Many people with autism are particularly sensitive to issues with light and noise that don't impact the general population.

Our daughter, Julia, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. She exhibits extreme sensitivity to variations in light and noise, as well as showing a fixation on rotating objects. For example, fluorescent lights (and the slight flicker associated with them) can set her off very easily and put her into sensory overload, resulting in dilation of her pupils, flapping her arms, and the inability to properly take in the world around her. The same is true in situations where there are either loud continuous noises or low level repetitive noises. Julia also becomes obsessed with rotating objects very easily.

As the parents of a child with autism, we have great concern over the proposed southern Sanborn County wind turbine project, which would be roughly one mile from our house in rural Letcher Township.

The proposed turbines are nearly 500 feet tall and would be very visible from the south window of our house. A recent study from the United Kingdom state, "In the UK, Planning Inspectors and Planning Authorities have been sufficiently convinced of the effects of infrasound on those with Autistic Spectrum Disorders that they have refused planning permission for several wind energy facilities on the grounds that there were individuals living nearby with the condition. For example, a wind energy facility planned for North Lincolnshire was rejected in 2010 because of the serious effect it would have on twin autistic boys living nearby. A report from a Clinical Psychologist in this case pointed out the 'extreme distress' that turbines could cause to people with autism. In this particular case, the twin boys had a fixation with spinning objects and the report asserted that 'the time they spend engaged in spinning and observing objects had to be limited in order to allow them to engage in other more meaningful activities."

Please let our Sanborn County Commissioners come to the same conclusion their counterparts in Davison County did a few months ago when they rejected the proposed project there.

Lila Stach

Letcher