My son Avi is 12-1/2 years old (he’ll be 13 in January actually), he just started 7th grade.
He’s the boy in blue at the middle of this picture taken earlier this month! You can click the image to see it full size if you like!
Avi was acutely lead poisoned when he was just 7 months old.
As a result of the timing and degree of his lead exposure, he has a significant permanent brain injury (he was evaluated & tested by experts in the field).
Despite an overall high IQ [hovering around 130 – just one IQ point shy of qualifying for entry to MENSA.], his visual memory was determined to be in the 4th percentile. Things that take visual memory for processing (both ” information in” and “information out”) are therefore extremely challenging for him and he must work very hard at those tasks (think: reading and writing).
Every year for the Jewish New Year, we have a family tradition of writing out our New Year’s Resolutions (goals and focus for the year ahead.) In keeping with our family tradition, Avi wrote the “priority list” (image below) for himself and put it in a 3-ring binder along with a few other sheets of paper, so he can “help keep track of these goals over the course of the year!”
Check out the image below of his priority list — my “translation” [for those who might not be able to completely decipher “Avi-script”] is below the image.
For those who have not followed Avi’s story very closely (and for those who are new to my website) please understand that just the fact that he wrote this list (as a self-directed activity) represents a huge leap-forward for him, a significant accomplishment!
As a reflection, think about how you (or your child) were writing when you were 12 (almost 13), and think about how a hurdle like this might impact a child’s learning capacities and later their ability to function in an adult world.
I can’t think of a more tangible simple, everyday example to illustrate how lead poisoning has impacted my family.
As always, thank you for reading!
If you would like to support my advocacy work there are a bunch of ways you can help here!
Tamara Elise Rubin
“Unexpected Lead Expert”
Here’s the translation of Avi’s note above:
Order of Priority
- Practice Unicycle
- Build Costume (for Halloween)
- D & D (Dungeons and Dragons)
- Practice Chinese
- Practice CAD (Computer Animated Design)
- Practice Cooking