March 2022 Was National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
There was a time when individuals with certain medical disorders were marginalized and isolated from society, imposing barriers to education, employment, and other aspects of the community. Thankfully, these barriers have been broken down in recent years, partly due to awareness campaigns like National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (NDDA). This March 2022, the event will celebrate “Worlds Imagined” and focus on ways to improve the lives of people with various disabilities.
These conditions affect 1 in 6 children and typically begin during pregnancy, labor, or other important phases in a baby’s development. Some impact day-to-day functioning and the person’s ability to live independently, and most will last a lifetime. While some are hereditary, others are the result of birth injuries caused by Florida health care providers. Developmental disabilities generally fall into four categories.
- Nervous System Disabilities: These medical conditions impact the functioning of the brain, spinal cord, and other components of the nervous system. There can be delays in intelligence and learning, but disorders of the nervous system can also result in behavioral problems, speech and language conditions, and seizures. Some of the most common developmental disabilities in this category include Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- Sensory Related Disabilities: Conditions affecting the senses disrupt the body’s ability to interact with and process information coming from the surrounding environment. A child with medical conditions in this category has difficulties with vision, smells, taste, touch, and hearing. For example, the individual may not be able to assess spatial relationships between and among objects, while others may be extremely sensitive to certain sounds.
- Metabolic Disabilities: Some conditions impact how the body’s metabolic system consumes, breaks down, and processes sustenance and other related materials. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid does not release enough of a certain hormone into the bloodstream, slowing down metabolism. An infant with hypothyroidism may experience difficulty breathing and could develop jaundice (yellowing of the skin).
- Degenerative Disorders. A key concern with this class of developmental disabilities is that an infant may appear normal at and after birth, but physical, mental, or sensory conditions manifest over time. Parents may not notice these issues until the child misses key milestones and demonstrates a loss of function.
What to do About Conditions Caused by Birth Injuries
Getting proper medical care and working on a life care plan should be one of the top priorities, but parents may have legal options if developmental disabilities were the result of medical errors. If that is the case, then some of these tips may be helpful:
- Change providers if you believe your child’s condition is related to a healthcare provider’s error
- Request medical records
- Reach out to a lawyer who focuses on medical malpractice, particularly birth injury cases
Get Legal Help from Our Florida Birth Injury Attorneys
If you have concerns about your child’s developmental disability being linked to medical malpractice, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to discuss your legal options. After reviewing your potential claim, a Miami birth injuries lawyer can explain the review process, and if applicable, walk you through the steps for recovering compensation.