Ten Reasons to Steer Clear
of the School System
1. Schools are dumbing us down.
Literacy rates were actually higher before compulsory schooling, then they have been ever since.(1:22) If you track literacy rates, it is of interest to watch them dwindle as the amount of schooling, its intensity, and funding increases. Why is it that as children receive more school in the hands of professionals that they are unable to "read, write, count, speak, or think as well?"(3:9)
The U.S. Army saw such a dramatic decline in literacy rates on their admissions tests that they thought people were actually faking it! They hired hundreds of psychologists to find out why, and to their dismay found out that the school graduates weren't faking it- it was genuinely just that bad!(2:54)
Students today are lacking the most basic of skills, and our national reading levels are embarrassing. A perfect illustration to this fact is that only 31% of college-educated adults can fully comprehend a newspaper story.(3:99) What's wrong here? Back before schooling was forced, kids had real life skills, ingenuity, and much higher reading levels. Many unschooled people rose to greatness: leaders like Robert E. Lee & Winston Churchill, Presidents like George Washington & Abraham Lincoln (14 in all), artists like Claude Monet & Leonardo DiVinci, composers like Felix Mendelssohn & Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, writers like Robert Frost, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, Beatrix Potter, Walt Whitman, & Laura Ingalls Wilder, inventors & scientists like Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Benjamin Franklin, Orvill & Wilbur Wright, and many many more (see here). Why are Americans less educated today, even though we are more schooled?!
This complaint is well illustrated by the observations of one teacher: "In 1995 a student-teacher of fifth graders in Minneapolis wrote a letter to the editor of the Star-Tribune complaining about radically dumbed-down curriculum. She wrote that 113 years earlier fifth-graders in Minneapolis were reading William Shakespeare, Henry Thoreau, George Washington, Sir Walter Scott, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Bunyan, Daniel Webster, Samuel Johnson, Lewis Caroll, Thomas Jefferson, Emerson, and others like them in the Appleton School Reader, but that today, I was told children are not to be expected to spell the following words correctly: back, big, call, came, can, day, did, dog, down, get, good, have, he, home, if, in, is, it, like, little, man, morning, mother, my, night, off, out, over, people, play, ran, said, saw, she, some, soon, their, them, there, time, two, too, up, us, very, water, we, went, where, when, will, would, etc. Is this nuts?"(3:12)
“No amount of tinkering will make the school machine work to produce educated people; education and schooling are, as well all have experienced, mutually exclusive terms.”(1:91) Instead of being taught to think, children are submersed into "a model of social engineering that condemns most people to be subordinate stones in a pyramid that narrows as it ascends to a terminal of control."(1:13) "Schools teach exactly what they’re intended to teach and they do it well: how to be a good Egyptian and remain in your place in the pyramid.”(1:14)
2. Schools create an unhealthy, artificial learning environment that is isolated from family, community, and real life.
Children spend the bulk of their youth in an artificial, removed setting with a group of people their own age, their own intelligence level, their own economic status, and largely their own race. They are expected to "think the same thing at the same time in the same way."(1:51) They learn unhealthy social habits, and form a concept of school-based socialization which is only viable in... you guessed it... school. This artificial grouping will probably never be repeated in their adult life.
School trains children for school life, whereas home schools can train children for life in the real world. While school children are isolated away from their family and the rest of the community, home schooled children can enjoy real-life learning in the real world. The world is their class room.
“Without children and old people mixing in daily life, a community has no future and no past, only a continuous present. In fact, the term “community” hardly applies to the way we interact with each other. We live in networks, not communities, and everyone I know is lonely because of that. School is a major actor in this tragedy, as it is a major actor in the widening gulf among social classes.” (1:21)
3. Teaching method is unnatural, unmeaningful, and compartmentalized into standardized time blocks.
Schools are very limited in that they must break the day up into segments for separate, compartmentalized subjects. Even if a child is in the middle of an important discovery, creative inspiration, or is captivated by the subject at hand, when the bell rings he must drop everything and join the herds to flock to his next class. This reinforces the idea to him that whatever he’s doing can’t be all that important. It also interrupts his concentration, making it more difficult to make meaningful connections between the random bits of information he's been told to memorize.
