There are many types of developmental delays, connected to many causes. What amount of recovery is possible depends on the cause of the delay and what treatment the child is able to receive.
Some developmental delays for a baby can be permanent, some can be temporary, and some may go away after treatment from a doctor. Even for delays with permanent effects, it may be possible to reduce symptoms or improve the child’s outcome with medical intervention.
One of the most important things to do to attempt to alleviate the effects of developmental delays for your child is to alert the doctor about your concerns as quickly as possible. Certain types of delays respond well to therapy. It may also be necessary for a doctor to monitor your child over time to treat their developmental delays.
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What a Developmental Delay May Mean for a Baby
Knowing that some babies do not hit developmental milestones as quickly as their peers, some doctors will tell you not to worry about delays right away. Understand, though, you spend the most time with your child, and you may have a better ability to determine when missing a milestone is extremely worrisome and when it is simply a slight delay.
Some developmental delays could signal that a more serious health situation is going on with your baby, so you definitely should take any delays seriously. Follow your doctor’s instructions and monitor your baby as they grow, as some of the conditions that could be present are extremely serious to the baby’s long term health outlook.
Some of the illnesses or conditions that could be associated with developmental delays include:
- Brain injuries that lead to learning disorders
- Cerebral palsy
- Hearing problems
- Language disorders
- Muscular dystrophy
- Speech disorders
- Vision problems
If you have notified your primary doctor about the developmental delay, but you do not feel he or she is taking your concerns seriously, you may wish to get a second opinion or see a specialist who has more familiarity with the particular type of developmental issue your baby is experiencing.
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Developmental Delay Vs. Developmental Disability
Whether or not a developmental delay is permanent may depend on whether the baby has underlying conditions that are causing the developmental issues. If your doctor or specialist uses the phrase developmental disability to describe what is happening to your child, rather than developmental delay, you may have a more serious situation on your hands.
If your baby is diagnosed with a developmental disability, this may refer to a developmental issue that appears to be permanent in nature. This rarely describes a condition that the baby will outgrow or overcome through therapy.
Often times, the developmental disability can be related to some sort of brain injury that the baby suffered either in the womb or during delivery. If the baby’s brain does not develop properly because of this injury, the disability may not alleviate itself.
Doctors may use this terminology to describe things like cerebral palsy, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports occurs in roughly 1.5 to 4 live births per 1,000 worldwide. This motor disability does not heal or go away as the baby ages, but through therapy and other treatments, the baby may be able to reduce some of the symptoms, improving the child’s quality of life as he or she grows.
Another condition that some doctors will refer to as a developmental disability is autism. The child will not grow out of autism. But, again, parents can seek out treatment options and coping mechanisms from medical experts and therapists that can help the parents and child have better success with learning how to live with autism and learning how to communicate as effectively as possible.
Developmental Delays May Warrant Legal Action
If you believe a doctor’s negligence has led to your baby’s birth injury and developmental delays, you have the right to seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group may be able to help you take action for your child’s injuries. We support families nationwide in insurance claims and medical malpractice lawsuits. Our firm can handle all evidence gathering, negotiations, and legal work in your case when we represent you.
To get help with your case today, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529. A member of our team is standing by to offer you a free, no-obligation consultation on your case.