Ohio Cerebral Palsy Attorneys
At ABC Law Centers, we understand that finding resources for children with cerebral palsy can be difficult. We aim to help parents and caregivers find the information and support they need to make sure their child is cared for, no matter what. It can be difficult to know where to start, so we’ve compiled a short list of key resources that parents and caregivers may find useful.
What is cerebral palsy (CP)?
A diagnosis of CP means that a person has a brain injury or anomaly that impacts their muscles and movement. A cerebral palsy diagnosis does not guarantee that the child has a cognitive impairment, but intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) often co-occur with cerebral palsy. While cerebral palsy is not always associated with medical malpractice, it can often be linked to inadequate care during the mother’s pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
What causes cerebral palsy?
Brain injury can be the result of oxygen deprivation to a baby’s brain shortly before, during or after labor and delivery. The amount of time that the baby is without oxygen can vary in severity and duration, which means that each case of cerebral palsy can look different.
Oxygen deprivation in a baby can stem from multiple factors, such as:
- Abnormal fetal position/presentation
- Birth asphyxia
- Birth trauma
- Brain bleeds (intracranial hemorrhages)
- C-section errors and delays
- Forceps and vacuum extractor injuries
- Low birth weight
- Maternal infections
- Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS)
- Not recognizing signs of fetal distress (failure to intervene)
- Mismanaged high-risk pregnancy (failure to diagnose a high-risk pregnancy)
- Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL)
- Placental abruption
- Premature birth
- Prolonged and arrested labor
- Twin or multiples pregnancy
- Umbilical cord problems
- Uterine tachysystole/hyperstimulation
- Uterine rupture
Can cerebral palsy be prevented?
CP can be preventable. Cerebral palsy is strongly associated with medical malpractice, meaning that often, it can be caused by a medical professional’s mistake.
There are certain things that medical practitioners are expected to do in given situations – guidelines called ‘standard of care.’ Preventing medical mistakes involves following these standards. If a medical professional or facility deviates from the standards of care and causes an injury, that is considered medical malpractice.
The prevention of cerebral palsy stemming from medical errors involves a combination of good communication, proper training, and accountable medical systems.
Can legal help pay for my child’s cerebral palsy care?
If your child is not reaching their developmental milestones as expected, it may be worthwhile to speak to an Ohio birth injury attorney about investigating the care you and your child received during pregnancy, labor and delivery. Sometimes, there are events that occur that parents may not be able to identify as medical malpractice, but a well-trained birth injury attorney can identify deviations from the standard of care and potential instances of medical malpractice. This means that parents can choose to file a lawsuit to access funds for their child’s future care and be secure in knowing that their child will have access to the care they need, no matter what.
Local Ohio CP Resources
Unfortunately, there is no nationwide database of disability resources, and resource availability can vary widely by state.
While our list is by no means comprehensive, we hope it will shed light on some of the local organizations in Ohio that may provide useful information and services.
It is also worth noting that certain national organizations like the Arc, the United Way, and United Cerebral Palsy have local and state chapters. We encourage parents to check out these groups, as they often are one of the best ways of finding services in a particular geographic area.
Another effective way to find local resources is to contact your city, county or regional Department of Health or Department of Human Services. Often, these government departments have detailed service lists and trained staff who can assist in finding help specific to your child’s needs.
Financial and medical help for children with CP
Each state has offices that can assist individuals with disabilities in securing different resources. These offices can help with questions about disability income (SSI/SSDI), disability employment, and medical care. Related programs include the American Association on Health and Disability, which has a listing of both public and private disability resources.
Medical/rehabilitative assistance programs
Most research teaching hospitals have medical and follow-up programs for individuals with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Many also have developmental clinics that screen children for developmental delays and refer families to specialists for services. Hospitals local to Ohio that offer these services include:
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital Developmental Disabilities Clinic
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital Child Development Center
- Cleveland Clinic Children’s Department of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
- Ohio State University’s Nisonger Center houses both theInterdisciplinary Developmental Clinic (for children with cerebral palsy and I/DD) and the Neurodevelopmental Dual Diagnosis Clinic
- Akron Children’s Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
- Cincinnati Children’s Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
- UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital: Division of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics and Psychology
Nonprofit organizations for people with CP
Ohio has numerous nonprofits that focus on providing disability services to residents including, but not limited to:
- Disability Rights Ohio helps individuals with disabilities advocate for themselves and exercise their rights as citizens.
- Olmstead Rights has a list of local disability advocacy and resource centers across the state.
- Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) helps adults with disabilities obtain the social support system that they need to live in a community-based setting.
The state also has several developmental centers that provide comprehensive, residential care for individuals who require more support, as well as outpatient programs that provide support for individuals who live in community-based centers. A list of these centers can be found on the Department of Developmental Disabilities’ (DODD’s) website.
Educational help and/or early intervention
Early Intervention Services are available for children ages 0-3. These services aim to provide rehabilitative, occupational and therapeutic care to maximize a child’s potential and help them succeed later in life. These programs involve the development of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), which aims to help your child move smoothly into preschool.
Once children are school-age, parents, educators and other professionals work together to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Resources for IEP planning are usually found on the school-district level, so parents should consult their local school district’s special needs program administrator.
Other useful cerebral palsy and disability-related resources in Ohio:
- Special Needs Resource Project: Ohio Disability Resources
- Red Treehouse: Ohio’s online resource promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, intellectual, and social development of children and young adults, prenatal-25.
About ABC Law Centers
Attorneys at ABC Law Centers (Reiter & Walsh, P.C.) focus solely on birth injury cases and have a network of renowned medical, economic and forensics experts at our side. Our attorneys are consistently recognized for their hard work in the birth injury arena and we have an extensive track record in providing services to families affected by birth injuries. We provide personalized attention to our clients and keep them informed throughout each step of the legal process. We do not charge any fees for the entire legal process unless we win.
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