Modern technology helps to reduce the risk of birth injuries, since doctors and nurses can quickly check on a mother and baby’s health as the birthing process proceeds. Yet, there is still room for error, and your baby can sustain an injury if your medical team makes mistakes that cause them to experience a lack of oxygen or other health issues that impact their development.
Many of the most common types of birth injuries can lead to a long-term need for medical care. Epilepsy, cerebral palsy, brain bleeds, certain infections and a lack of oxygen to the brain can all impact your baby’s future development. While some disabilities aren’t preventable, many birth injuries are avoidable when medical professionals make the best possible decisions.
Since many birth injuries impact the brain, the effects are often not seen until parents begin to notice delays in their baby’s language development. Being aware of how a birth injury impacts your baby’s ability to develop normally helps you be alert for signs that your child needs higher levels of care.
How a birth injury can impact a child’s development
Birth injuries can affect every aspect of a child’s development. Below are some of the ways that a birth injury could impact speech and language development in a growing child.
- Injuries to the soft tissues of the head and neck can cause the vocal cords and mouth muscles to develop abnormally.
- A traumatic brain injury could disrupt the neural connections that are required for proper language development.
- Children who are unable to speak and express their needs also tend to experience disruptions in their emotional development that can sometimes present as behavioral disorders.
Since babies begin developing their physical, cognitive and emotional skills from the moment they enter the world, even a slight delay can lead to long-term challenges. After a birth injury, it’s possible that your baby will need continuing therapeutic care that increases the medical costs you’ll face over the course of their life.
Ways speech therapy supports communication
Children with birth injuries that affect their communication skills often benefit from attending speech therapy sessions. Working with a trained professional helps your child learn valuable verbal and nonverbal skills that enable them to express their emotions and physical needs.
In addition to helping your child develop their articulation skills through physical forms of therapy, they’ll also help them build their listening abilities. Improving receptive language skills helps your child to learn and make up for any deficits they had in their prior development.
Benefits of early intervention
As disruptive as birth injuries can be to a baby’s speech development, it’s important to understand that early intervention helps to correct many of the challenges that families face with communication. Beginning therapy at an early age prevents your baby from missing out on essential skills that they’ll need to build upon as they grow.
For instance, learning nonverbal skills before they’re old enough to speak lays the groundwork for your child to be able to listen and comprehend what other people say as they grow. As a toddler, your child will need to learn how to pronounce words properly and use the right vocabulary to help themselves be understood by others.
Types of techniques used in speech therapy
Speech therapists help children who have experienced birth injuries from medical negligence improve their language skills through the use of multiple research-based techniques.
A speech therapist can use sign language with non-verbal babies and older children to help them communicate their needs long before they can form words with their mouths.
Augmentative and alternative communication devices are another speech therapy option that opens up language-building opportunities for the whole family. Children who are able to point to pictures or press a button to make a word are able to develop their ability to share their thoughts with other people in their life.
As your child grows, you’ll see their therapist implement different techniques to fit their individual learning needs.
Common challenges encountered in speech therapy
It’s not uncommon for parents dealing with the aftermath of a birth injury to miss the earliest signs of a speech disorder in their children. One of the biggest challenges families encounter with speech therapy is a lack of early identification. Children who go without care until they reach school age often struggle to catch up with their peers.
If your child has a birth injury, then make sure to note common developmental markers that signal their speech is developing normally. If you suspect that something is wrong, make sure to seek an evaluation as soon as possible.
Speech therapy can also involve challenges that require the assistance of a full team of care providers. For example, helping a child build their physical motor skills can improve their ability to move their lips and tongue to form words. Making sure that your child’s speech therapist is willing to work with other care providers will help round out their treatment plan.
Why family involvement is critical for success
As a parent, you probably spend more time with your child than anyone else. Because of this, it’s crucial for you to work with your child’s speech therapist to develop an at-home plan that supports your child’s progress between therapy sessions.
While this process can seem overwhelming at first, providing your child with encouragement as they attempt to speak and allowing them, however long it takes, to express their needs will go a long way toward helping them build confidence and improve their speech skills.
How a birth injury attorney can help families cover their child’s medical costs
Speech therapy is effective, but it can take years to see genuine progress or get your child up to par with the expectations for their developmental stage. Filing a birth injury lawsuit might be your best course of action for making sure that your child receives the best possible care.
A birth injury attorney can support you through the entire process by helping to gather medical records and other information that supports your claim. They’ll also be able to negotiate on your behalf and make sure your child receives a settlement that takes into account their long-term needs.
Contact a birth injury attorney
If you’re the parent of a child who suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, we encourage you to explore the many options available to help them achieve independence and live their life to the fullest. Unfortunately, the medical costs associated with therapy are often high, and these types of therapy may be necessary throughout your child’s life. That’s why it’s important to contact a birth injury attorney to ensure you receive the compensation you need to continue to support your child’s evolving needs.
If you believe your child suffered a birth injury because of a doctor’s medical negligence, contact attorney Laura Brown at Brown Trial Firm. Laura has years of experience in birth injury law, helping families like yours all across the U.S. get the compensation they deserve.
Contact her today for a free consultation of your case.
- Cerebral Palsy
- Caput Succedaneum and Cephalohematoma
- Neonatal Intracranial Hemorrhage (Childbirth Brain Bleeds)
- Hydrocephalus (Extra Fluid in the Brain Cavity)
- Cervical Dystonia
- Hemiplegia (Brain or Spinal Cord Injury)
- Hemorrhagic Stroke
- Neonatal Stroke
- Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL) Brain Injury
- Infant Seizures
- Spastic Diplegia (Spasticity in the Legs)
- Top Risks for Birth Injuries
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- G-Tubes for Newborns
- Medical Errors
- Cesarean Section & Birth Injury
- Negligence in Brain Cooling Treatment
- Craniosacral Therapy
- Fetal Intolerance to Labor
- Jaundice (Kernicterus)
- Breech Position
- Placental Complications
- Placental Problems
- Umbilical Cord Problems
- Uterine Rupture
- Cervical Incompetence (Insufficiency)
- Blighted Ovum
- Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) - Intestinal Inflammation
- Cephalopelvic Disproportion
- Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
- Amniotic Fluid Embolism
- Birth Injury from Premature Delivery
- Developmental Delays
- Abnormal Cord Insertion
- Infections at Birth
- Chorioamnionitis Bacterial Infection
- Premature birth
- Oxygen Deprivation
- Birth-Acquired Herpes
- Placenta Previa
- Placental Abruption
- Mismanaged Fetal Malposition
- Obesity Related Birth Injuries
- Intrauterine Growth Restriction
- Blood Clots During Pregnancy
- Ectopic Pregnancy Misdiagnosis
- Myths & Facts About Birth Injuries
- Bacterial Vaginosis
- Gestational Diabetes
- Maternal Mortality Risk
- Oligohydramnios (Low Amniotic Fluid)
- Infections During Pregnancy