The treatment for developmental delays varies based on the type of delay, the severity of the delay, and how the delay affects a child’s everyday life. Getting an early diagnosis of a developmental delay or disability is important. The sooner your child’s condition is recognized, the sooner a doctor can put together a plan to potentially overcome the delay or mitigate its impact.
In some cases, children may require additional support, therapy, early intervention, or other types of treatment. With treatment, your child may be able to:
- Catch up with their peers before beginning school
- Learn tools to help them live with their delay
- Be able to continue with their peers through ongoing support
- Thrive with an individualized education plan
If your child recently received a diagnosis of a developmental delay or disability, you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in every six children aged three through 17 in the United States have at least one developmental disability, and even more likely have delays.
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Therapy Can Help Minimize the Impact of Developmental Delays
There may not be a cure for your child’s developmental concerns, but treatment for developmental delays such as therapy can help your child overcome some of the effects. Useful therapies depend on the concerns your child is facing and could include:
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy
Early intervention through a program in your state may be helpful if your child has a physical disability such as vision loss or deafness, or if they have a learning disability. Special education beginning in preschool and continuing through all grades of public school may offer an individualized education program. Alternatively, your child may be able to remain in the classroom with their peers using an individualized education plan (IEP).
If your child’s physical or mental developmental delays are severe and likely to last throughout their life in such a way that it affects their everyday capabilities, your doctor may diagnose them with a disability. This may include a specific diagnosis such as cerebral palsy, which is the most common motor disability affecting up to four out of every 1,000 live births according to a 2017 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
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A Doctor Should Monitor Your Child’s Progress
All children may temporarily lag behind some developmental milestones, and there are many reasons this can occur that have nothing to do with a long-term medical concern. However, if there is an ongoing delay or several significant delays in development, your child may need additional support.
Once a delay in motor skills, speech, social skills, or intellectual ability is identified, a doctor may need to do additional testing to determine the severity and identify other potential issues.
In some cases, your doctor may identify additional delays or areas of concern that your child’s therapist can work on. In addition, you, your child’s therapist, their teachers, and others can work to determine his or her needs and plan the treatment for developmental delays.
Medical Negligence May Cause Developmental Delays
There are several ways that medical negligence may result in a child suffering developmental delays. Delays may occur as a result of:
- A traumatic birth injury
- Lack of oxygen or blood getting to the brain during gestation, labor, or delivery
- Preventable maternal infection during pregnancy
- Issues related to poor monitoring during pregnancy, labor, or delivery
Any of these causes may support a medical malpractice case. You may be entitled to compensation for your child’s medical diagnosis and care, therapy, ongoing support and counseling, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
A birth injury attorney can help you take steps to:
- Prove your child was a victim of medical negligence
- Obtain and analyze your child’s medical records
- Work with a medical expert witness
- File a claim based on your state’s claims process
- Navigate the legal system to demand a fair settlement
- Represent your family in settlement negotiations or court, if necessary
- Meet all deadlines set by your state, which may vary
Birth injury lawyers generally accept cases on a contingency-fee-basis, so you pay nothing out of pocket.
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Talk to a Birth Injury Lawyer About Your Child’s Development
You can speak with a member of the team from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group by calling (800) 222-9529 to learn more about your case through a free consultation. We can help you begin the process of recovering the compensation you may be entitled to provide your child with the therapy and support they need throughout their lifetime, especially if their diagnosis was a result of a medical professional’s negligence.