Why is world history separated from American history? How can anyone be expected to learn about any history separate from it’s appropriate geography, and without learning the mathematical and scientific discoveries, art, music, and literature of the day? Simple- try to study it at school.
Now, if you want a meaningful, relevant education, you can’t possibly tear every subject apart and stuff it neatly into its own compartment. When you attempt to do so, children are expected to pick up bits and pieces here, there, and everywhere, then try to make sense of it all. That simply isn’t effective, and is really quite a waste of time. Fragmented learning is not usable, memorable, or meaningful, thus it is mostly forgotten. How much meaningful learning do you remember from your school days?
What is an ideal method of teaching? One in which students are able to "connect the dots." Instead of picking these "dots" up one by one, and memorizing them out of order, over the course of their entire schooling, subjects are rationally taught together and connected. Learning is more relevant, more meaningful, and more usable when taught this way.
Home school is a perfect scenario for optimal learning. Students are taught at their own pace, on their own level, and are not subject to time limitations or the subject separation necessary in schools. Home school teachers are more able to take advantage of natural learning opportunities, and have an ideal gauge of their child's abilities, interests, strengths, and weaknesses, allowing them to ideally teach their child.
4. It stifles creativity and thinking, producing dependent individuals.
“Good people wait for an expert to tell them what to do. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that our entire economy depends upon this lesson being learned. Think of what might fall apart if children weren’t trained to be dependent: the social services could hardly survive- they would vanish… counselors and therapists would look on in horror as the supply of psychic invalids vanished. Commercial entertainment of all sorts, including television, would wither as people learned again how to make their own fun. Resteraunts, the prepared food industry, and a whole host of other assorted food services would be drastically down-sized if people returned to making their own meals rather than depending on strangers to plant, pick, chop, and cook for them. Much of modern law, medicine, and engineering would go too, as well as the clothing business and schoolteaching, unless a guaranteed supply of helpless people continued to pour out of our schools each year. Don’t be too quick to vote for a radical school reform if you want to continue getting a paycheck. We’ve built a way of life that depends on people doing what they are told because they don’t know how to tell themselves what to do.” (1:8-9)
"Think of the phenomena which are killing us as a nation: narcotic drugs, brainless competition, recreational sex,... violence, gambling, and alcohol- and (worst of all...) lives devoted to buying things, accumulation as a philosophy. All of these are addictions of dependent personalities, and this is what our brand of schooling must inevitably produce." (1:26)
5. Schools sort and label children to their detriment.
In his essay about quitting the school business after thirty years of teaching, John Taylor Gatto, says the following:
"David learns to read at age four; Rachel at age nine: In normal development, when both are thirteen, you can't tell which one learned first -- the five-year spread means nothing at all. But in school, I label Rachel "learning disabled" and slow David down a bit, too. For a paycheck, I teach David to depend on me to tell him when to go and stop. He won't outgrow that dependency. I identify Rachel as discounted merchandise, "special education" fodder. She'll be locked in her place forever.
In thirty years of teaching kids, rich and poor, I almost never met a "learning disabled child; hardly ever met a "gifted and talented" one either. Like all school categories, these are sacred myths created by human imagination. They rise from questionable values that we never examine because they preserve the temple of schooling."(2:84-85)
Schools also label some children with medical conditions. That alone should concern you. Equally concerning is the fact that these school-placed-medical-labels are those they often wouldn't receive from a doctor. "Roughly three times as many students get services for autism (in a Minnesota district) than are estimated to have the disorder by the Centers for Disease Control... Interestingly, though, there's no explanation of why districts are allowed to place a medical label on a child based on non-medical evaluation."(4)
Many kinesthetic learners are falsely labeled hyperactive or ADHD when all they suffer from is confinement in a place totally inadequate to teach to their learning style and the expectation to fit into the school mold. The "problem" is that every child is different, and children should be taught as individuals, not as a collective mass. Labels often reflect whether a child is the type of student schools prefers to teach, rather than his actual learning capacity. Since classrooms rely on visual/audio teaching, then a child who happens to be an equally visual/audio learner is labeled "gifted," though he is no more gifted then a hands-on learner who is labeled "special needs." Once a child has the "special needs" label, they receive an even more watered down schooling then they otherwise would have, stunting their learning. This stunted learning serves as "proof" to administration that the child in fact has "special needs" after all, even though the child's learning wouldn't have been stunted in the first place had it not been for the school system. What a viscious cycle! The special needs of mislabeled children are simply to be taught as the person he or she is, not treated like one cookie in a mass batch, expected to fit in the cutter precisely as the other cookies do. (Read more about individual learning styles here)
The harm that these labels inflict is far reaching. It has often been said that children become what they live. So what will become of the child who spends his whole life in remedial classes? Over time, he'll define himself by his label. If he is labeled with a learning disability or personality problem, he'll have a hard time escaping it the rest of his life. Thomas Edison surely would have found himself labeled, and reduced to "special education" classes. Would it have defined him and shattered his confidence, preventing him from finding his special genius? We can only speculate. But certainly, many children today are mislabeled, dumbed down, and made fun of for no good reason.
