For a number of parents, noticing that something is wrong with their baby is a difficult experience. This is especially true when you are unsure of what the problem is, what caused it, and what effects it can have on your child. In situations of cerebral palsy, there are certain steps that doctors take to screen and diagnose the condition. There are multiple steps that a doctor can take and screening varies based on age range. Most often, in order to diagnose cerebral palsy, three steps may be taken. This includes developmental monitoring, developmental screening, and medical and developmental evaluations.
This step is also known as surveillance. It requires the doctor to track the growth and development of the baby over a period of time. The parents will bring the child into the doctor’s office for developmental monitoring. During this time, the doctor can discuss any concerns that he or she may have with each parent. They may also need to collect or update history regarding the child’s developments at home and observe the way the baby moves during the process. This is an important part of cerebral palsy screening so all concerns can be laid out. If there are any, the next step is to go through developmental screening.
Developmental screening includes a short test that will help to determine if the child is experiencing any specific delays in development. This includes delays in motor skills or movement. The developmental screening tests can include interviews by the parents, questionnaires provided by the parents, and more, including tests given to the child. It is recommended that these screenings take place at multiple times during the child’s developmental phase including visits at nine months, 18 months, and 24 to 30 months.
In some situations, the delays in development can be easy to see. In other, milder delays, it may be more difficult and it would require further testing as the child gets older. The next step is developmental and medical evaluations.
Medical and Developmental Evaluations
During developmental and medical evaluations, specialists may be relied upon to help determine the type of diagnosis of cerebral palsy. These specialists include developmental or neurodevelopment pediatricians, child neurologists, pediatric physiatrist or rehabilitation doctors. The doctor will take a close look at how the baby moves and other factors such as motor skills, reflexes, posture, and muscle tone. This evaluation is important because it not only helps to rule out other conditions that may have similar signs, but it also helps determine the severity and type of cerebral palsy as this can cause seizures, vision problems, speech issues, hearing trouble, and intellectual disability.
It’s completely okay to be concerned about this type of situation and to want answers. In times like this, it’s important to determine exactly what caused the cerebral palsy. If the condition was a result of a doctor’s negligence, it may allow you to seek compensation by filing a birth injury claim against the responsible party. This can help cover many of the expenses associated with raising a child with cerebral palsy.
At The Law Office of Snyder & Snyder, P.A., our Baltimore cerebral palsy lawyers understand how difficult this situation can be. Parents never expect that something like this to happen, especially when it is caused by a preventable act of negligence. You shouldn’t have to worry about your child because someone else acted recklessly. If your baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after a negligent action by your doctor, call our firm and discuss your potential claim with us. We are here to help you.