… This is the story of Ethan Chaplin, who back in April was twirling a pencil in his seventh grade classroom in Vernon, NJ. One of the class bullies saw an opportunity to be a jerk and yelled: “He’s making gun motions, send him to juvie.”
Rather than demonstrating any sort of common sense, the teacher apparently had a panic attack and reported him, which resulted in a two-day suspension. Here’s what Vernon Superintendent Charles Maranzano had to say about it:
“We’re responsible for their mental and physical health and safety and security. When a student misbehaves or displays actions that are non-conforming or don’t meet our expectations, it causes us some concerns.”
I guess I don’t understand what schools are like these days, but the classes I grew up in were filled to the brim with misbehavior to the extent that a twirling pencil would be seen as a positive indicator of student interaction. Somehow, we all survived.
As if that part of the story isn’t bizarre enough, Ethan wasn’t allowed to return to class until he underwent a psychological evaluation in which he was forced to strip and give blood samples that caused him to pass out (sounds a lot like how police in New Mexico force anal probes on citizens for no reason).
Amazingly, the saga manages to get even worse. Just today, we find out that New Jersey is threatening to take Ethan away from his father. Incredibly, the state is claiming that the prior psychological evaluation wasn’t sufficient and more testing needs to be done. Since his father Michael is pushing back, the loss of custodianship has been threatened. Absolutely insane….
Seriously, relying on CPS to protect the interests of children is like relying on the military industrial complex to “fight terrorists” or psychiatrists to promote “mental health.” It doesn’t pass the laugh test. It’s a matter of business interests.
Countries with high economic inequality tend to have high crime, high corruption, low levels of trust, high infant mortality and lowered life expectancy– as well as difficulty growing their economies. In contrast, those with lower inequality have higher happiness, greater health, lower crime, better growth and longer life.
And so, if, say, health care for all or better unemployment benefits or higher quality schools means that those lucky enough to have well-paying jobs have to pay higher taxes, well, is that really so terrible?
If we continue to believe that it is, if we continue to split into “us” v. “them,” “haves” v. “have nots,” the empathy decline will undoubtedly continue and we will face a meaner, nastier world in which ideas about humans being selfish and competitive rather than caring become a self fulfilling prophecy by crushing the tendency toward kindness with which we are all born….
Read the entire article at Shocker: Empathy Dropped 40% in College Students Since 2000 | Psychology Today. It’s also on Huffington Post.
People with autism spectrum disorder are sometimes described as lacking empathy (the ability to feel along with others) and/or sympathy (the ability to feel for others). While this is a persistent stereotype of all people with autism, these challenges are not experienced by everyone on the spectrum.
Research into the link between autism, empathy, and sympathy has evolved over the past 40 years. Initially, it was believed that a lack of empathy and sympathy was a universal trait of autism, but more recent research indicates that this varies among individuals with the condition.
The questions of whether people with autism truly empathize or sympathize with others, what stands in the way of a traditional response, whether this can be taught, and whether an apparent lack of empathy or sympathy really reflects a lack of emotional connectedness are more nuanced than early research suggests.1
Elements of Empathy and Sympathy
A lack of expressed sympathy or empathy may not be the result of a lack of emotion in someone who has autism, but rather due to underdeveloped skills. There are several elements involved in showing empathy to others.
To connect with another person in these ways, one must:
- Recognize the other person’s feelings
- Understand the other person’s hopes, dreams, and/or expectations
- Have the emotional experience to relate personally to another’s feelings
- Have the tools to physically and verbally express empathic feelings
- Share a cultural understanding that displays of empathy are expected and desired
People with autism who struggle to show empathy and sympathy may have difficulty with one or more of these.
Awareness and Processing
Empathy is a two-dimensional emotion. It is experienced both on a cognitive level— recognizing and understanding another’s mental state—and on an affective or emotional level—feeling the emotions of others. In those with autism, these experiences can sometimes seem at odds with one another.
Research shows people with autism may struggle with cognitive empathy because they are unable to recognize and name emotions based on facial expressions. Eye scan studies found people with autism tend to look at the periphery of a face rather than pay attention to the eyes and mouth, where emotions are typically displayed.2
However, while cognitive empathy can be lower in people with autism, affective empathy—which is based on instincts and involuntary responses to the emotions of others—can be strong and overwhelming. In fact, newer research suggests that some people with autism may actually feel other people’s emotions more intensely.
Picking up on other’s emotions and experiencing them internally can feel overpowering and confusing, which may cause a person to shut down and withdraw from crowds.3
Empathy rates would be expected to correlate negatively with autism rates. If lack of empathy and autism are part of a continuum, an autism diagnosis would be further out on the tail of the bell curve, i.e. the rate of change would be less than the rate of change of empathy.
