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  QUESTION: Learning & Lead Poisoning, 18 Mar 2004, USA

I have a 12 yrs old son who had lead poisoning when he was about 3.. his levels were very high and he was hospitalized at least 2 or 3 times. It was hard for me to give him the medication by mouth because it had a bad taste and smell. Every time I tried to give it to him he would spit it out, so that's why he was eventually hospitalized. Now he is in 7th grade and having a difficult time in school. His grades were always barely passing, but he would move on to the next grade. Now his 7th grade teacher feels he may have a problem, but due to the waiting list, I have to wait for him to get evaluated. I remembered reading something about Lead and Learning and that's when I looked up this info on the internet. I need help, could this be his problem now? please send any correspondence to me or a number that I may be able to call for further assistance. thank you, this would be greatly appreciated. Luz

SECOND EMAIL Sent: Thursday, 18 March 2004

Thank you Elizabeth, I appreciate that you sent me a reply so quickly. I will take some of the advice given and also look up the other sites given to me.

ANSWER: 18 Mar 2004

Dear Luz,

I have pasted in some relevant emails from Leadnet [an e-group for lead poisoning prevention/management professionals] at the bottom of this email.

The Global Lead Advice and Support Service (GLASS) is a volunteer organisation that is drastically under funded and understaffed and so while we do try to respond to all of the thousands of emails we get we often have trouble keeping up with them. If you would like Lead or Lead related information, you may find what you need on our website - or that of the Australian Dust Removalists Association - or the following United States websites:

and/or contact your local Health department as they are far better equipped to handle most queries.

If you are unsatisfied with the information provided by these agencies please feel free to email us again. I am sorry for this inconvenience.

Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

-----Original Message-----
From: Sharon Sent: Tuesday, 9 March 2004 To; leadnet(AT)mail-list(DOT)com

"Managing Elevated Blood Lead Levels Among Young Children: Recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention", March 2002. (CDC) at Chapter 5, "Developmental Assessment & Interventions", prepared by David Bellinger & Leonard Rappaport, is eleven pages long, with the info that you are looking for---& an extensive bibliography (although the pure "education" references are limited), citing health, environmental, developmental, neurology/toxicology, etc. literature.

Try it!

Mike 03/01/04 01:14PM

In an earlier post on Leadnet Elizabeth O'Brien asked a pertinent question that I haven't seen any responses to. Is there a developed protocol for working with children in schools who have been lead poisoned? It seems to me that having been lead poisoned at the CDC level of official toxicity would be a prima facie case of brain injury. Currently there are Special Education procedures for working out Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for children. But eligibility for Special Education requires some testing and diagnosis of learning difficulties. I am not aware of whether the health department follow-ups to lead poisoning consider the implications for school achievement and whether they advocate to the mother or teacher that some consideration be given to the child under the Special Education statutes (Congress mandated a study of Special Education referrals and the National Academy of Sciences specifically cited lead poisoning in their report).

Given that a child has been lead poisoned, what protocols should be expected for that child in school, whether in Special Education or not?


Excerpt from original Leadnet post:

I can generally agree that there is very little that schools have done about lead-poisoned students specifically, because, despite years o f searching for it, I have only ever found one article on the topic:- "The Early Lead Poisoned Child In The Classroom: Symptomatology and Intervention for School Psychologists and School-Based Personnel" by Anne Winner, which I published with Anne's permission in the newsletter in 1994 - LEAD Action News volume 2 number 3. I have since then lost contact with Anne Winner of Reisterstown, Maryland but would love to contact her again if anyone can help with that?

What I'd like to hear from other Leadnet members, is whether they know of any school that has done something to assist lead-poisoned children specifically and what it is that was done. Here's some of what Anne Winner suggested but it's too late at night for me to type it all out (quarter past one in the morning!): "[the lead-poisoned child] should have:

a) Preferential Seating. Some children with processing problems may also need direct "attention holding" contact, often from only 3 feet away.b) Assignment of a Buddy: This helps the child with directions, especially if delay in response is involved... e) Referral to School Psychologist: Direct intervention to improve play behaviour and social interaction; help child with any emotional problems arising from this condition; and direct classroom consultation."

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