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school is characterized Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

On any given day in the United States... 10,657 babies are born. (US Census
Bureau). Twenty of these babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Twenty may
seem as though it is not a lot, but when you compare it to the fact that this
number is more than HIV positive, Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida and Down
Syndrome combine it creates a whole new parameter. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a
direct result of a womans competed disregard for the fetus. Fetal Alcohol
Syndrome (FAS, hereinafter), is a series of both mental and physical birth
defects that can include, but are not limited to, mental retardation,
deficiencies in growth, central nervous system dysfunction, behavioral
maladjustments, and craniofacial abnormalities. It is common knowledge not to
smoke or drink during pregnancy. Growth abnormalities can be significant and
also includes all three of the following respects of growth: weight, length and
head circumference. Most of the time the babys growth abnormalities are so
severe they need to be hospitalized because of obvious failure to survive. A
baby with craniofacial abnormalities can be recognized by their eyes in that
they are small with exaggerated inner epicanthic folds. (Health Visitor Nov.
1981) The bridge of the nose is normally poorly developed. The ears are often
large and simple in form. (Midwives Chronicle and Nursing notes) At first, when
the baby is delivered, the affected infant shows signs of alcohol withdrawal;
with signs that are much similar to delirium tremens in adults. They are often
anxious, have a weak grasp, poor hand-to-eye coordination and consistent
difficulty in feeding and sucking. People can not blame the mothers for the
most part though. It is a common ignorance among the health care providers. Most
health care providers are untrained and unfamiliar with substance abuse issues
among pregnant women. FAS is widely misdiagnosed and or under diagnosed. Only
ten percent of medical schools require students to complete a course on the
proper diagnosis of individuals with alcohol and other drug addictions. Many
women do not receive proper pre-natal care, and a study performed by a National
Center for Health Statistics found that doctors appear less likely to tell a
pregnant black woman to quit drinking and or smoking than they would be to a
white woman. (The New York Times, January 19, 1994) As mentioned above, a baby
with FAS can suffer from many different birth abnormalities. These disabilities
will indeed last a lifetime. There is no amount of alcohol found to be safe to
consume during pregnancy. FAS is, however, 100% preventable when a woman
abstains from alcohol. FAS is the leading known cause of mental retardation.
Approximately, one out of 750 live birth are born each year with FAS. (The
Journal of American Medical Association, 1991) Thirty to 40% of the mothers who
drink heavily throughout pregnancy have the syndrome. FAS is not limited
to any one group, race, culture, or socio-economic background. Between one-third
and two-thirds of children in special education have been affected by alcohol in
some way. (The Journal of American Medical Association, 1991) Comparison of
children and adults with FAS shows that with the approach to adolescence, the
specific craniofacial features are not as noticeable as they are in infancy.
Average academic functioning of these children and adults does not seem to
develop beyond early school grade level. The short stature and small head (micro
cephalic), seem to be permanent. The most noticeable behavioral problems were
found to be with comprehension, judgment, and attention skills, causing these
adults born with FAS to experience major psychological and adjustment problems
for the rest of their lives. Numerous studies with animals, of experimental
alcoholism, where nutritional status has been well controlled, have shown that
the damage to the developing fetus, such as low birth rate CNS ( Central Nervous
System) impairment, etc. are caused by the direct consequence of the effects of
alcohol. In addition, some of these studies have shown a clear continuum effect;
the higher the blood alcohol of the mother, the greater the damage to the
developing fetus. Even though the direct connection between alcohol intake and
birth defects is now indisputable, there are other etiological factors
associated with maternal drinking that must also be considered as contributing
factors in an adverse pregnancy outcome. The most important of these secondary
factors is alcohol related malnutrition, as nutritional deficiencies occur
frequently with alcohol intake due to reduced appetite. Alcohol-induced zinc
depletion is particularly well documented. This has shown a positive correlation
with reduced zinc status and low birth weight and fetal malformations,
suggesting that inadequate zinc ... more

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Through Holden's Eyes

The Catcher in the Rye has truly earned it's place among great classic works. J. D. Salinger created a literary piece that was completely unique. The entire novel was written in the first person view of the 17-year-old, Holden Caulfield. The majority of the story is compiled of Holden's rudimentary monologue of 'complexly simple' thoughts, the rest utilizing his relay of previous dialogue. That and the use of unique punctuation, digressing explanations, and complex characterization, transformed the simple plot into the complex literary classic.

The novel's dialogue and monologue alike, manage to relay the feel of natural speaking such as:
"I mean you'd be different in some way - I can't explain what I mean."

The contractions; you'd and can't - since they are common in everyday language - establish a very common and simple tone. Stress on the first syllable of "different," reinforces the tone by demonstrating how typically they speak, just as in reality. He uses dashes for pauses and signaling associative digressions. Instead of signaling pauses, commas are used mostly where mechanically required, for instance:
"So all of a sudden, I ran like a madman across the street - I damn near got myself killed doing it, if you want to know the truth - and went in this stationary store and bought a pad and pencil."

Holden Caulfield creates a thought provoking point of view. On the surface many of his thought patterns seem unrelated and straying from the topic. His association of topic with digression is used almost constantly throughout the novel. However, realizing that these digressions are very relevant and even crucial to the topic allow the reader to gain true insight to the character. His statements about his sister's intelligence, followed by explanations of how well she listens, reveals Holden's associations of intelligence with being quiet and observant. Another example would be his tension around the nuns. Even though he enjoyed the conversation, he worried about being asked if he was Catholic. He stated they "...would have liked it better if he were Catholic." This gives insight to his discomfort with being judged morally, and to his association of people of morals looking down on those who don't share them.

In Holden's descriptions and thoughts, Salinger accomplished the most unique aspect of the story's point-of-view. Instead of using the popular - however overrated - style of well refined thoughts and flowery descriptions, Salinger describes things as they are perceived upon a first impression. Naturally the human mind does not instantly process first encounters or experiences into drawn out rhetorical metaphors. We must think about them first, relate and compare them to past experiences, then form associations. This is based on Jean Piaget theory of assimilating new situations, accommodating them with previous knowledge, then forming generalizations for understanding, called schemas. [Houghton-Mifflin Psychology, pgs. 49-50] That is exactly how Salinger describes Holden's thoughts. Holden, like us all, has difficulty explaining things until they have been thought through. For instance, Holden observes Stradlater's grooming and his looks. Then he compares it to the way guys look in yearbooks, and what parents say about them. Last he concludes, through comparison, that Stradlater is the kind of guy that your parents ask about. He states: "I've had that experience quite frequently."

In the more descriptive writings of other authors, it is difficult to relate to the complex associations. The majority of thought inspired by these works can sometimes be just to figure out the point. However, Salinger expresses the thought patterns of Holden in the same inherent ways that all humans think, and through that, relays a strong tone of realism and active thought. Despite the lack of dazzling rhetoric, Salinger's descriptions are no less intricate. They inspire a more natural style of analyzation that most can relate to easily. A more logical and linear path, relating to typical primal human thought, is followed instead of abstract reasoning and artistic representation.

Finally, the elements previously discussed, and a few independent ones, will be used to examine the characterization of Holden Caulfield. Such as how Caulfield's tendency toward constant introspection and analyzing of his world, his digression of topics, and the nature in which he speaks, gives us clues to his character.

His level of intelligence ... more

school is characterized

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