U.S. autism statistics have shown an upward trend for the last two decades. While the CDC estimate of children with ASD is 1 in 54 today (april 2020) previous CDC estimates were:
- 1 in 150 in 2002.
- 1 in 125 in 2004.
- 1 in 110 in 2006.
- 1 in 88 in 2008.
- 1 in 68 in 2010.
- 1 in 59 in 2014.
New research from Keele University shows that infant formulas are still heavily contaminated with aluminium.
In 2010 the group at Keele, headed by Professor Chris Exley, published a paper showing that the aluminium content of infant formulas was too high (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2431/10/63).
The Keele group has now followed up this research with an even more extensive study looking at the 30 most popular brands of infant formula in the United Kingdom.
The results show high levels of aluminium in each of the 30 infant formulas.
In the publication the aluminium content of the infant formulas are listed from lowest to highest so that parents might choose to use a product with the lowest content of aluminium.
Professor Exley said: “Clearly the manufacturers of infant formulas are not concerned about reducing their content of aluminium and the extensive use of aluminium-based packaging for infant formulas seems to confirm this….
To avoid having to supplement with fluoride, prepare powdered/concentrated formula with fluoridated tap water. If you are using ready-to-feed formula, or bottled or filtered water only, then your baby may need fluoride supplements.
Your Six Month Old – What You Need To Know
This study describes alterations in the nervous system resulting from chronic administration of the fluoroaluminum complex AlF or equivalent levels of fluoride F in the form of sodium–fluoride NaF . Twenty seven adult male Long–Evans rats were administered one of three treatments for 52 weeks: the control group was administered double distilled deionized drinking water ddw . The aluminum-treated group received ddw with 0.5 ppm AlF and the NaF group received ddw with 2.1 ppm NaF containing the equivalent amount of F as in the AlF ddw. Tissue aluminum Al levels of brain, liver and kidney were assessed with the Direct Current Plasma DCP technique and its distribution assessed with Morin histochemistry. Histological sections of brain were stained with hematoxylin & eosin H&E , Cresyl violet, Bielschowsky silver stain, or immunohistochemically for ß-amyloid, amyloid A, and IgM. No differences were found between the body weights of rats in the different treatment groups although more rats died in the AlF group than in the control group. The Al levels in samples of brain and kidney were higher in both the AlF and NaF groups relative to controls. The effects of the two treatments on cerebrovascular and neuronal integrity were qualitatively and quantitatively different. These alterations were greater in animals in the AlF group than in the NaF group and greater in the NaF group than in controls….
A progressive general decline in appearance of the AlF3 animals was noted throughout the experiment. In addition to the yellowing of the hair that occurs with age, the hair of animals in the AlF group became sparse revealing the underlying skin which was dry, flaky, and of a copper color. Although the body weights did not differ among the groups, there was a greater number of deaths in the AlF3 group than in the control group …
There are striking parallels between Al-induced alterations in cerebrovasculature those associated with Alzheimer’s disease AD and other forms of dementia. Alteration in the BBB can also promote inflammation involving activated microglia which may be preferentially associated with the amyloid plaques in AD 2,11,45,62,63 . Brain capillaries of patients with AD and of many aged individuals are found to be distorted and often contain amyloid deposits; the primary cause of these distortions is unknown 3,15,31,32 . These capillary distortions can dis- rupt blood flow patterns, altering cerebral metabolism and if sustained, contribute to progressive degeneration of neurons.
More study (on children) is needed to fully explore exactly how far parents are willing to go to avoid the embarrassment of questioning “expert” medical opinion.
Dr. James Milgram (Stanford University emeritus professor who served on the official Common Core validation committee) reported:
I can tell you that my main objection to Core Standards, and the reason I didn’t sign off on them was that they did not match up to international expectations. They were at least 2 years behind the practices in the high achieving countries by 7th grade,and, as a number of people have observed, only require partial understanding of what would be the content of a normal, solid, coursein Algebra I or Geometry. Moreover, they cover very little of the content of Algebra II, and none of any higher level course… They will not help our children match up to the students in the top foreign countries when it comes to being hired to top level jobs.
Your child will be taught to be a worker not a thinker – a follower not a leader. Besides the less rigorous learning standards, under Common Core your child will be exposed to government rules/regulations teaching them that government is the answer to all. Pearson Education creates Common Core-aligned material. It recently apologized for distributing a grammar worksheet to fifth-graders which included the following political statements. Was this a simple mistake or a way to indoctrinate kids?
“The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all.”
“[The president] makes sure the laws of the country are fair.”
“The wants of an individual are less important than the well-being of the nation.”
Read lots more at What’s So Bad About Common Core? A lot! | Tenth Amendment Center Blog.