A generation at risk: Children at center of America’s opioid crisis

For those infants born dependent on opioids, there’s a follow-up clinic, or developmental pediatrics program, where Jude Seidler, a precocious 2-year-old, was making his presence known one day last month.

Jude’s mother had used heroin every day of her pregnancy, and at nine days old, he went home with adoptive parents, Jay and Ashley Seidler. Dayton Children’s Hospital, they say, has been their lifeline.

“We’ve been able to chart his progress,” Jay Seidler said.

At the clinic, five specialists meticulously track Jude’s development to ensure that his speech, movement and coordination follow the normal track of a healthy child in his age group.

Whether these efforts will make a difference later in life for A’Layjah and Jude remains a question far beyond their doctors’ expertise.

“Are they going to be able to work? Are they going to have families? Are they going to have problems with addiction themselves?” Dr. Eileen F. Kasten, the clinic’s medical director, said. “I don’t know those answers.”

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