Foster parents help Lee to cope with condition
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
Women who drink when they are pregnant have a lifelong impact on their unborn babies.
Nobody knows that better than Great Ellingham foster parents Sam and Paul Lister, who have been caring for little Lee since he was just weeks old.
Now seven, Lee has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and will probably need help to live for the rest of his life. Mrs Lister said: 'When he was five months old, I took him to the doctors and he was classed as having 'floppy baby syndrome'. His legs were just like jelly, but he eventually learned to walk through sheer determination.
'Later on, his behaviour completely off the wall.
'Even though it doesn't come up on scans that he is brain damaged, his brain doesn't work how it should.'
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Mrs Lister said Lee's biological mother owned up to drinking when she was pregnant, and he was diagnosed with FASD when he was two years old.
She said: 'It was so lucky that it was identified that early because he has had access to every kind of help.
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'FASD often isn't diagnosed until six or seven, but the sooner we get it diagnosed, the better we can help them.' The Listers, who adopted Lee when he was three, have thrown their support behind a project called Securing Their Futures to raise awareness for FASD and document how widespread the condition is.
Oxford-based FASD Trust hopes to raise £40,000 for the project.
Mrs Lister said: 'It is so important to get the word out there.
'A lot of girls out there are drinking more these days, and many people still think it's okay to have one or two when pregnant. But there is no known limit.'
Trust founder Julia Brown said FASD was far more widespread than people realised, and, if it goes ahead, the project would help inform doctors about the condition.
Donations to the appeal can be made by going to charitychoice.co.uk and searching for FASD Trust.