Here are some of the human faces behind the statistics:

12 million children live with neurodevelopmental disorders. Autism rates tripled since 1980; today it is 1 out of every 110 children.


Sean overcame problems of dyslexia and learning disabilities.

Sean Behm went through bouts of destructive behavior in his early school years, driven by his dyslexia and other learning problems. He once spoke of ‘jumping off the (Golden Gate) bridge,” and asked his parents if he was mentally retarded. Bullies at school kept taunting him. His mother, JoAnn, an RN with a masters in nursing, left a job she loved to spend time attending to her son’s needs and to advocate for environmental health for children in California. With his parents’ advocacy and care and finally finding the right school, he’s made it to young adulthood and college where he’s studying chemistry and industrial technology.

Jo, looking for possible causes, volunteered for a study in California that looked for industrial chemicals in adults’ bodies. “Every pollutant I was tested for, I have. That includes heavy metals, industrial compounds, pesticides, phthalates, flame retardants, and DDT. What did I as just Jo Citizen do to deserve this, why am I carrying around all these products? How about young people and the fetus and the embryo and breastfeeding milk?”