Mom's prenatal opioids may stunt kids' learning, study says

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CHICAGO (AP) — New research says learning disabilities and other special education needs are common in children born with opioid-related symptoms from their mother's prenatal drug.

It's the first big U.S. study to examine potential long-term learning difficulties in these children.

It involved about 7,200 Tennessee Medicaid children aged 3 to 8. One in seven opioid-affected kids required special classroom services for problems including developmental delays and speech or language difficulties, compared with about one in 10 children not exposed to opioids before birth.

Results were published Thursday in Pediatrics. Affected kids had newborn abstinence syndrome. It involves tremors, fussiness and other signs that can last for weeks after birth.

About one U.S. infant is born with the condition at least every 25 minutes and the numbers have tripled since 2008.

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