Developmental delays in children with cerebral palsy due to oxygen deprivation during or immediately after birth can occur. If your child has not met their developmental milestones or has trouble with activities such as crawling, walking, sitting up, or eating by themselves, speak to your pediatrician right away. These developmental delays may be the result of cerebral palsy.
If your child was injured during birth, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at 1-800-222-9529 for a no-cost consultation. We can connect you with a birth injury lawyer in your state who can advise you on the options that may be available to you.
Diagnosing Your Child with Developmental Delays
Each child develops the skills they need for the activities of daily living at different times, but children with cerebral palsy may lag significantly behind their peers. Developmental delays in children with cerebral palsy may cause them to fail to meet their milestones at the age-appropriate time.
Cerebral palsy primarily affects muscle movement. Children from two to four months old with cerebral palsy may suffer from physical delays attempting to perform the following:
- Holding up their head;
- Pushing up when lying on their stomach;
- Lifting their head without support;
- Rolling over unassisted;
- Holding a toy; and,
- Touching their mouth with their hand.
A six-month-old baby should typically be able to roll over and remain in a sitting position without assistance. By nine months, the baby should generally be able to stand while holding onto something and be able to crawl. By the time they are one year old, the child should be able to pull themselves up and stand and walk with support. By 18 months, most children are walking unassisted, using utensils to eat, and using a cup to drink.
By two months, babies should be able to react to faces and follow movements with their eyes. By four months, they should be able to respond to affection and recognize faces they know. At 18 months, most children will know the name of some items and follow verbal commands.
A two-month-old child should be able to smile. By four months, they should generally be able to play with people. A baby that is six months old should recognize familiar people, and by nine months, they will typically know what their favorite toys are. One-year-olds can get upset if a parent is not around and will often try to get attention. By 18 months, children usually begin throwing tantrums, showing affection, and playing pretend with their toys.
Children who have cerebral palsy can experience delays in communication and language. Facial muscle impairment may make it difficult for a child to speak and causes problems with vision and hearing.
By two months, a child can usually gurgle and make sounds and, by six months, they should respond to their name. By nine months, they should understand the words “yes” and “no” and make sounds that imitate words such as “mama” and “dada.” By a year, babies are imitating words that they hear. By 18 months, children can usually say several words.
If your child has missed many of the above milestones or experienced them at a consistently delayed rate, these may be signs that they are suffering from cerebral palsy.
Reacting to the Signs of Cerebral Palsy
The earlier cerebral palsy is diagnosed, the faster therapy and treatment can begin. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children get screened for developmental delays at nine months, 18 months, and 24 to 30 months. If you suspect that your child has cerebral palsy, look for a pediatrician who has experience diagnosing cerebral palsy and other similar disorders and knows specialists in other fields that may be helpful during diagnosis and treatment.
A condition is known as “failure to thrive” is not uncommon among children with cerebral palsy and may be diagnosed when the child does not meet age and weight requirements for their age.
Although some cases of cerebral palsy are due to conditions beyond anyone’s control, many are the result of malpractice, misdiagnosis, or negligence on the part of a medical professional. Children who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy may need assistance throughout their lifetime, including crutches, wheelchairs, and other assistive devices, medication, physical therapy, speech therapy, and special education. If your child’s developmental delays are the result of medical malpractice, you should not be responsible for shouldering these costs on your own.
Compensation for Your Child’s Future
Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition, but with the right interventions, children can grow up to have long, productive, and independent lives.
If your child was injured at birth as a result of medical negligence, you deserve compensation to help ensure that their needs are met. There are many potentially recoverable damages associated with cerebral palsy caused by a birth injury. Treatment, surgery, and medications to deal with the possible developmental delays in children with cerebral palsy may be necessary. You may need compensation for the time you are unable to spend at work because you are caring for your child or taking them to and from their treatments. A birth injury lawyer can help you determine what you are eligible to pursue given the details of your case.
How a Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help You
An attorney can evaluate the circumstances surrounding the delivery and birth of your child. Medical records such as OB/GYN records, images from scans, X-rays, and ultrasounds, and other medical documents can help determine if your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by an injury at birth. Once this has been established, your lawyer will build a case and, if necessary, litigate the case in court.
The statute of limitations in a birth injury case varies from state to state, but we can connect you with a birth injury lawyer in your state who can help you.
If you think that your child may have been born with cerebral palsy due to the medical malpractice or negligence of their doctor, we can help. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at 1-800-222-9529 to get started with a free consultation.