Foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) occur when children are exposed to large amounts of alcohol in the womb. The most severe type is fetal alcohol syndrome marked by stunted growth, facial deformity and serious nerve system and behavioural problems. Other children develop alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder where only nervous system and behavioural problems are present. Researchers at the University of Toronto studied 97 children. Some had FASD, others had ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and the rest formed an unaffected control group. The study found that the children with FASD had more trouble dealing with their own emotions as well as reading emotional and social cues from others; the children with ADHD had no problems in interpreting social cues. The findings go some way to explain the results of previous studies in which children with FASD were found to be more likely to cheat, lie and steal.
You can find out more about this research at