The most common developmental disabilities include learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysphasia, cerebral palsy, and other conditions. These can occur from damage to the developing brain in utero or during labor and delivery.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 17 percent of children between three and 17 years of age have a diagnosed developmental disability. This equates to about one out of every six children in U.S. schools. In some cases, children may have more than one of these conditions.
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Common Developmental Disabilities Diagnosed in Children
Developmental disabilities include a wide range of disorders caused by damage to the brain, either during development or because of birth injuries. They may include conditions that cause physical impairments, cognitive concerns, or both.
In many cases, they can affect the child’s abilities in school, social situations, and more. They can have devastating effects on the child’s physical, social, intellectual, and emotional development. The most common developmental disabilities diagnosed in babies and children include:
- Learning disorders.
- Cerebral palsy.
- Attention deficit disorder, called ADD or ADHD.
- Autism spectrum disorder.
- Hearing loss.
- Language or speech concerns.
- Intellectual disability.
- Vision impairments.
In some cases, it may take several years —at least until the child reaches school age —to identify and diagnose some of these developmental delays and impairments. Cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and vision loss may be apparent in infants and toddlers, but most of these conditions are rarely diagnosed before preschool.
Following diagnosis, children may qualify for early intervention programs or special accommodations and individualized education plans for those who are in preschool, kindergarten, or above. The right to access these programs is guaranteed in public schools and made possible by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
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Causes of Developmental Disabilities
There are many factors that play a role in causing developmental disabilities. In some cases, there is little that can prevent them, even if the risk is known, such as with genetic conditions. In some cases, the exact cause is never identified.
Alternately, many developmental disabilities are preventable with proper monitoring of the pregnancy, evaluation of risk factors, and careful monitoring of labor and delivery. This includes disabilities that occur as a result of:
- A mother who drinks or smokes during the baby’s gestation.
- Birth injuries, often caused by preventable labor complications.
- Asphyxia or hypoxia, stopping proper oxygenation of the brain.
- Maternal infections.
- Exposure to high levels of environmental toxins during gestation.
In many cases, the cause of developmental disabilities are preventable, so the disability itself is preventable. Doctors have a duty to constantly monitor the baby and mother and evaluate risk factors. They should use the information they learn to determine the best option to keep the mother and child healthy during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
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Your Child’s Developmental Disabilities May Support a Birth Injury Claim
Some diagnoses of developmental disabilities support birth injury medical malpractice claims. You may be able to build a case and hold the doctor, clinic, or hospital accountable for your child’s brain injuries and impairments. You can get a free consultation and discuss your child’s diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care today.
An attorney who knows the medical malpractice laws in your state can help you determine if you have a case, gather evidence, prove your losses, and navigate the process on your behalf. These cases also often require an expert medical opinion to prove that medical negligence caused your child’s injuries, or failed to prevent them.
Your attorney may be able to prove your losses and seek a payout to cover:
- Current and future treatment.
- Ongoing care, as necessary.
- Mobility equipment or other prescribed tools.
- Out-of-pocket expenses.
- Pain and suffering damages.
- Mental anguish.
- Other non-economic losses.
Each state has a statute of limitations, statute of repose, and other rules that determine the timeline in birth injury cases. Your lawyer will be able to determine how quickly you need to act to hold the doctor or another liable party accountable.
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Talk With the Birth Injury Lawyers Group Today
If you believe your child suffered a birth injury that led to their developmental disability diagnosis, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group is here for you. You can get help today, and we will review your case for free.
Medical malpractice attorneys generally accept cases based on contingency. You may be able to get representation by an attorney familiar with the birth injury laws in your state at no upfront cost.
Call (800) 222-9529 now to speak with a member of our team who can offer a case evaluation, explain your rights, and help you better understand your case based on your child’s injuries, care needs, and other factors.
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