LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News vol 4 no 2  Autumn  1996  ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)

The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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Lead Links to ADD and Learning Difficulties
Case Histories

by Robin Mosman, The LEAD Group

Inquirers continue to give anecdotal evidence of links between renovation of old houses, and children with learning and/or behaviour problems.

Inquirer 1 did a lot of sanding in an old house in Newcastle 4 years ago. Her children were 3 and 8 years old at the time. The younger child has just had to be put into a special reading class, the older child has had ADD symptoms since the time of the sanding. The family had lived in a new house in Canberra prior to this.

Inquirer 2's children, aged 18 months and nearly 4, have a habit of licking the leadlight in a pair of old French doors, especially the older child when he was younger. He now has an attention problem.

Inquirer 3 has an ADD child. They renovated when the child was little.

Inquirer 4 has been renovating "really old homes" almost permanently for the last 15 years. His 14 year old son has typical ADD symptoms. They have been going to doctors for years in an effort to find out the source of the boy's problems. Lead has never been mentioned as a possible cause.

In spite of being obviously very intelligent, the boy has had extreme learning difficulties, behaviour problems and was highly allergic. His sister scored 99.5 in the HSC last year. The father contacted LEADLINE after reading 'Lead Alert'.

The son decided that he wanted to leave school - he had just finished Year 10. This was totally contrary to the parents' values and expectations. However, they were able to accept his decision In a positive and supportive way, and now "he is a different personality in his relief at leaving school - it was obviously a much bigger stress than we realised.

His behavioural problems have lessened too. Sitting still was such a huge problem for him. Interestingly though, since he left school he's spent a lot of time watching the education programs on Pay TV."

When asked if he felt speaking with LEADLINE had been of value to him, the father replied "I think it was a big part of my acceptance of my son's leaving school, and ability to be really positive in supporting him. Before I was always wanting to find the reason for his ADD.

Although we can't prove lead was the factor, talking with you helped me understand that maybe it was the reason, and it stopped me chasing for a reason, so that wasn't as big an issue any more. It helped me focus more on being positive about the future instead of worrying about the past."

Inquirer 5 and her husband "renovated a few places in the past, and our 4 year old is having learning difficulties." They were planning more renovation, but after seeing the Better Homes and Gardens program on the dangers of lead, she told her husband "No lead test on the paint, no renovation! "

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