Youth Court judges plan new measures to identify offenders with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in the wake of research showing that 60 per cent of babies born with the syndrome eventually get into trouble with the law.
The syndrome, caused by mothers drinking alcohol during pregnancy, has a variety of effects in different people. Researchers said that symptoms include;
- young offenders with the syndrome should be treated differently from others because they are “disabled, not defiant”.
- a third are born with facial deformations such as a smooth upper lip without the usual ridges.
- most victims suffered brain damage which made them unable to focus or learn from experience,
- are easily frustrated,
- quick to anger and
- unable to understand the consequences of their actions.
- 50 per cent engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviour and
- 45 per cent developed alcohol or drug problems themselves.
- 1% of babies are born with the syndrome
Full story at; New Zealand Herald