Learning & Cognitive Disabilities for Children with Birth Injuries

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NJ Birth Injury Attorney Discusses Cognitive, Learning, and Developmental Disabilities for Children with Birth Injuries

Birth injuries leave mothers and children searching for answers, sometimes for a lifetime. Parents wonder what they could have done to prevent harm to their children. And yet, sometimes genetics, nature, and accidents cause permanent disability in a child injured at birth. When the birth injury was avoidable, the family’s pain and suffering are only worse. If your child suffered a birth injury, you might need financial and other help meeting their needs, especially if their injuries caused developmental or cognitive disabilities.

Learning and Cognitive Disabilities Resulting from Birth Injuries

Often birth injuries cause cognitive disabilities in children. They are commonly slow to learn language and experience challenges parsing through information or remembering it. They may have difficulty with fine motor skills and learning disabilities such as dyslexia, aphasia, and dyscalculia. Difficulties with information processing and motor skills deficiency are typically the result of short-term oxygen loss during birth. More severe conditions include spectrum disorders, such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Related disabilities include attention deficit disorder or ADD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Autism, Asperger’s, ADD, and ADHD may be linked to brain trauma during labor and delivery.

Cerebral Palsy is a common disability resulting from birth injuries and is characterized by motor, emotional and cognitive disability. Though the cause is unknown, oxygen deprivation during labor is associated with the condition. Sometimes both oxygen deprivation and brain injuries from aggressive birth extractions cause cognitive disabilities, but even the trauma endured during birth can impact the way the brain organizes information. Extreme physical stress can cause neurological shifts.

Birth injuries also result in learning disabilities resulting from neurological disturbances. A parent or teacher may discover learning disabilities when a child has difficulty learning and retaining information at home or school. Children with learning disabilities may have difficulty reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning, and calculating numbers. Since most skills associated with learning become apparent in school, the disability diagnosis does not occur until children are school-age. A child with learning disabilities may perform below grade level on standardized tests or have difficulty learning with other children their age. They may need special classes with one-on-one teaching. They may have lifelong learning challenges.

Common Causes of Cognitive Developmental Disabilities in Birth Injury Cases

Long labors of over 18 hours are more likely to cause skull compression and brain stress, but spectrum disorder conditions are also linked to longer oxygen loss periods and assisted birth tool injuries from forceps or vacuum extractors. Children born prematurely; children with developmental disorders, such as ADD and ADHD; brain injuries or seizure disorders; and brain infections, such as meningitis, are at greater risk for learning disabilities.

Birth injuries associated with learning disabilities include oxygen deprivation, asphyxia, and Hypoxic Ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Other conditions affecting the brain, such as brain bleeds, brain damage, and encephalitis, also cause learning disabilities. Finally, infections and Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) may create learning difficulties.

IEPs and Accommodations for Children with Learning and Cognitive Disabilities in New Jersey

Children with cognitive disabilities and learning disorders may need accommodations and specialized teaching in school. A child with learning disabilities may find success when lesson concepts are repeated and spaced over time. They may respond better to visual conceptions of an idea with verbal instruction or description rather than verbal instruction alone, but each child has different needs.

Thus, New Jersey provides children with special needs and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). An IEP includes a child’s education plan tailored to their special needs to help the child succeed, including services to help them learn. The IEP is both an educational outline and a legal document that includes the educational plan, goals, services, and evaluation strategies for tracking progress.

Process for Getting an IEP for a Birth Injury-Related Disability

To qualify for an IEP, a child undergoes an evaluation process. The evaluation begins when a child’s disabilities become apparent to parents, teachers, or other school personnel. Typically, a child is struggling academically. A school psychologist may be the first school official to test the child for health, vision, social development, emotional development, learning potential, communication ability, motor skills, and academic performance. After the evaluation, a designated IEP team who participated in the assessment decides whether special services are necessary to assist the child in learning the school’s curriculum.

Once the IEP team decides your child would benefit from services, the IEP meeting occurs. All who contribute to an educational program for your child at the meeting meet to develop educational goals. Legally, they must notify the parents or guardian, the child, the child’s teacher, and other individuals the parents or guardians may want present. From there, the IEP operatives monitor and measure progress and goal attainment and report them to the child’s parents. Periodic IEP meetings are scheduled to update parents on student progress or revise plans or services.

Special Interventions for Learning Disabled Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends specific interventions for a child with disabilities depending on the evaluation and school resources. Younger children may access resource rooms with teachers who provide special services for specific academic subjects, like math or reading. At the same time, the student stays with their regular class in other subjects. They may also see a speech pathologist for language difficulties or a physical therapist for motor skill deficiencies. However, some children’s learning needs may occur in the regular classroom. A teacher may change a disabled student’s curriculum or teach to the child’s abilities, revising expectations for achievement timetables or homework assignments.

Other interventions require circumvention or bypass strategies to develop a child’s strengths and get around their weakness with interventions. For example, a child with motor skill problems may have handwriting challenges. A bypass strategy may be to use a computer to write rather than handwrite or recite homework or assignments orally rather than in writing. Other methods include adapting to a child’s needs through home modifications by revising expectations for the child, instituting home routines, and providing help in a quiet environment. Alternatively, a tutor may help with homework. Professionals for mental and emotional support may be necessary for anxiety reduction and self-esteem issues. And finally, medication interventions may help with attention deficit disorders.

Recovering Additional Financial Resources for a Birth Injury Causing Cognitive Disability

Some at-home or professional interventions may be outside the resources provided by a school IEP. In that case, your child may need extensive financial resources to get the educational, psychological, emotional, and physical help they need. When a birth injury results from a medical professional’s negligence, you need help from an experienced birth injury attorney who can assess your child’s case and determine if you have grounds to file a claim on behalf of your child for birth injury damages resulting from medical malpractice.

Fronzuto Law Group Assists with Obtaining the Compensation Your Child Needs

You have the legal right to compensation for losses due to another’s negligent behavior when providing medical care to you and your child before, during, and after birth. By consulting with a birth injury lawyer at Fronzuto Law Group, you can learn how you might file a claim for your child’s current and future needs. You may further explore with an attorney at our firm what we can do to negotiate a settlement or litigate the matter in court to ensure your child receives full compensation for their injuries. Contact (973)-435-4551 to learn more with assistance from our birth injury lawyers today. We offer free initial consultations.

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