Autistic children cannot live near wind turbine projects

Credit:  Lambton County, ON, April 2, 2013, North American Platform Against Wind Power

Today on World Autism Awareness Day, Sarah is worried. She is the mother of three autistic children. But Sarah’s concerns have been increased tenfold by the fact that applications have been filed for two industrial wind projects totaling over 130 turbines near her 36 acre farm in Lambton County. “It’s a haven of peace for my kids. My neighbours know them and look out for them if they stray,” says Sarah. “But I have researched the effects of wind turbines on autistic children and I am devastated. Who will look out for them now?”

Recently a survey by Davis and Steigler (2010) of over 17,000 children who have Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) shows that over 40% were “hypersensitive to sounds” and that “noise sensitivity is a particular problem” for children with ASD.

Stansfeld and Matheson (2003) note, “It is likely that children represent a group which is particularly vulnerable to the non-auditory health effects of noise … In view of the fact that children are still developing both physically and cognitively, there is a possible risk that exposure to an environmental stressor such as noise may have irreversible negative consequences for this group.”

It is acknowledged that noise emissions both auditory and non-auditory from wind turbines have particular characteristics which contribute to chronic sleep disturbance, stress, nausea and impaired cognition.

Sarah wants the Ontario government to cancel these projects proposed by Suncor Energy and NextEra Energy Canada and leave her family in peace. “It’s happened before in England and it should happen here too. Kids deserve to be protected. My children can’t speak for themselves – but I can.”

For more information contact:

Sherri Lange
CEO NA-PAW North American Platform Against Windpower

Marcelle Brooks
Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group

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