Friday, June 13, 2008

Environment Does Effect Learning From the Inside Out

When I start to read about toxins and learning disabilities I admit, my stomach tightens, my head starts to shake no and as a parent, a tiny guilt switch flips in the back of my brain and I know that I start to turn off. As a teacher, who tends to deal with after-the-fact I also shift gears because at that point, what can I do about it. However, the more that I live in both roles, the more I find a balance.... I try to not feel guilty about my own kids and what they may or may not have been exposed to and as an Educational Practitioner my brain takes 2 routes: 1) knowing exposure levels that may have contributed to cognitive development may provide a positive path for medical remediation if you will, rather than medicate the annoying symptoms, let's actually target the cause; and 2) prevention is still the best possibility for reducing the numbers of struggling kids and pained adults.. . . even though 100% prevention would put me out of a career....... Below are a few links for information and education that started this particular mind-path this morning:

Discover Magazine: How Much Do Chemicals Affect Our Health? (4.25.08)
Can we do anything now to mitigate deficits from exposures experienced long ago?
There’s nothing we can do to reverse the damage that’s already been done. I recommend against taking chelating agents. Yes, they get the lead out of your body, but they are known to damage the kidneys and are of no proven benefit. Better to ward off brain decline by staying mentally active and using your brain. Read. Physical exercise keeps the brain healthy. Social networks are very important. People who have lots of friends age much more gracefully than people who are isolated. A general prescription would be to eat well, exercise regularly, have a lot of friends, and laugh.

LDA of Michigan has an ongoing project, the Healthy Child Project, that is
dedicated to helping you:

learn more about exactly what are these toxic substances in the environment and how they might affect our children’s health;

understand possible reasons why the incidence of learning disabilities, developmental disabilities and disease among children is on the rise;

find out how to join with others to make a difference in protecting the health and future of our children.

Ted Schettler, MD is a keynote speaker for LDA of Michigan in October 2008

Learning, behavioral and developmental disabilities including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism prevent our children from reaching their full human potential. Seventeen percent of children in the United States have been diagnosed with one or more developmental disabilities. These disorders have widespread societal implications, from health and education costs to the repercussions of criminal behavior. Though trends are difficult to establish with certainty, there is a growing consensus that learning and behavioral disorders are increasing in frequency.
These disabilities are clearly the result of complex interactions among genetic, environmental, and social factors that impact children during vulnerable periods of development.

For more see the LDA of Michigan site or see more about Generations at Risk

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