ALCOHOLIC mothers whose babies suffer from foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) have a great deal for which to answer. Not only are such babies prone to mental retardation, but they rarely improve intellectually, even with careful parenting and education (The Lancet, Vol 341, No 8850).
Hans-Ludwig Spohr and his colleagues at the Rittberg Hospital of the German Red Cross in Berlin, have found after a 10-year study that while all the children suffering from FAS caught up somewhat in height and weight, almost two-thirds recorded minimal growth in head-size, an index of mental growth. Further, IQ tests given to these children showed there was no significant improvement in intelligence with time.
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