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EDUCATION

Many Swedish teens fear start of new school year

One in three Swedish youngsters are worried about the start of the school year, a new survey shows.

Many Swedish teens fear start of new school year

Pressure to perform, concerns about difficult school work, and bullying fears are among the factors most often cited by students as cause for their anxiety about heading back to school.

Many are also stressed about having the hottest tech gadgets and keeping up with the latest fashion trends.

Other stress factors include dealing with “bullshit”, “nasty words”, and rumours, according to the results of a new survey carried out by the youth advocacy organisation Friends, which works to combat bullying in Swedish schools.

Disruptive classrooms also contribute to Swedish youngsters’ angst ahead of the start of autumn school term.

“The study makes for frightening reading,” said Katarina Rosenqvist, head of operations at Friends, in a statement.

The survey shows that only 43 percent of students think that schools do enough to stop bullying and that 11 percent are scared of becoming victims of bullying.

“An alarmingly high percentage,” said Rosenqvist.

She thinks that a “coordinated effort to prevent and put a stop to bullying” is needed.

“Student participation is known to be an important factor for success in order to stop bullying and Friends strongly believes that children’s and young people’s capacity to dare to stand for that is right,” she said.

The results of the survey are based on responses gathered by the Cint polling firm from 1,025 students ages 14-17 during the summer.

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HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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