There are two types of dysarthria that your child could receive a diagnosis for following a birth injury: central dysarthria and peripheral dysarthria. Both types of dysarthria may occur as a result of a birth injury and dramatically affect your child’s ability to communicate.
The difference between these two types of this condition is in the organs that cause the speech difficulties. Most babies who suffer this condition have central dysarthria, which occurs because of brain damage. Peripheral dysarthria occurs when there is damage to the throat, mouth, tongue, or other organs used to speak.
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Central Dysarthria Occurs Because of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Central dysarthria occurs because of brain damage. Speech becomes difficult or impossible because of a neurological problem in the brain. To cause dysarthria in early childhood, this brain damage can occur before birth, during a traumatic birth, or soon after birth. Some causes of dysarthria from a birth injury include:
- Traumatic injuries to a pregnant mother.
- A stroke.
- A brain tumor.
- Losing oxygen or blood flow to the brain before or during birth.
- Cerebral palsy.
- Muscular dystrophy.
- Trauma to the newborn or infant.
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Peripheral Dysarthria May Be Congenital
Peripheral dysarthria occurs because of problems with the organs that produce sounds and speech. In some cases, babies may have a congenital problem in the way their organs or body parts form or function. Surgery or traumatic injuries that affect the face, throat, or mouth can also cause peripheral dysarthria. Commonly, injuries or malformations that cause dysarthria affect:
- The lips.
- The tongue.
- The voice box.
The Type of Dysarthria May Play a Role in Treatment Options
The types of treatment and therapy that may be most effective for your child’s treatment will likely depend on the cause of their dysarthria, how severely it affected them, and what is causing the problem. Other impairments may also play a role. For example, it may be difficult for children who cannot talk clearly who have cerebral palsy to use sign language.
In most cases, children with dysarthria will see a speech-language pathologist or speech therapist who will work to strengthen the muscles of the mouth, lips, and tongue, when possible. They will also guide your child through developing habits that may make them easier to understand, such as slowing down their talking speed and using more breath to speak clearer.
For some children, augmentative and alternative communication may be used. This could include:
- Signing or gesturing.
- Using computer programs or apps to communicate.
You will likely also receive some tips and guidance from your child’s care team about how you can help. Additionally, The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders offers a list of organizations that may offer support and allow you to connect with other families living with dysarthria.
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You May Be Able to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Birth Injury Case Based on Your Child’s Dysarthria
If your child’s dysarthria occurred as a result of a preventable birth injury, the doctor or another member of the team who monitored the pregnancy or delivered the baby may be responsible. You could have a valid medical malpractice case based on negligence that led to your child’s birth injury. Often, birth injuries and dysarthria occur as a result of a traumatic delivery, but failure to diagnose conditions in utero may also cause these injuries.
If you can prove the doctor or hospital caused or failed to prevent your child’s birth injuries and speech difficulties, you may be able to recover compensation for treatment and related losses, such as:
- Current and future medical care and speech therapy.
- Prescribed devices or tools.
- Other related expenses.
- Pain and suffering.
- Other non-economic losses.
Working with an attorney in your state who handles dysarthria cases may make this process easier for you. Your attorney can also help you understand the deadlines and rules in your state about tolling the statute of limitations and meeting the rules for proving medical malpractice cases.
Talk to a Team Member About Your Child’s Dysarthria Today
If your child has dysarthria because of a congenital condition or a traumatic birth, you can get help today by reaching out to the Birth Injury Lawyers Group. You can find out if you may have a case for compensation and how to get started on this process.
Call (800) 222-9529 for a free case review today. Your attorney will handle your case with no out-of-pocket costs to your family if they believe you have a strong enough medical malpractice birth injury case.