I've read several personal accounts from families whose children were falsely labeled and placed on medications accordingly. When they pulled their children out of the school system to home school and quit medicating them, they found that the "symptoms" disappeared altogether and the children thrived all around and actually enjoyed learning once again. Here is one account, shared by a family friend...
"...Dear me, the system really failed (a 4th grader, I've removed his name). He was on ADHD meds here and it helped, but (his mom) said (school administration) told her they thought he was autistic and needed to be in special ed, they said he was never going to learn some things, I don't know what all, so they finally had him tested and the results came back "gifted"!!! Well, (the school administration) still didn't really accept that, and said he needed special ed, so (the parents) took him out of there and (his mom is) homeschooling him. Oh, one thing they said was that he would never learn cursive writing. She taught it to him in ONE WEEK! And she said he's a math whiz--they are doing a lot of 5th grade stuff because he tested at 6th grade level in many things. They took him off the meds."
6. Schools use school books, not real books.
As most of us have probably suspected, school books and real books aren't the same thing at all. Mass schooling primarily relies on text books. They are a dry collection of supposed facts that skim over the interesting, meaty, relevant material- all that would be needed in order for one to draw their own personal conclusions and application. In a study of American textbooks, Frances Fitzgerald "notes that schoolbooks are superficial and mindless, that they deliberately leave out important ideas, that they refuse to deal with conflict."(2:108)
School books are student-proof because they carefully guide the student's thinking in order to reach the "right" conclusions. They are teacher-proof because they don't require the teacher to think for themselves- they provide the teacher with the "right" questions and answers, and what to teach- as directed by the curriculum provider. Thus, teachers' personal insight and creativity is of no consequence.
The use of real books allows for a one-on-one exchange with interesting people like scientists, inventors, authors, artists, leaders, warriors, philosophers, and other great intellects, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions and applications. The use of text books or other school materials is not only dry and uninteresting, it is reliant upon a bureaucracy- for what material to include and what to skim over, for a watered-down summary of events, and for what the politically-correct conclusion of the matter is.
Children are not generally exposed to much classical or deep reading material in their schooling, as they once were. Even the "classics" have been modified with a "scientific addition to the original text" indoctrinated with someone else's interpretation, questions, and answers. "If you even read those questions (let alone answer them) there would be no chance ever again for a private exchange between you and (the author); the invisible editor would have preempted it... Real books demand people actively participate by asking their own questions. Books that show you the best questions to ask aren't just stupid, they hurt the mind under the guise of helping it-- exactly the way standardized tests do. Real books, unlike schoolbooks, can't be standardized."(2:51)
7. Schools are efficient at doing their job... it just isn't the job of educating your child.
John Taylor Gatto, an awarded school teacher of thirty years, says in his book Dumbing Us Down that the original purpose of schooling was to regulate the poor. But, as the bureaucracy and group of industries that profit from government schooling grew, so "this institution's original grasp (has enlarged) to the point that it now seizes the sons and daughters of the middle class as well. Is it any wonder Socrates was outraged at the accusation he took money to teach? Even then, philosophers saw clearly the inevitable direction the professionalization of teaching would take, that of preempting the teaching function, which, in a healthy community, belongs to everyone.”(1:16)
He refers to schools as a 12 year jail sentence in which children learn little more than bad habits and how to follow orders. He goes on to say that “Forced institutional schooling is absolutely unreformable because it is already an unqualified success! It does brilliantly and precicely what it was originally designed to do, that is, to be the “educational” component of a centralized mass production economy directed from a handful of command centers."(1:99) Even the "famous creator of educational psychology, Edward Thorndike of Columbia Teachers College announced, "Academic subjects are of little value.""(2:39) Instead of developing the intellect and teaching children to earn independent livelihoods harnessing their ingenuity and competence (esteemed virtues of the past), schools teach them to get a job. If you doubt this, read the NEA's decree in 1918, specifying certain behaviors and vocational training- not mental development- to be central goals of education.(2:108) But we'll get to that later. The major end promise of schooling is preparation to be specialized employees. We are the human resource that our mass production economy requires.
