Neurobiology and Neurodevelopmental Impact of Childhood Traumatic Stress and Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Purpose Research reveals that prenatal alcohol exposure and child trauma (i.e., abuse, neglect, sexual abuse) can have deleterious effects on child development across multiple domains. This study analyzed the impact on childhood neurodevelopment of prenatal alcohol exposure and postnatal traumatic experience compared to postnatal traumatic experience alone. Although the harmful ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   April 01, 2007
Neurobiology and Neurodevelopmental Impact of Childhood Traumatic Stress and Prenatal Alcohol Exposure
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jim Henry
    Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Mark Sloane
    Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Connie Black-Pond
    Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Contact author: Jim Henry, 1000 Oakland Drive, 3rd floor, Kalamazoo, MI 49008. E-mail: james.henry@wmich.edu
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum   |   April 01, 2007
Neurobiology and Neurodevelopmental Impact of Childhood Traumatic Stress and Prenatal Alcohol Exposure
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2007, Vol. 38, 99-108. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/010)
History: Received November 22, 2005 , Revised May 22, 2006 , Accepted September 25, 2006
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2007, Vol. 38, 99-108. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/010)
History: Received November 22, 2005; Revised May 22, 2006; Accepted September 25, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 47

Purpose Research reveals that prenatal alcohol exposure and child trauma (i.e., abuse, neglect, sexual abuse) can have deleterious effects on child development across multiple domains. This study analyzed the impact on childhood neurodevelopment of prenatal alcohol exposure and postnatal traumatic experience compared to postnatal traumatic experience alone. Although the harmful effects of both have been well documented individually, there is no research documenting the concurrent effects of prenatal alcohol exposure and postnatal trauma on a child’s developmental process.

Method Transdisciplinary assessment of the children included the core disciplines of medicine, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, social work, and psychology. Medical examination, standardized developmental and intelligence testing, projective tools, parent questionnaires, and psychosocial interviews provided information in the primary developmental areas.

Results Findings indicated that children who had been exposed prenatally to alcohol along with postnatal traumatic experience had lower intelligence scores and more severe neurodevelopmental deficits in language, memory, visual processing, motor skills, and attention than did traumatized children without prenatal alcohol exposure, as well as greater oppositional/defiant behavior, inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and social problems.

Clinical Implications Successful teacher and speech-language pathologist interventions with traumatized children with prenatal alcohol exposure demand a paradigm shift that requires the development of new perspectives and ongoing training.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access