Cerebral palsy refers to a broad range of conditions, which lead to problem with posture, movement, and muscle tone. As we frequently discuss, it usually arises via problem with a developing brain. That is why complications during a birth which result in oxygen being withheld from a child’s brain often lead to cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy affects individuals along a spectrum. Some individuals experience relatively minor physical limitations while others have severe mental and physical challenges as a result of the injury. Those wishing to explore more about the condition can take a look at the Mayo Clinic website for authoritative information on the injury.
The complexity and variability of cerebral palsy make it impossible for one to give exact statements about the long-term effects. In fact, more and more research is still being pumped out which shed more light on exact consequences of cerebral palsy.
For example, Disability Scoop posted a story that explores new research into the connection between autism and cerebral palsy. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data suggesting that, on top of everything else, children with cerebral palsy are at an increased risk of developing autism when compared to children without the developmental disability.
The data, published in the Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology journal suggest that a shocking seven percent of children with cerebral palsy also have autism. That compared with the roughly one percent of all children who have autism. In other words, there may be a 700% increase in autism development risk for these children.
The findings were uncovered via examination of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network run by the CDC. Information on nearly 150,000 children (all age eight) were analyzed and compared as part of the analysis. The same study is conducted every two years as part of a general tracking process to better understand autism prevalence.
Right now researchers do not know exactly why children with cerebral palsy are more likely to have autism, but obviously certain risk factors similar in both.
Injury & Legal Recovery
Does any of this have a potential effect on legal cases related to cerebral palsy? Perhaps. When seeking accountability in a civil lawsuit, plaintiffs try to recover for all of the “losses” that accrued as a result of the injury. The goal is to make one “whole”–at least as much as possible via monetary compensation. Therefore, when making arguments about the damages that should be awarded in a case (or worked into a settlement), serious examination is given to all of the future harms that one will face. In other words, the increased risk of developing autism may impact fair compensation in birth injury cases where cerebral palsy results.
Of course, no two cases are identical, so it is critical to receive tailored legal advice to truly understand how these issues may affect your situation. If your child may have developed cerebral palsy as a result of mistakes made during childbirth, please contact our brain injury attorneys to see how we can help.
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