The enemies of our mass-production economy are self-sufficient people. "What nineteenth century American experience demonstrated unmistakably is that an independent, resourceful, too well-educated common population has the irresistible urge to produce- and the ability to do so. Many famous "panics" of nineteenth century America were caused in part by a hangover from early Federal times and Colonial days when the common ideal was to produce your own food, your own clothing, your own shelter, your own education, your own medical care, your own entertainment, etc. The common population was still insufficiently conditioned to be interdependent and specialized."(3:25)
Besides turning out herds of dependent consumers, schools are an asset to political management because they provide an elastic jobs project. "Any political management, even tyranny, must provide enough work for ordinary people that revolutionary conditions don't emerge. Forced schooling provides a spectacular jobs project, one almost infinitely elastic, one expanding and contracting with employment needs. It should be no secret to you that institutional schooling, with all its outriggers, is the principle employer in the United States."(3:22)
thinks some companies are too big to be allowed to
and that schooling is too important to let education get in its way."(3:191)
8. This isn't a new problem... look at how and why schools
If you take the time to read up on the establishment of compulsory schooling in America, you'll probably be surprised at what you find. I don't mean the history you're taught when attending college to become a teacher. I mean the rest of it.
Our school system originates from the Prussian culture, put in place to keep citizens manageable- training them to conform, mindlessly follow orders, and maintain separate social classes. Children are not taught to think critically for themselves- conformity is key. In 1843, Horrace Mann adamantly preached of the Prussian success, saying "There are many things there which we should do well to imitate,"(2:140) though he didn't see fit to mention that his poorly planned trip actually caused him to arrive at Prussian schools over school break, so he didn't even see them in session. Regardless of that minor detail, he boasted of the children's obedience and teachers' qualifications, pushing for Americans to "catch up" and professionally certify teachers and implement a methodical curriculum. He also criticized the alphabetical method in favor of the whole word method of reading. At the immediate time, his ideas were rebutted and recognized as an attempt to promote personal agenda, but eventually they came into implementation.
Compulsory schooling came about progressively. Beginning in 1852 with Massachusetts, over the span of 66 years, each of the 48 states adopted laws of forced schooling- all the while doing so utterly, extremely, and even violently opposed. It began with a short period (10-12 weeks) and low age limits (9-12 years), then slowly but surely extended its grasp. The "primitive one-room and two-room compulsion schools" with uncertified teachers did the unthinkable: they "poured out large numbers of trained, disciplined intellects... at exactly the moment when the national economy of independent livelihoods and democratic workplaces was giving way to professionally managed, accountant-driven hierarchal corporations which needed no such people.... Immediate action was called for... Forceful steps (were) taken just inside the new century to nip the career of intellectual schooling for the masses in the bud, replacing it with a different goal: the forging of "well-adjusted" citizens."(2:103)
There are several noted instances of absolute violence against school teachers. According to Bruce Curtis, author of Building the Education State 1836-1871, "parent resistance was motivated by radical transformation in the intention of schools-- a change from basic literacy to molding social identity... Many schools were burned to the ground and teachers run out by angry mobs. When students were kept after school, parents often broke into school to free them."(2:123)
William Torrey Harris then "standardized and Germanized our schools"(2:105), dividing children from one another with age-graded classrooms, ridding the successfully proven mixed-age method. Then the 1918 NEA Report (one of "the most influential educational documents of the twentieth century") abandoned academics as the goal of schooling. It announced "a new de-intellectualized curriculum to replace the famous recipe for high goals and standards laid out three decades earlier by the legendary Committee of Ten, which declared the purpose of all education to be the training of the mind... It decreed that specified behaviors, health, and vocational training were the central goals of education, not mental development, not character, not godliness."(2:108) (Remember my former statement that schools teach children to get a job instead of developing the intellect?)
