people, which even then was much higher than in previous decades. Today, the accepted incidence is more like one case for every 100 people. Though the increased incidence is as much a public health issue as an educational one, I’ve included the phenomenon on this list because the increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism has had a profound impact on schools. From an educational perspective, autism is a perfect storm–children with autism have expensive needs, but respond well to intervention. No one really knows how much treatment is appropriate according to the framework set by special education laws.
(The material below is my commentary and would be red if viewed in its original-see link below)
While it is certainly shocking and significant to parents and educators that autism rates are going up, what has been virtually ignored by the media are the reasons for the increase. Autism rates increase dramatically among older parents
. A ten-year increase in maternal age, for example, increases the risk of autism by 38%. Unlike Down syndrome, both older fathers and older mothers have a higher risk. Therefore, one likely reason for the increase in autism is the fact that many parents are waiting longer before having kids.