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Neglected boy became a dwarf in Britain
London, Aug 28 (IANS):
Published on 28 Aug. 2010 11:41 PM IST
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A nine-year-old boy in Britain was so badly neglected by his mother that he stopped growing, a media report said. The boy developed a condition called psycho-social dwarfism, Daily Mail reported on its website Friday. This left him significantly shorter than his six-year-old brother, prosecutors told a judge.
Social workers called in to work with the single mother discovered that the boy was not being given breakfast, was riddled with lice and could not remember the last time he saw a doctor. He had a decaying molar in his mouth and said that his 28-year-old mother had never taught him how to brush his teeth.
Daniel Sawyer, prosecuting, said: “In 2008, police had searched her home regarding an unrelated matter and discovered the three-bedroom house was untidy and grubby.” “Social workers were called in and interviewed the boy at school. They found he had ingrained dirt on his palms and scratches on his forearms that came from a puppy.”
“He was extremely short at the age of nine and significantly shorter than his six-year-old brother, for which the most likely diagnosis is psycho-social dwarfism,” Sawyer said. “He made no eye contact with the social workers and looked at the floor the whole time. He did not get regular baths and went to school smelling of urine and faeces.”
Psycho-social dwarfism is caused by extreme stress and causes the body to stop producing a growth hormone. Studies have revealed that when children are removed from the stressful situation their height catches up with that of normal healthy youngsters.
Robert Bryan, defending, told the court: “This is a woman who was not being deliberately abusive. She is inadequate in many ways.”
“Mothers should look after their children and those who harm them should be punished, but if there is some underlying reason for that then it needs to be treated. She is still young and struggles to cope with the children on her own.”
The woman, from Portsmouth, admitted one charge of neglect at Winchester Crown Court. She was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. She was also ordered to attend a parenting course.

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