Drinking hazard

5th June 2009 at 01:00

The effects that alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have on a developing child could lead to a lifetime of problems for all ("Alcohol abuse leaves toxic school legacy", May 29).

We are adopted parents to a young man with a foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). His journey through life from the age of seven months has been a nightmare. No teacher we ever spoke to had any idea of FASD and the associated learning problems, or his needs. He was always considered to be the naughty child with big behavioural issues and a child from a dysfunctional family.

After many fights with the education department where we live, when he turned 11 we managed to secure a place for him in a moderate learning disability school. However, this is out of the borough and requires additional expense for transport to and from school. He is also isolated because his school friends are too far away.

Over the past 15 years, it has become more acceptable for all sectors of society to drink alcohol, and binge drinking has become a way of life. Children as young as nine are experimenting with alcohol. As Michael Dorris writes in The Broken Cord, his book about FASD, we are producing generations of underachievers.

Comment, page 31

Gloria Armistead, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Aware UK, www.fasaware.co.uk.

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