The different types of developmental disabilities are divided into at least four categories:
- Nervous system disabilities
- Sensory-related disabilities
- Metabolic disabilities
- Degenerative disorders
These four categories contain many sub-categories and dozens of specific conditions ranging from vision impairments to cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood, according to a 2017 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), appearing in up to four of every 1,000 live births.
Some of these conditions occur as a result of genetics, but others may be the result of preventable injuries that occur during gestation, labor, or delivery.
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Many Diagnoses Qualify as Developmental Disabilities
In many cases, there is no cure for a developmental disability. It is a concern you and your child may deal with for the rest of his or her life. However, a treatment plan to address the symptoms, reduce their effects, and help your child learn to adapt to their disabilities can make their life easier so they can keep up with their peers.
A treatment plan may depend greatly on your child’s diagnosis and symptoms, but often includes medications and therapies. Useful therapies may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Early intervention, special education and support, as well as psychological counseling may also play a role.
Some of the different types of developmental disabilities that your child may have include:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Hearing Damage or Vision Impairment
- Intellectual Disability
- Language and Speech Disorders
- Learning Disability
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Tourette Syndrome
If your child has a diagnosis for one or more of these conditions, learning about it early and beginning therapy as soon as possible may be key in helping your child thrive.
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Causes of Developmental Disabilities in Infants and Children
Different types of developmental disabilities can cause life-long challenges for children. These challenges may make everyday tasks more difficult because of affected physical abilities, mental abilities, or both.
The causes of developmental disabilities can vary. Many are preventable, usually with close monitoring during gestation, labor, and delivery. Others may occur as a result of genetics. In some cases, the cause can remain unknown.
Some causes of developmental disabilities include:
- Birth injuries as a result of trauma during labor and delivery
- Genetic or chromosomal abnormalities
- Premature birth
- Untreated maternal infection during pregnancy
- Exposure to substances or certain chemicals
- Lack of blood flow or oxygen to the baby’s brain
Some developmental disabilities are more likely to occur as a result of preventable birth injuries than others. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at least 25 percent of babies born with hearing loss suffer this disability because of:
- Maternal infection
- Birth complications
- Head trauma during gestation, during delivery, or after delivery
Your Child’s Diagnosis May Support a Birth Injury Malpractice Case
If you can show your child’s developmental disabilities occurred because of the negligence of a doctor or another care provider, you may be entitled to pursue compensation in a birth injury case. This may be difficult to prove on your own. Some states require you to have a medical expert witness who can verify the merits of your case before you are able to pursue compensation.
A birth injury attorney who represents families in your state can help you identify a medical expert witness and work on gathering other evidence to support your claim. With strong evidence, you may be entitled to collect damages that include:
- Medical costs for diagnosis and treatment
- Ongoing care and support costs
- Miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
Consider getting started as soon as you can. 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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Talk to a Member of Our Team About Your Child’s Case
Get help with your case by reaching out to the Birth Injury Lawyers Group. We offer free case reviews, and can help you understand if their injuries occurred as a result of medical malpractice. If so, we can help you determine what steps you may be able to take to hold the doctor, another medical professional, or the facility responsible.
Call our team at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation regarding your child’s case. We take medical malpractice cases on a contingency-fee basis, so our team does not receive any payments unless you secure a settlement.