The National Education Association made it their goal "to accomplish by education what dictators in Europe are seeking to do by compulsion and force."(3:3) That announcement came from an executive director of the NEA, and was quoted in the Monroe Evening News in 1933. The reporter went on to state, based on their interview, that schools "are to become an agency for the promotion of whatever political, social and economic policies the administration may desire to carry out. And the taxpayers, whether they like those policies or not, are to pay for having their children converted to them."(5)
Educational psychology took over classrooms nationwide. Harvard psychiatrist Chester M Pierce said in a keynote address to the 1973 Childhood International Education Seminar that "Every child in America entering school at the age of five is mentally ill because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, towards our elected officials, towards his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It's up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well- by creating the international child of the future."(2:284) In 1965 the Elementary and Secondary Education Act "allocated substantial federal funds to psychological and psychiatric programs in school, opening the door to a full palette of "interventions" by psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, agencies, and various specialists.... Now it was the law."(ibid)
Our brand of schooling is detrimental to children in many ways, of which I've only touched on a fragment. A large work is now available in both book form, and online entitled "The Underground History of American Education," which I highly recommend reading.
What have been the consequences of this dramatic restructurization of schooling? Americans are considerably less educated, less independent, less inventive, and less mature now then they were before schooling was forced upon them. Family bonds are weaker, religious convictions have been pushed aside, and our current state of morality (or lack thereof) would have been devastatingly unthinkable in years past. As schools had their autonomy and independent authority confiscated, they were forced into "a junior partnership with the federal government"(3:5) in order to avoid financial penalties. As with any organization, once it became centralized and hierarchicalized, the doors were open for the power hungry and those with alterer motives to promote their agenda. That has undoubtedly taken place in our school system, and schooling has taken the place of education.
9. School teachers can only do so much.
I don't wish to minimize the efforts of those who work in the school industry. There are some great teachers out there who are passionate about what they do and try to impart a meaningful education to their students. This doesn't mean I want to send my children into the system in hopes of running in to one or two of them along the way. Even the great teachers are held back by the system they're in subjection to- they are bound by classroom walls, administration, emotional distancing from their students, and an inefficient system with rules and regulations they must follow. Perhaps this restraint reflects why teachers have the highest burnout and dropout rate of any major occupational group. (See here.) But, regardless of how enthusiastic a teacher may be, she will never have the same personal interest in our children as we do- nor will she have the ability to be in tune with him as an individual.
I've heard teachers repeatedly complain of the pettiness and childish nature of other teachers or administration they must work with, the time wasted in busy work, and the time wasted just trying to establish their authority over a classroom and maintain control. Their hands are tied from enforcing any real discipline- and the children know it. Instead, teachers must fill out forms and deal with very delayed processes and often an unhelpful administration. One teacher says: "The first day I taught, an old-timer told me how to control my classes. "Humiliation," she said. "That's the only thing they fear. Shame them. Encourage other kids to shame them too.""(3:65)
Besides combating control and discipline issues, teachers find themselves extremely limited in real life teaching opportunities. A common source of frustration for teachers is that they feel the school holds them back from actually teaching. "A big secret of bulk-process schooling is that it doesn't teach the way children learn; a bigger secret is that it isn't supposed to teach self-direction at all."(3:63) The best way for children to learn is through open-source, real-life learning. This method is opposite of the one-size-fits-all form used in school.
