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JULIA Brown shudders when she hears the latest teen alcohol statistics.
For her adopted daughter Niamh is living proof of what drinking can do to future generations.
Niamh, seven, suffers from Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) - permanent and often devastating birth defects caused by her birth mother drinking while pregnant.
Mrs Brown, 36, and her husband Simon, 38, who live near Witney, adopted Niamh when she was a year old.
"She came to us with Global Developmental Delay, which meant she was slow in doing things for her age, like crawling and walking," explained Mrs Brown.
"By the time she entered nursery education and started to mix with other children, it became clear that she was more than just 'behind' the other children."
Doctors told the Browns that Niamh would need special education, but it wasn't until she was six that she was finally diagnosed with FASD.
"To tell the truth, it was a relief," said Mrs Brown.
"We'd been told she was hyperactive, that she had Attention Deficit Disorder and even that she was autistic, which we knew wasn't true, so to be finally told what she had, by Guys and St Thomas Hospital, meant we knew we weren't going nuts!"
Information in the UK on FASD was scarce.
"We went looking for information and found one lady in London and one lady in Wigan. In America, Canada and other parts of Europe there were hundreds of websites dedicated to it.
"Then again, pregnant women in the USA have been advised not to drink since the 1980s and the same advice is now given in many countries including France, Canada, New Zealand and Germany.
"But it was only last month that the Department of Health advised women not to drink at all during pregnancy.
"There is so little education about the effects of alcohol here - when we went to see our own doctors, and speech and occupational therapists, we had to tell them about FASD, so they could go and read up on it."
Being exposed to alcohol while her body and its organs were still developing in the womb has left Niamh with a catalogue of problems.
Long-sighted and with a squint, she is also prone to ear infections, and her teeth are not developing properly. She has very acute hearing and reacts badly to high pitched sounds.
Poor manipulative skills mean simple things like doing up buttons are very difficult. Her lack of impulse control means if she wants something she takes it.
She also has no sense of danger, from either accidents or strangers.
Mrs Brown explained: "Niamh is only just starting to form letters, but she cannot write yet.
"While she is almost eight in years, she is like a three-year-old mentally. And if you take her hand, she will say hello and walk off with you. She'll tell me: 'Mummy, these buttons won't do what I tell them!' Sometimes her frustrations mean she'll hit herself, so we've given her a pillow to hit instead. She has no idea of her problems."
The long term future for Niamh is uncertain. Mrs Brown said: "Twelve to 18 per cent of FASD sufferers can live independently but we don't think Niamh ever will, although we will always have that hope.
"It's impossible for Simon and I to both work full time. He works two days in the village shop, while being Niamh's almost full time carer, and I work for a property consultant."
The Browns founded the FASD Trust in January. It runs support groups and a telephone helpline, holds training seminars and provides advice on best practice to teachers and medics.
Mrs Brown said: "When you drink, so does your baby. It takes approximately one hour for your body to process each unit of alcohol; it takes three times as long for the alcohol to pass round the system of the baby in the womb."
"The simple fact is that because of alcohol, children like Niamh are being brain damaged for life.
"And the saddest thing is that this is one hundred per cent preventable."
- For more information contact the FASD Trust, PO Box 507, Witney, OX28 9EB. Call 0560 268 9478 or visit www.fasdtrust.co.uk