Children’s Medical/Emotional/Social Needs


Andrew Smith — Southwestern — September 5, 2012
NORTH PERTH – Parents and community members are speaking out for those who can’t, expressing their concern for special needs children living in the shadow of proposed wind turbines.
When Britton residents Gerald Rathwell and Tammy Medeiros look at the draft site plan for the Conestogo Wind Energy Centre, their first thought is how it could affect their children — in particular, Rathwell’s 25-year-old son Jeremy and Medeiros’ 17-year-old son Cody.
Jeremy and Cody have autism, and both exhibit problems processing sensory information, such as sights and sounds. The concern of Medeiros is how the low-frequency noise produced by wind turbines will affect her son when he is already sensitive to sound.
“Anything like that is really going to set him off,” Medeiros said. “Even the phone ringing, he’s slapping his head and can’t stand the sound.”
In addition to extreme sensitivity to sounds, autistic children often exhibit a fixation on shadows or moving objects. This is where the shadows cast by the large rotating blades of industrial wind turbines can be a concern. Commonly referred to as shadow flicker, these shadows can be cast as far as 1,000 km depending on the size of the turbine.
“For Cody, I know that could bring on a seizure,” Medeiros said. “In a swimming pool, even if he just stares at moving water for too long, he’ll have a seizure.”
For Medeiros and Rathwell, the threat of wind turbines in their backyard will only add to the frustration and confusion they experience when dealing with their non-verbal children and determining what could have triggered a disturbance or a seizure.
“I can’t imagine throwing in something else that’s going to confuse everybody,” Medeiros said. “If this happens, I guess we’ll have to move.”
Warren Howard, North Perth municipal councillor and representative of Elma Mornington Concerned Citizens, said the draft site plan for the Conestogo Wind Energy Centre from Invenergy Canada very clearly shows Britton in the shadow flicker radius of three turbines, which he said could cause an annoyance to everyone in the village southeast of Listowel.
“Shadow flicker is extremely annoying to anyone who is exposed to it,” Howard said. “Casting these very annoying, moving shadows on your property should not be allowed.”
North Perth council has already been approached regarding shadow flicker by resident Tyler Martin, who took the position that bylaws can be enforced under the Municipal Act of Ontario by protecting the health and well-being of persons. Since then, council has been investigating a nuisance bylaw against shadow flicker, which Howard said could limit the hours of the day that the turbines would be allowed to operate, cutting into Invenergy’s profits substantially.
“If the bylaw is passed, they’ll know it’s there and they’ll have to plan around it,” Howard said. “There are some steps they can take to limit the effect.”


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Wind power appeal casts shadow over disabled children’s chance to ride

October 31, 2013


A CLUB devoted to helping disabled children get in the saddle fears it may have to close if permission is granted for a wind turbine near its Whittington stables.

Lichfield Riding for the Disabled Association says its future is at risk due to a proposed 60m tall triple-bladed turbine at land south of Hademore House Bridge, Fisherwick Road.

The renewable energy scheme has already been turned down by Lichfield District Council but applicants JF and BM Gray of Sheepwash Farm, Whittington, have now appealed.

The riding association, which operates from Coton House Farm Stables in Whittington, claims the proposal would kill off the group.

“If the proposal goes ahead, we cannot continue to ride,” said chairman Debbie Hoskins.

“The noise and shadows that a wind turbine generates creates an unacceptable level of risk.

“The safety and wellbeing of our riders is paramount and the risk posed to our horses and ponies being spooked is too high.”

The original application maintained no properties would be affected by so-called “shadow flicker” from the 500kW turbine, which would have three 26.5m tapered blades, creating a maximum height of 86.5m from the base to the tip of the blades.

The British Horse Society has investigated the potential equine hazards posed by wind turbines and believes horses may react adversely to blade shadows.

“In sunshine the rotors of a wind turbine will cast a shadow on the ground that the horses are being asked to cross and this may frighten some horses,” explained Mrs Hoskins.

“Shadows cast from a blade are very different from those cast by any other moving object, because of their speed and because the object casting the shadow is probably not obvious to a horse.

“The shadow is perhaps perceived as an animal or other live threat.

