Drinking While Pregnant Is “Fuelling Youth Crime”, Warns Minister

Mothers who drink while pregnant are increasing their child’s chances of developing learning difficulties or involve themselves in crime, Queensland’s new education and youth justice minister warns.

Speaking to The Australian, Minister Di Farmer said good education “starts with conception”, and too many children were being improvised.

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“Life is tough for them. We’ve got to get those first years of a child’s life right, and that is from conception,” she said.

“It’s got to be about supporting mums not to drink during pregnancy.’’

One in four Australian school students have been diagnosed with a disability – with data from the AUstralian Curriculim, Assessment and Reporting Authority revealing 13.2 per cent of students have cognitive disabilities. 

Meanwhile, 8.1 per cenmt have a social-emotional diability and 2.3 per cent have a physical disability.

Ms Farmer suggested there was a link between young crime offenders and their abilities to learn because they sufferd from alcohol spectrum disorder.

“In the youth justice system, there are a number of kids with foetal alcohol syndrome,’’ she said.

“Often when kids get to youth detention, that can be the first time they’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss, cognitive disability, FASD – a number of kids actually needed glasses 10 years prior, or they haven’t been at school since they were in year 3 or 4.

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