Preg­nant mom’s use of opi­oids may stunt kids’ learn­ing

The Record (Troy, NY) - - WEATHER -

CHICAGO » Learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties and other spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion needs are com­mon in chil­dren born with opi­oid-re­lated symp­toms from their mother’s drug use while preg­nant, ac­cord­ing to the first big U.S. study to ex­am­ine po­ten­tial long-term prob­lems in these in­fants.

About 1 in 7 af­fected chil­dren re­quired spe­cial class­room ser­vices for prob­lems in­clud­ing de­vel­op­men­tal de­lays and speech or lan­guage dif­fi­cul­ties, com­pared with about 1 in 10 chil­dren not ex­posed to opi­oids be­fore birth, the study found.

The study high­lights the “ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal” im­por­tance of early de­tec­tion and in­ter­ven­tion, be­fore these chil­dren reach school age, to give them a bet­ter chance of aca­demic suc­cess, said Dr. Nathalie Maitre, a de­vel­op­men­tal spe­cial­ist at Na­tion­wide Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal in Colum­bus, Ohio.

The study in­volved about 7,200 chil­dren aged 3 to 8 en­rolled in Ten­nessee’s Med­i­caid pro­gram.

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