Saturday, January 23, 2010

Prenatal Damage

Back in the late 1960s and early '70s lots of young people had no idea that using drugs could cause prenatal damage. There was a rubella epidemic during that time which also often caused prenatal damage. And many young women became pregnant and didn't want to have babies, but abortions were illegal. Instead of going to some woman who would use an unsanitary wire coat hanger, many of those girls took medications like quinine that were known to sometimes cause miscarriages. However those meds didn't always have the desired effect and, instead, would cause the babies to be born with neurological damage.
Because of those three factors, more infants than usual with birth defects were born during those years. Their disabilities include things like deafness, hearing problems, learning disabilities, sensory processing disorders, autism, and many others.
Now that rubella vaccine is available and people are aware that drugs and medications can cause prenatal damage there should be fewer babies born with those problems. But, for some reason, autism seems to be on the rise and, while there are many theories, nobody seems to know why.
Maybe someday they'll figure it out.

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