Recent research from the University of Bristol claims that moderate drinking in pregnancy lowers IQ by measurable points. A moderate drinker has between one and six units per week. If FAS is to find its way on to the social economic or educational radar then it is exactly research such as this, which makes FAS an issue for all women and not just those on the fringes of society. Bringing the issue home to the middle classes by including the IQ levels of their own children in the discussion might be just the impetus we need in order to begin to acknowledge the serious harm that more serious drinking can do.
Professor Barry Carpenter has made FAS a central plank of his research and campaigning for a deeper understanding of the impact of they syndrome on children in school. He is spearheading a campaign for increased recognition of FAS within schools and researching techniques for its management. He stresses the importance of visual clues in terms of helping FAS children access education as it is currently delivered. Of course, we have decided that the rules are less important than the education (and far harder for Jake to achieve) and so have backed out of the system altogether. Tactics such as taping the area around a child’s chair in order to remind them to stay in it seem to us to stress the importance of the chair over that of the education. Still, while the system has to be a one size fits all then it might as well at least allow for some level of individuality and tape is after all a better approach than exclusion. Now, if they were taping the child INTO the chair…. (jk)