“These shadows can affect a considerable distance from the turbine at certain times of the day or year when the sun is very low.

“Blade shadows are not a problem if the turbine is to the north of the right of way or road. Shadows are longest early in the morning and in the evening – both times when more horses are being exercised.”

Horses could also be spooked by blades which start to turn while in its sight line, by turning blades that first come into view at eye level, and by noise from the blades and motors, added Mrs Hoskins.

“If it goes ahead it means the end of our group, which is something I just cannot face,” she said.

“Riding for the Disabled gives the opportunity to those who have learning or physical disabilities, or both, to participate in an activity giving them a challenge, opportunity to interact with other riders, to form friendships with the volunteers, to learn new skills, to get physical exercise and to have fun.

“All of our riders love their sessions and really look forward to them – it is often the highlight of their week.

“Parents and carers love watching and seeing how the faces of their riders light up with joy. It is truly heart-warming.”


Children can be affected by industrial windmills

October 30, 2013


Credit:  By Mary Burns | Special to the Olean Times Herald | October 29, 2013 |


Our children are under stress from a variety of sources. In school, students endure high-stakes testing and are working to meet rigorous new academic standards. Outside of school, friends and classmates are learning to navigate relationships in the new frontier of social networking.

Parents must now deal with an emerging and very serious new issue. As the town of Allegany struggles with the issue of industrial wind turbines, parents and school officials should thoroughly evaluate risks posed to the health of Allegany’s children.

I have included a letter, which was read at the Vermilion County, Ill., board meeting on Oct. 8, and written by William C. Mulvaney, a superintendent of schools. It is a cautionary tale concerning industrial wind turbine installations.

“My name is Bill Mulvaney and I am the superintendent of schools for Armstrong Township High School and Armstrong-Ellis CUD No. 61. I also served on the wind panel that met to try to give direction to the county board on wind turbine ordinances. Our panel did not come up with any recommended changes, but I would like to share a few thoughts with you.

“I have noticed that we have some children in our district that appear to be having some medical issues related to the wind turbines. Headaches, lack of sleep and jaw issues seem to be the most common. The students also complain about not being able to sleep or not getting a full night’s sleep due to sound issues.

“We have also been advised that we will be losing a couple of families because the wind turbines were placed close to homes and the families can no longer handle the flicker and noise issues.

“While these issues were brought up at our panel discussion, I was not fully aware of the impact that the wind turbines would have to my school district. It is never a good thing when children have health issues or families have to leave their homes to get away from the turbines. The revenue generated by the turbines is a blessing to our schools, but the unintended consequences are real.

“I hope this letter sheds some light on the real issues that affect districts that house wind farms. I also hope that when ordinances are discussed in the future, that these issues are considered.”

Many communities like Mr. Mulvaney’s Armstrong Township are learning their families and children are vulnerable to medical and safety effects. The health and noise issues caused by turbines are being studied around the world. Increasing instances of negative impacts are now being documented. A problem has been that industrial wind turbines have only recently become so immense due to engineering breakthroughs using new structural materials. A consequence is that there is almost no long-term data showing how such huge turbines impact residents in nearby neighborhoods.

As troubling indications continue to emerge, the wind lobby and those wanting to build wind turbines without regard to their negative impacts on children, the aging, the ill, etc., rely on slick and well-funded publicity campaigns and propaganda denying everything. This is no different than what the tobacco lobby so successfully did for decades. Physicians and scientists knew the truth, but big money talks, so tobacco companies became richer while the public suffered.

Parents, school officials and government leaders should know that the substitute turbines requested by EverPower/Allegany Wind at the planning board meeting in September 2012 are bigger than any yet installed by this corporation, with a 37 percent greater rotor sweep than the Illinois turbines referred to by Mr. Mulvaney. They have no field history with such machines.

When the Allegany Town Planning Board requested additional environmental impact studies before approving them, Allegany Wind refused and instead sued the board for asking for them. What are they so determined to hide? Instead of cooperating, they expect Allegany’s children and residents to serve as test subjects for 20 years. The majority of those recent demonstrators demanding to build Allegany Wind will live miles away and, so, are willing to overlook or deny any potential negative impacts on those located nearer turbine alley.