10. You are in a position to give your child a real education!
You can't "fix" the school system. You can fix the problem of how your children are educated. If you want them to receive the best possible education, more meaningful and memorable then your own, encouraging creativity, individual interests, and critical thinking skills, home schooling is the answer. “The success of home schooling shows a different road that has great promise. Pouring the money we now pour into schooling back into family education might cure two ailments with one medicine, repairing families as it repairs children.”(1:29)
"School trains children to be employees and consumers; teach your own to be leaders and adventurers. School trains children to obey reflexively; teach your own to think critically and independently. Well-schooled kids have a low threshold for boredom; help your own to develop an inner life so that they'll never be bored. Urge them to take on the serious material, the grown-up material, in history, literature, philosophy, music, art, economics, theology- all the stuff schoolteachers know well enough to avoid. Challenge your kids with plenty of solitude so that they can learn to enjoy their own company, to conduct inner dialogues. Well-schooled people are conditioned to dread being alone; they seek constant companionship through the TV, the computer, the cell phone, and through shallow friendships quickly acquired, quickly abandoned. Your children should have a more important life, and they can."(3:xxii)
If you are a parent, you are qualified to teach your own child. About 2 million children are home schooled across America, and the number is steadily growing. Home schooling works! Studies show that home schooled children perform better in EVERY subject, at EVERY grade level. And, contrary to common assumption, home schooling can provide ideal socialization as well. Families and communities benefit, and most importantly, your child benefits.
If you'd like to learn more about home schooling, to see if it may be a fit for your family, I recommend reading through the material on this site (which may be accessed from the home school page). You may also want to check out my recommended reading page for good books I've come across.
If you are a parent, you really need to read the following books by John Taylor Gatto. He is a school teacher with thirty years experience (and several awards) who gives you an inside look at the American school system.
Dumbing Us Down...
- "How the U.S. educational system cranks out students the way Detroit cranks out Buicks. He contends that students are more programmed to conform to economic and social norms rather than really taught to think."
The Underground History of American Education...
- "He exposes the errors of short-answer tests, bells, uniform time blocks, age-grading, standardization, and all the rest of school religion. This groundbreaking, revolutionary work will change the way you look at the process and even the very concept of public education. Every parent should read this book! It shows how compulsory schooling came to be as it is in America with a lure of utopia and a very strong Prussian connection (which should be cause for much concern). It also exposes the affects of compulsory schooling on America, drawing both from history (showing alarming drops in education, literacy, and much more) and 30 years of school-teaching experience. Read it online for free, here.
- Read this excerpt from the book, which expands on the topic I alluded to of school books vs. real books. This particular section really clicked with me.
- Read this excerpt from the book, in which the author writes the editor about the alleged overcrowding reported at his school. The press reported class sizes of 35-50, though the real class size was 28, and they had enough teachers for class sizes of 17. What's going on here?
Weapons of Mass Instruction...
- "Focuses on mechanisms of compulsory schooling which cripple imagination and discourage critical thinking. Here is a demonstration that the harm school inflicts is quite rational and deliberate. The real function of pedagogy is to render the common population manageable, remove the obligation of child care from adult workers so they are free to fuel the industrial economy and to train the next generation into subservient obedience to the state."
More info on the American Education System:
- Dirty Little Secrets: What the National Education Association Doesn't Want You To Know, by Charity Leah. This is a set of quotes from the NEA & those highly influential in education... "No commentary is necessary. They speak volumes for themselves."
- Roots That Go Deep, by Lynn M. Stuter
Choosing to home-school:
- School's Open - Hide all the Children! by Bill Huff (a former school teacher)
- Seven Undeniable Truths of Home-schooling Every parent home schools, some more then others.
- Comparing Institutional Schools to Home Schools by Susan Lemons
Questions & Objections:
- Still on the fence? This page answers common questions and objections to home schooling, and explains good reasoning behind choosing home schooling.
- Click here or here for sites answering common questions and objections to home schooling
- Works Cited..
2. Gatto, John Taylor. The Underground History of American Education. Canada: New Society Publishers, 2000.
3. Gatto, John Taylor, Weapons of Mass Instruction. Canada: New Society Publishers, 2009.
4. Gerwitz, Matt. Dirty Little Secrets: What the National Education Association Doesn't Want You To Know. Charity LEAH. <</span>http://www.charityleah.org/docs/DirtyLittleSecrets.pdf>. 10 Sep. 2009.
5. Stuter, Lynn M. Roots That Go Deep. News With Views. 3 April 2003. <</span>http://www.newswithviews.com/Stuter/stuter31.htm>. 10 Sep. 2009.
6. Rudy, Lisa Jo. When Schools Label Kids as Autistic, Services and Utter Confusion Follow. About.com: Autism. <</span>http://autism.about.com/b/2008/05/06/when-schools-label-kids-as-autistic-services-and-utter-confusion-follow.htm>. 21 Sep. 2009.