Public concern about the education of drug-exposed children dates back to the mid-1980s. During that time, prenatal drug abuse among poor urban women became epidemic, which resulted in unusually high numbers of drug-impacted children enrolling in school. Many of these children demonstrated developmental impairments. Interest concerning the educational prognosis for these youngsters resulted in a public discussion about the future of children whose mothers abused drugs while pregnant and had inadequate prenatal care and poor maternal health. This entry reviews the needs of these children and describes appropriate interventions.

During the 1980s, drug-exposed children became an urban educational issue. Educators had many preconceived beliefs about what to expect from these youngsters in the classroom. School officials were bracing themselves for the worst, assuming that these children ...

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