Many Adopted Children from the Former Soviet Union are Being Diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Originally reported by The Jerusalem Post, many adopted children from Eastern European countries suffer from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder caused by their mothers drinking alcohol excessively when pregnant. Many Israelis families that have adopted these babies have learned once they’ve reached the age of two. Signs consist of slower cognition, learning disabilities, and ADHD have become apparent over time.

A little girl who was seemingly perfectly healthy adopted at 10-months-old started showing these symptoms when she reached 2-years-old.

A former pediatrician and expert in the field, Professor Gideon Koren, expressed that these developmental deficiencies are unnoticeable until that age and therefore parents can be mislead to believe their child has no problems. Despite it’s difficulty to recognize upon birth, other symptoms quickly develop to help identify the problem. Many signs such as a thin upper lip, disproportionate eye sockets, difficulty concentrating and socially communicating, as well an inclination to show aggressive behavior, all are sparked from children with the disorder.

In the United States about 1% of babies suffer from this alcohol syndrome, and unfortunately the damage is irreversible. Although, increased disability can be reduced over time with an earlier diagnosis. Many parents in the former Soviet Union are known to give up their children for adoptions because of their awareness of their alcoholism and drug-induced background. So sadly, instead of keeping the child, they give them up.

Robotic pharmacies have been put in place a system to hopefully get families prescribed medication sooner than later in Jerusalem. Too often, families don’t take the proper medication pre-cautions for themselves as well as their children, so Meuhedet Health Services is hoping that providing them with convenience will help families make better decisions for their families.

Not only are they hoping to provide them with convenience, but also education, making knowledgable pharmacists more accessible to answer their questions and educate, so families can make better informed decisions.


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