In this confronting story, Four Corners will take viewers into the lives of three everyday Australian families grappling with the consequences of drinking in pregnancy.
The children face a devastating range of problems, from behavioural issues to learning difficulties, collectively known as Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
And it’s much more common than you might think. Best projections indicate it could affect more than half a million Australians.
“I think the burden... is predominantly in the white middle class.” Paediatrician
We go inside Australia’s first dedicated clinic where specialists are diagnosing and tackling the disorder, and warn that some children diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are actually suffering the effects of foetal alcohol exposure.
“We regard foetal alcohol spectrum disorder as being the driver for ADHD.” Paediatrician
The doctors also caution that Australia’s heavy drinking culture overshadows the concerns we should have about women drinking alcohol in pregnancy.
“A woman does not have to be an alcoholic [to cause damage].” Psychologist
Hidden Harm, reported by Deb Whitmont and presented by Kerry O’Brien, goes to air on Monday 2nd November at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 3rd November at 10.00am and Wednesday 4th at midnight. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm, ABC iview and atabc.net.au/4corners.