Attention deficits and autistic spectrum problems in children exposed to alcohol during gestation: a follow-up study

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1997 Sep;39(9):583-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1997.tb07493.x.


Children born to mothers who had abused alcohol throughout pregnancy had severe behavioural and intellectual problems which remained at age 11 to 14 years. Of 24 children examined, 10 had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with or without developmental coordination disorder, two had Asperger syndrome, and one had an autistic-like condition not meeting the criteria for Asperger syndrome. Six of these 24 attended special schools for the mentally retarded and a further 11 were given special education, leaving only seven attending regular schools without any type of support. The children had difficulties in mathematics, logical conclusions, visual perception, spatial relations, short-term memory, and attention. Sixteen children lived in foster homes. There was a clear correlation between the occurrence and severity of the neuropsychiatric disorder and the degree of alcohol exposure in utero.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / etiology*
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autistic Disorder / etiology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / diagnosis
  • Intellectual Disability / etiology
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sweden