Cerebral Palsy: A Guide | Wisconsin Cerebral Palsy Attorneys
One of the things clients tell us is that it can be difficult to find resources and support for their disabled child, especially in situations where the child was recently diagnosed or if the child is older at the time of diagnosis. In order to help families in their search for cerebral palsy resources in Wisconsin, we’ve collected a short list of useful information, including legal and financial assistance information, and education and early intervention resources.
What causes CP?
Cerebral palsy is caused by an underlying brain injury that impacts the parts of the brain that control motor function. Brain injuries are not typically localized to a single lobe, meaning that individuals with cerebral palsy may also have other related behavioral, cognitive, orthopedic, developmental, sensory, visual or hearing-related conditions.
The 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:
- Labor and delivery complications
- Abnormal fetal presentation/position
- Fetal or neonatal stroke
- Forceps or vacuum extractor use for delivery
- Underlying maternal health issues, such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or infection
- Umbilical cord problems
- Hydrocephalus (‘water on the brain’) or periventricular leukomalacia (PVL)
- NICU complications and errors, such as neonatal infection, sepsis, infant seizures, neonatal breathing problems, and neonatal hypoglycemia
- Jaundice and Kernicterus
- Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS)
- Premature rupture of membranes (water ‘breaking early’)
Is cerebral palsy preventable?
Cerebral palsy caused by medical malpractice can be prevented. Preventing medical errors involves many moving parts, including clear communication between medical staff, proper training, and the development of accountable medical systems. In order to do so, doctors, nurses, midwives and other members of the medical care team are required to meet a certain standard of care in order to prevent injury or harm to an expectant mother and her baby.
Medical personnel are responsible for:
- Providing proper prenatal care and recognizing risk factors for birth injury/cerebral palsy
- Taking actions to prevent birth injury or cerebral palsy (special caution must be taken if risk factors are present)
When medical professionals deviate from those standards, it increases the risk that a child will be injured.
Can legal help pay for my child’s cerebral palsy care?
If your child is not meeting their developmental milestones as expected, it may be worthwhile to speak to a Mississippi 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.
Attorneys at ABC Law Centers have helped advise parents with birth injury cases for 25 years.
We are glad to consult with you and answer your questions, absolutely free.Call (866) 467-0829
Wisconsin Cerebral Palsy Resources
The resources available for parents of children with cerebral palsy or disabilities can vary significantly, depending on geographic location, funding availability, the specific disability the child has, and how different programs are administered. One way to find services for cerebral palsy and associated disabilities is to seek out larger national disability-related organizations or non-profit service providers that have national presences and find out if they have state or local branches in your area. Large organizations like these often provide a wide range of services, including education, therapy, adaptive equipment, vocational training, housing support, and financial assistance.
These organizations can include United Way, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), and the Arc – all of which have outposts in each state. For example, UCP has local outposts in both Greater Dane County and West Central Wisconsin.
Government Financial Assistance
The most prominent providers of disability-related services are the federal and/or state governments. Programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, Medicaid, and various state offices such as the Office of Human Services, Department of Education, and state Developmental Disabilities programs can help individuals with disabilities obtain needed resources and information. In the state of Wisconsin, these some of these organizations are:
- The Wisconsin Disability Determination Bureau (DDB) determines the eligibility of individuals with disabilities in applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as Medicaid
- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also provides resources for assistive technology equipment loans and services for the families of individuals with disabilities under age 21
- The Great Lakes ADA Center provides information, technical assistance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act
- The Wisconsin Department of Transportation provides assistance with public transit for individuals with disabilities
Rehabilitative Assistance Programs
Many children’s hospitals and other large facilities in Wisconsin have services specifically tailored to the needs of children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy. Their rehabilitation programs provide children with adaptive services, equipment and therapies:
- Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Department and Child Development Center
- Medical College of Wisconsin’s Spasticity Management Program in Milwaukee
- Wisconsin Assistive Technology Program (WisTech)
Wisconsin Nonprofit Disability Organizations
Wisconsin has many organizations that are dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities in living as fully and independently as possible. These organizations can provide a sense of community, are sometimes part of a robust network of specialty service providers, and can often be a great resource for parents seeking specialized services.
- The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (WI-BPDD) provides opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to attain employment, higher education and self-advocacy.
- Disability Rights Wisconsin helps people across Wisconsin gain access to services and opportunity through advocacy and legal expertise.
Educational help and/or early intervention
Educational resources and their availability can vary depending on your child’s age, abilities, and the geographical region in which you reside. If a child is very young (ages 0-3), there are Early Intervention programs available to help your child’s developmental delays and maximize their potential. Families and specialists develop Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) that can outline the child’s needs and develop a plan to help the child transition into a school environment.
- Wisconsin Child Find is the first step in securing specialized planning for a child with disabilities. The network evaluates child development and begins the process of gathering resources tailored to your child’s specific needs.
- The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction also provides parents with educational materials, informational tools and local agency listings.
- The Birth to 3 Program provides early intervention services for young children, no matter where they are in Wisconsin; the program operates regional and local offices across the state.
- The Wisconsin RtI program provides evidence-based methods for screening and identifying children who may need additional educational supports
- WI FACETS (Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training and Support) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin provides information and referral, individual assistance, support groups, parent leadership development, workshops and events for individuals who care for children with disabilities.
- The Wisconsin Head Start Association has provided early education opportunities for all children, including those with disabilities since the mid 90s
- VPI promotes independence by provides employment and community-based support initiatives, including early intervention programs
Once a child turns 3, teachers, therapists, parents and caregivers will work together to create an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) ; this plan focuses on helping the child succeed academically. Because IEPs are developed in conjunction with the child’s school, parents should speak to their local school district’s disability services program staff as well as the program administrators at their child’s school. Once a child turns 16, their IEP must be amended to include a postsecondary transition plan, also developed in conjunction with the child’s IEP team. The Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS) provides neutral, third-party facilitators that can help parents develop IEPs for their children.
Other useful cerebral palsy and disability-related resources in Wisconsin:
- The Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association gets children with disabilities participate in fun recreational initiatives, including rugby, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and tennis, among others.
- The Special Needs Resource Project maintains a database of state-specific special needs resources, ranging from employment to health insurance to military benefits assistance.
- The Milwaukee County Disabilities Services Division oversees the Disability Resource Center, which provides information and access to disability benefits specialists.
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.
Free Case Review | Available 24/7 | No Fee Unless We Win