Oxygen deprivation at birth can cause learning disabilities and intellectual deficits. This occurs because of the damage suffered by brain cells that do not receive the proper level of oxygen and nutrients when a baby suffers birth asphyxia during gestation, labor, or delivery.
This type of brain damage can cause developmental delays and disabilities that affect all areas of the child’s life, including their motor abilities, sensory processing, behavior, social skills, and intellectual abilities. These children may have complications and medical conditions that include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Learning delays
- Intellectual disabilities
- Delayed speech and communication
- Difficulty with independent living skills and self-care
These delays and disabilities can be minor, moderate, or severe. They may affect the child’s abilities as they begin school or continue throughout their lives into adulthood.
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Cerebral Palsy and Learning Disabilities Commonly Co-Occur in Oxygen Deprived Babies
Cerebral palsy is one of the most common medical conditions related to oxygen deprivation at birth, and many children who receive this diagnosis also face additional challenges. This often includes learning disabilities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60 percent of eight-year-olds who participated in a study of children with cerebral palsy had at least one additional developmental delay or disability. This includes 40 percent who face some intellectual challenge, such as a learning disability or delay.
Many of these children with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability also have additional challenges related to their oxygen deprivation brain injuries. This often includes epilepsy, present in about a quarter of these children, or low vision or hearing loss.
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Diagnosis and Treatment of Learning Disabilities in Children with Oxygen Deprivation Injuries
Oxygen deprivation at birth causes learning disabilities, but that does not mean it is possible to identify and diagnose these conditions shortly after birth. It may be possible to diagnose a learning disability or delay in some severe cases when the baby fails to meet developmental milestones as a baby or toddler. It is more common to recognize these concerns when the child reaches preschool or early elementary school age.
Children who experienced deprivation of oxygen during delivery require additional monitoring to diagnose any related complications or concerns as soon as possible. Children with learning disabilities or delays benefit from treatment and support beginning as quickly as possible. This treatment may include:
- Early intervention programs
- Speech and language therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Medications to help manage conditions such as epilepsy
- Addressing hearing or vision concerns
When children receive support through early intervention in their local school system, they may enter kindergarten with their same-age peers without additional help or in the mainstream classroom with extra support. Some will still require special education programs but will be better prepared, thanks to their previous work.
It is not unusual for children to have a learning disability that goes undiagnosed until they enter school and cannot keep up with their peers. This does not allow them to benefit from early intervention, but getting the appropriate therapies and support can still help.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all children diagnosed with a learning disability should have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). These programs, designed as a collaborative effort between parents, therapists, teachers, and school administration, are meant to help them reach their fullest potential. However, it is important to be aware that you will likely need to advocate for your child’s best interests during this process.
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Pursuing Liability in Medical Malpractice Birth Injury Cases
A medical malpractice lawyer in your area can help you build a case against the doctor or hospital responsible for your child’s injuries if you can prove:
- Your child experienced oxygen deprivation because of medical negligence; and
- Your child has a diagnosis of a learning disability or delay because of the oxygen deprivation.
Your oxygen deprivation birth injury attorney can review your child’s medical records, assign liability, and ensure you meet all applicable laws to pursue a medical malpractice case in your state. They will do this based on a contingent fee, meaning you will not need to pay any upfront fees.
They will navigate the legal system on your behalf to negotiate a settlement or recover compensation that includes:
- Your child’s current and future medical care
- Ongoing care costs
- Time missed at work because of your child’s injuries
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Other intangible losses
- Punitive damages, in some cases
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Speak to a Member of Our Team Today About Your Child’s Learning Disability Diagnosis
If your child experienced oxygen deprivation at birth and now has a diagnosis of a learning disability, you may be able to hold the doctor, hospital, or other liable parties responsible and seek compensation for your child’s care. You can discuss your family’s case with a team member from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for free today.
Our complimentary case reviews can help you understand your case and your options for pursuing compensation. We know how difficult it can be to support your child through their daily challenges and how much financial recovery could help secure the best therapies and resources for them.
Get help today by calling (800) 222-9529. Our case reviews are always free for families whose child has a learning disability related to a birth injury.
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