In some cases, parents are the first to know if their baby has developmental delays. You may notice that your baby is not hitting the same milestones as other children, or those listed on information provided by your doctor. If you believe your child may be significantly behind, do not hesitate to reach out to his or her doctor.
Your child’s pediatrician can also check to ensure they are not behind during office visits, and may see something that could indicate a delay. However, it is not unusual for children to lag behind on some milestones. This is not a concern unless the delay is extensive or there are many missed milestones.
If your family doctor has concerns about a possible developmental delay or disability, they may screen your child closely or refer you to a developmental specialist. This will allow you and the doctor to get a better idea if your child has a minor delay or a significant concern that could require ongoing therapy and support.
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Therapy and Support for Developmental Delays
You can only know if your baby has developmental delays after screening and careful observation by a medical professional. Delays may be apparent in the child’s gross or fine motor skills, speech and language abilities, intellectual abilities, or social skills. In some cases, these delays may be global, meaning they affect several or all of these areas of the child’s development.
It is important to understand your child’s delays early to ensure they get the treatment, therapy, and support they need. This may include occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and psychological counseling. Early intervention, special education, or an individual education plan (IEP) may also play a role in helping your child adapt to their delay and reach their full potential.
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Causes of Developmental Delays and Disabilities
In some cases, developmental delays may occur because of a significant disability that affects the child’s physical or mental abilities. These concerns could be life-long and impact the child’s ability to perform everyday tasks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six children in the United States aged three through 17 have one or more developmental disabilities, and some babies are at an increased risk. This includes those born premature, born with a low birth weight, as a part of a multiple birth, or those whose mothers had certain infections during pregnancy.
Other causes of developmental delays and disabilities may include:
- Birth injuries that occur during a problematic labor or delivery
- Preventable injuries during gestation
- Genetic and chromosomal issues
One example of a developmental disability is cerebral palsy, which affects up to four out of every 1,000 live births according to the National Center for Biotechnical Information (NCBI). In some cases, medical malpractice may be a factor. If a doctor or another care provider caused your child’s birth injury directly, or failed to monitor, diagnose, or treat a prenatal concern, they may be liable for any injuries incurred.
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You May Be Entitled to Compensation for Your Child’s Treatment and Support
If your child’s developmental delays occurred because of medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through legal action on your child’s behalf. You can attempt to hold the doctor or medical facility accountable and recover a payout to help you provide financial support for your child’s ongoing support.
To build a birth injury case, you should consider working with an attorney who represents families in your state, as well as a medical expert witness. This medical witness can help to determine if your child was a victim of medical malpractice and help you prove your claim. Many states require a medical expert to review your child’s complete medical records and offer their opinion regarding whether or not malpractice occurred before you can move forward with your case.
Each state has its own statute of limitations and may have its own rules allowing you to toll the statute of limitations for birth injury cases, so it is best to speak with a lawyer familiar with the laws in your state.
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Speak with a Member of Our Team for Free
If you know your baby has developmental delays due to any missed milestones, you can get help starting your case with the team from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group. We offer complimentary case reviews, and can help you understand if your family may be entitled to compensation. Consider letting a member of our team evaluate your child’s medical history and considerations related to what caused his or her developmental delay.
Our firm accepts cases based on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay anything for our services unless you recover a settlement in your case. Sometimes, a lawsuit could be necessary to seek compensation you may be entitled to.
You can reach the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation.
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