You know how some of us keep saying that the symptoms our kids have can be caused by lots of things? Well, I saw this article and thought of how the behaviors sound like a lot of what we see. ________________ <span style='font-size: 12'>llinois toddler had 13 times the safe lead level</span> By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY Anyone who believes lead poisoning affects just inner-city families should meet Sarah Taylor. For more than a year, the stay-at-home mother of four in rural Charleston, Ill., has been caring for a daughter poisoned so severely by lead that her doctors could find only one comparable case: that of a Minnesota boy who died after swallowing a lead charm. For Taylor, a chance encounter in August 2006 with a helpful desk clerk saved daughter Amanda's life. Taylor had brought the girl's baby brother to a county health clinic for immunizations when the clerk noticed 2-year-old Amanda and asked, "Have you had her lead-screened yet?" A quick fingertip test showed severely elevated lead levels, so nurses drew blood from the toddler's arm. Amanda's lead level was 136 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL) — more than 13 times the maximum safe level. She began immediate chelation — in her case, a series of painful injections — to remove the lead. Inspectors visited the Taylors' rented house and found the source: old, peeling lead paint on the front porch, around outside windows and in carpets. Amanda, it turned out, had been eating paint chips as she played on the porch. Advocates and researchers say this may be the most grim aspect of the nation's lead problem: State and local governments, in many cases, don't have the resources to clean up lead until children turn up poisoned, effectively making them lead detectors. Taylor and her husband are suing Joe Charleston, their former landlord, to help offset costs of Amanda's treatment and care. Charleston declined to comment on the case. Even after a six-day, $16,000 course of shots, Amanda's lead level a year later hovers at 25 ug/dL — and her life revolves around doctor visits. She's seeing four different specialists, and her mother says the preschooler teeters on the edge of being uncontrollable. "She's really aggressive, and she throws tantrums unlike any tantrum I've ever seen," Taylor says. "At times she's the sweetest, nicest little angel. The next moment someone touches her blanket and she's on the floor screaming, kicking like you've never seen." Now 3, Amanda also has night terrors and insomnia. "You want to lock yourself in the bathroom and cry, but you can't," Taylor says. "I just have to remind myself we're lucky she's still with us." Amanda's long-term prognosis is unclear. "I've seen a number of kids with lead poisoning, but nobody's come close to this number," says Charles Morton, a developmental pediatrician at Carle Clinic in Urbana, Ill., where Amanda was treated. He says it'll take "many, many years" for her lead level to come down. But beyond that, predictions about Amanda are difficult — the only case with such high lead levels showed up in February 2006 in Minnesota, when a 4-year-old boy swallowed a lead charm that came with a pair of Reebok sneakers. He was hospitalized with a lead level of 180 ug/dL and died four days later. Taylor, meanwhile, has become a reluctant activist, lobbying Congress to get rid of lead in aging housing. "Right now I'm an angry mom," Taylor says. "If you get enough angry moms together, something's going to change."