These wind farms very often spread out in all directions once a foothold is established with a few original machines. Allegany’s electorate should not allow a write-in takeover of the town board by a special interest group that would push for that very turbine blight to happen. On Nov. 5, please vote for the town board candidates listed on the ballot.

Wind turbine impact on children questioned

October 16, 2013

Peterborough Examiner

MILLBROOK – Mothers Against Wind Turbines added their voice to the opposition against a proposed wind farm in the Bethany-Cavan area.

The group, formed by two mothers who have been waging fights against wind farm proposals in their own communities, spoke to a group of 25 people at the Cavan Monaghan Township municipal office Tuesday night.

Focused on the impact of wind turbines on children, the talk was part of a series of recent town hall meetings hosted by Deputy Mayor Scott McFadden and Coun. Tim Belch.

Shellie Correia, who lives in the town of Wellandport in Niagara Region, has been fighting the construction of a mega wind turbine project in her backyard.

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Sleep – essential for Good Health

October 9, 2013


Sleep is essential for good health.  THE most prevalent adverse health impact from giant industrial wind turbines is noise related sleep deprivation.

We’ve covered the fact that Industrial Noise – is always and everywhere a public health issue.

Here’s a letter from Dr William Hallstein, a practising psychiatrist for over 40 years, to the Falmouth Board of Health about the impact Falmouth’s giant fans have on sleep and, therefore, human health.


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Lambton Shores family asking wind companies to move turbine sites

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sarah Hornblower says intensive behavioural intervention therapy has made a world of difference for Josh, her five-year-old autistic son.

But, she worries wind farms coming to Lambton Shores will blow the progress away.

Hornblower and her husband, Chris, felt lucky when Josh qualified for the OHIP-covered in-home therapy after only a year or so on the waiting list. They saw families in other areas waiting much longer.

“He wasn’t talking,” she said. “He wasn’t toilet trained. He wasn’t interacting at all. He wouldn’t look at you.”

That changed after the therapy.

“Through the work of these people, he’s fully toilet trained. He can speak, He’s learning to read. He can ride a bike . . . things we never thought were possible.”

The couple has seven children and three have been diagnosed with autism. Josh is the most severely impacted.

Children suffering from sleep deprivation

February 16 2013

Living with turbines for almost 5 years, we have become used to the lack of sleep and all of the side affects that go along with it. We live within 700m of two turbines, there are 6-8 within 1 km, and at least 12 within 2 kim’s. Yesterday was report card day and my eldest son’s report card broke my heart. It started with a glowing report “…is a very responsible student in every area within the school. He walks in the hallways in the manner that is expected, demonstrating to others what a responblie student looks like. He works hard to ensure…” but my heart broke when I read “…should continue to put his best effort forth in paying close attention to the teacher and his classmates when they speak, rather than resting his head on his desk surface.” My son complains often that he has a hard time at school because he is so tired all the time, and when I asked him how he handled it he said he tried to close his eyes on his desk from time to time, but it really hit home when it was there in black and white on the report card.

Additional Data
Wind Company Name: Kruger
Project Name: Harwich
Distance to Nearest Turbine (in Metres): 600

An ill wind

May 27, 2013 by Sarah Dingle in Radio National

In less than a fortnight, the small community of King Island will vote on whether a crucial part of Australia’s clean energy future should proceed to the next stage. But the islanders are sharply divided, after claims by health promotion company the Waubra Foundation, and their controversial CEO Dr Sarah Laurie, that the noise wind turbines make harms human health. Sarah Dingle investigates.

On tiny King Island, you’re never far from the sea.

Its location in the Bass Strait means the island’s right in the middle of the Roaring Forties, and experiences wind speeds of about eight metres a second.

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Wind Turbine Syndrome worse than motion sickness

December 18, 2010

Some people seem unaffected by wind turbine noise and vibrations, but it is the same with many other things, such as motion sickness. Some people have it; some don’t.

But Wind Turbine Syndrome is much worse than motion sickness because at least you can get away from whatever it is that is making you sick. Imagine if you couldn’t.

People who live around wind turbines can’t move to get away from it. They are forced to live in unbearable conditions, since no one would want to buy their home after wind turbines start operating nearby.

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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.

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