Did a Birth Injury Cause Your Child’s Developmental Delays?

Published on December 5th, 2017

Developmental Delays in Children

Gender and genetics do not always play a hand in a child’s development. However, a traumatic birth can absolutely impact the way a child develops. Many developmental delays in children are preventable, so it’s important to answer the question: Did a birth injury impact my child’s inability to reach certain developmental milestones?developmental delays in children

Understanding Developmental Delays

It’s important to understand what “developmental delay” means. Pediatricians follow a baseline for “normal” when it comes to seeing how a child is progressing in their growth and tasks they can accomplish. Doctors also weigh a child’s cumulative abilities over time – in other words, they compare the child to him or herself. Where one child may excel, another may require a little more time to become proficient with a skill. This is typical.

A child is usually considered developmentally delayed if they are unable to master motor skills, speech, or language skills. Again, all kids develop at their own rate, and children may be advanced in one area but take their time in another area. In many cases, with diagnosis and therapy, developmental delays in children can be corrected. Severe cases, however, can be life-altering and permanent.

Determining Whether Your Child Has Developmental Delays

If you have more than one child, it’s easy to see that they develop in different ways. Your son may walk before he’s 1 year old, and your daughter may talk before she walks. Having more than one child also creates room for comparisons. It’s easier to see, even taking into consideration different rates of maturing when one child is not mastering basic motor skills.

If you have only one child, you may not realize any developmental delays are present until your child’s pediatrician points out discrepancies in growth and abilities. Ultimately, it’s not your job to do the diagnosing. And it’s also not necessary to panic yet. It is, however, important to take into consideration factors that could have affected your child’s ability to progress in their development.

Possible Causes of Developmental Delays

Cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus are preventable medical complications. These conditions impact brain function and growth and can be caused by:

  • Pregnancy complications
  • Trauma during birth.
  • Brain injury during birth.
  • Oxygen deprivation during birth.
  • Premature delivery.

Other possible causes of developmental delays in children include:

  • Brain injury in early childhood.
  • Early childhood illness like measles or meningitis.
  • Severe malnutrition.
  • Mercury or lead poisoning.

Conditions like hearing loss or emotional problems can also impact the normal rate of a child’s development, but these factors do not indicate that a child is developmentally delayed in the clinical definition.

The Future for a Child with Developmental Delays

Being angry, frustrated, ashamed, worried, and sad are all normal reactions to learning that your child has developmental delays. If your son’s or daughter’s condition is mild, rest easy knowing that the right intervention can help them get back on track with their development. You both just might have to work a little harder than your child’s peers.

If your child’s developmental delays, however, is permanent, it will affect the rest of their life, and yours. Ongoing medical care and therapy could be necessary, as well as special schooling to help your child excel as much as possible given their abilities and limitations. Conditions like these are costly and stressful.

If you believe your child suffered a birth injury because of medical malpractice, contact Thurswell Law for a free consultation. You will have the best chance of receiving full monetary compensation for your suffering with the help of our experienced attorneys. We do not charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 today to schedule your consultation.


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