The Incredible Hulk and five other Marvel superheroes will soon be helping school-age children of alcoholics learn that they are not alone. Sponsored by the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA), the posters will tell youngsters in elementary schools that "Some Moms and Dads Drink Too Much . . . And It Hurts. Take it from one who knows . . . alcoholics can get better when they get help."
Educators will also learn how to spot children of alcoholics and receive tips on how to help. Among the signs that taken together may pinpoint a drinking problem in the family are:
Change in a child's behavior during alcohol and drug education instruction. Quiet children may become more vocal, while normally verbal children become withdrawn, quiet or fidgety.
Signs of neglect, ranging from not being dressed appropriately for the weather to wearing the same clothes several days in a row.
Resistance to sports and other activities where signs of physical or sexual abuse might be apparent.
Sharp variations in academic performance.
Chronic lateness in arriving and being picked up from school.
Difficulty concentrating. School phobias and chronic physical complaints, like headaches and stomachaches.
Fear of parent-teacher contact.
Continual failure to comply with school requests for permission slips or other requests for materials.
Few or no friends, and an indication that a child rarely, if ever, has friends to his or her home.
Strong desire to spend time alone with teachers.
Chronic sleepiness or lack of energy.