A Story of Developmental Disability, A Story of Health: The Influence of Environmental Exposures and Opportunities for Prevention

June 11, 2015
10:00 am US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources

Speaker presentation slides:

Dr. Schettler: A Story of Health: Amelia's Story

Dr. Bellinger: What is "Developmental" About "Developmental Neurotoxicolgy"

Dr. Rosen: Developmental Disabilities

Additional resources of interest:

A Story of Health multimedia eBook:

The complete eBook. This first installment includes the Introduction and 3 stories: Brett’s Story (asthma), Amelia’s story (developmental disabilities) and Stephen’s story (childhood cancer-leukemia). Additional stories are planned. (Download 153 pages, 25 MB)

Amelia’s Story (developmental disabilities), 56 pages, 16 MB. Join Amelia and her family on their journey of discovery about how the environment they live in is important to their health.

Free CE credits for health professionals are available for Brett’s story through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ATSDR. Register here.

From Dr. Rosen regarding intake assessments:

AAP Section on Integrative Medicine (intake forms)

Listen to the MP3 recording from the CHE Partnership call on childhood leukemia, featuring Stephen's story from A Story of Health.

Listen to the MP3 recording from the CHE Partnership call on asthma, featuring Brett's story from A Story of Health.

Listen to Recording

This call is the third in a series introducing the new A Story of Health illustrated, multimedia eBook that harnesses the power of stories to how our environments interact with our genes to influence health across the lifespan. 

When people develop a disability, they often ask their health care providers, “How did this happen?” The answer could be clear and obvious but many times it is more complicated. This call will focus on the life of Amelia, a teenager who lives in Louisiana with her family, and is featured in A Story of Health.Although her story is fictional, she represents the one of six young people in the US with a developmental disability. This call explored many of the topics covered in Amelia’s story, including: How gene-environment interactions can influence the onset of developmental disabilities; key opportunities or concerns before and during pregnancy to help reduce the risk of developmental disabilities in a child, including such things as preconception and maternal nutrition, fetal exposure to toxic substances, and the importance of thyroid hormone; and how multiple environmental factors including stress, toxic exposures and nutrition can interact to increase adverse effects on brain development. Opportunities and actions for prevention were also addressed, such as the beneficial effects of an enriched social environment.

Speakers included Ted Schettler MD, MPH, science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, and co-author of A Story of Health, who will provide an overview of Amelia’s story; David Bellinger, PhD, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, who will address environmental influences on neurodevelopment; and Lawrence Rosen, MD, an integrative pediatrician and founder of the Whole Child Center who will provide a pediatrician’s perspective on integrative approaches to developmental disabilities.

Featured Presenters

Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, is Science Director of both the Science and Environmental Health Network and the Collaborative on Health and the Environment. He received his MD from Case-Western Reserve University and a masters degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. He practiced medicine for many years in New England. Dr. Schettler has worked extensively with community groups, NGOs, and collaborations throughout the US and internationally, addressing many aspects of human health and the environment. He has served on advisory committees of the US EPA and National Academy of Sciences. He is co-author of Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the EnvironmentIn Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging, and A Story of Health. He is also the author of The Ecology of Breast Cancer.

David C. Bellinger, PhD, is Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Professor in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). He is also a Senior Research Associate in Neurology and a Senior Associate in Psychiatry at the Children’s Hospital Boston. He received a BA in Psychology from Williams College, a PhD in Psychology from Cornell University, and an MSc in Epidemiology from the HSPH. He has spent three decades conducting research on the neurotoxicity of metabolic and chemical insults in children. He edited a textbook entitled Human Developmental Neurotoxicology. He has served as a member of several committees of the National Research Council, the Institute of Medicine, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, as well as served as an advisor to the World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants. He was an inaugural member of the Federal Advisory Committee of the National Children’s Study and the U.S. EPA’s Human Studies Review Board. He is currently a member of the World Health Organization’s Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group and chairman of the WHO Committee on Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Lead Poisoning.

Lawrence Rosen, MD, is an integrative pediatrician and founder of the Whole Child Center. He is the co-author of “Treatment Alternatives for Children,” an evidence-based guide for parents interested in natural solutions for common childhood ailments. Dr. Rosen is appointed as Clinical Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at New Jersey Medical School and serves as Medical Advisor to the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center at HackensackUMC. Additionally, he is a founding member and former Chair of the AAP Section on Integrative Medicine. A graduate of New York Medical College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he completed his residency and chief residency in pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Dr. Rosen serves on many integrative health advisory boards, including Kula for Karma, HappyFamilies, the Holistic Moms Network, IntegrativePractitioner.com, and MarbleJam Kids. He is the pediatric columnist for Kiwi Magazine and contributes regularly to Huffington Post and MindBodyGreen.

The call was moderated by Mark Miller, MD, MPH, director of the UCSF PEHSU and A Story of Health co-author.