Lead poisoned autistic 2 year old

Neesa_renee - posted on 10/12/2019 ( no moms have responded yet )

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My name is Lynneesa Mitchell. I am a 23-year-old single mom with two beautiful daughters, ages 2 and 11 months. And I really need your help/advice.

My oldest daughter, Nadia, is profoundly autistic, which we discovered when she was 21 months old (I’m attaching her photo). She also suffers from pica and global developmental delays, which are typically associated with the condition. I love her so much, and I tell anyone who will listen that she is the best thing that ever happened to me. I struggled enormously when I found out that she was on the spectrum—grieving, really, because I knew that our lives were forever changed. I resolved to go on and find the best care I could for her, even though I am on public assistance. And then, suddenly, our lives got worse.

In October 2018, we moved into apartment it is a small, serviceable home, built in 1890, at which time lead was commonly used in the construction of homes. In June 2019, I found out from a blood test that Nadia had been poisoned by lead inside and outside our apartment, even though it initially passed a mandated lead inspection conducted by the county health department. When the test was repeated by the department, the apartment suddenly failed.

When she was tested, Nadia had a blood lead level of 10—far beyond the 5 that the CDC, EPA and doctors’ offices find problematic, and shockingly high for a child who already has developmental issues.

Since she was poisoned, Nadia has stopped eating solids, begun vomiting up Pediasure, and undergone GI surgery for complications. She has since been diagnosed with Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, and is afraid to try new foods or even come close to them. All of these are symptoms of exposure to lead, and I shudder to think what lies ahead.

I am enormously grateful that my seven-month-old daughter and I had undetectable levels of lead (although ‘undetectable’ may just mean ‘below five,’ depending on the test). As any parent knows, a toddler is more likely to investigate every nook and cranny of their homes, and to lick their hands, though we don’t know exactly how it got into her system. Our best guess is that she consumed dust, peeling paint or something else from the apartment. But we do know that it was extraordinary damaging to Nadia, who was already struggling so hard to just live like a “normal” kid would. Finding out about this setback killed us.

From the moment we detected the lead, our landlord ignored our calls. When we finally got him to answer, he lied and said he called the health inspector (which the inspector denied). He steadfastly refused to do repairs. We wanted to move, but the Department of Housing could not extend us the funds we need for a security deposit (they only do so every five years). Worse, the Department of Human Services then refused to pay part of our rent due to the lead violations.

As a single mom with two babies, and not much money, I worried. I cried. I panicked. I was terrified about what it would mean for Nadia, and reached out to agencies and churches. A social worker tried to help, but her best suggestion was: Try homeless shelters.

I called 16 attorneys. They told us that Nadia’s lead level has to be higher than 20 for action to be taken, and because our apartment is from private housing stock, it didn’t need to have insurance to address lead-poisoning issues. Looking for a new apartment has been impossible with young children: I need to take the bus, have a double stroller that I am not sure will fit, and worst of all, Nadia would have had a meltdown due to all the loud people and lights due to her sensory-processing issues. We currently have nowhere to go.

Out of desperation, any help/advice would be appreciated, while moving to help us get a new place (assuming I can find one). It would change our lives if I had a car and extra money. There’s a local group called Autism Up Mothers, which has been supportive. Some repairs have finally been made to the apartment we live in, and the landlord no longer works there. But I have already given my 30-day notice, and it’s all too late to benefit us.

Nadia’s blood still shows levels of lead poisoning. She will be tested again in about a month. I am trying so hard to find a way forward for my daughters, whom I love so much. If there is any way that you could air or report my story, you would truly be saving our lives, and preventing Nadia’s life from getting worse—someone must be able to help us somehow. We are set to move October 31, and have nowhere to go (though we applied to a few Section 8 places, which I am really hoping are not old enough to have similar lead issues). My heart cant take all the no's and uncaring people... 😣😢please if you can help donate ny state litterally is the cruelest state in the US! Ive tried everything in process of trying to get to the media but this ia the last thing they would want to talk about!! If you can help donate in amyway you would be truley saving her https://www.gofundme.com/f/autism-mother...

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