Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a problem that occurs when the brain is unable to send messages to the muscles on how to move smoothly and in coordination. It is a problem that affects the body’s muscle tone, coordination, and movement. There are different types of CP which can cause different problems for the child, and they may have one or a mix of different types.
CP is often caused by medical negligence, i.e., preventable problems arising during birth. Parents can have different reactions after their child’s diagnosis, such as panic, fear, and maybe even anger if it is due to medical negligence. Here are a few things you can do after your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis.
#1 File A Lawsuit
First of all, you need to file a lawsuit if you believe that your child’s CP diagnosis resulted from medical negligence. Medical professionals are expected to maintain a standard of care when delivering a baby and failure to do so can lead to a lifelong disability. Medical negligence can occur in many ways, such as improper use of medical tools like forceps and vacuum extractors, failure to detect fetal distress like oxygen deprivation, etc. It is really important to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit so that the doctors responsible can be held accountable and avoid this in the future. Cerebral Palsy lawsuit settlements will help you cover the medical costs of raising a child as treatment is really expensive. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it costs $1 million on average to care for a child with cerebral palsy throughout their lifetime.
Before filing a lawsuit, you need to know if your claim is valid or not. Your claim would be valid if the cause of your child’s cerebral palsy is negligence of the medical staff or an error in their judgment. You also need to keep in mind the legal fees involved in these lawsuits are usually a percentage of the lawsuit settlement you get.
There are two ways this lawsuit can go which are either settlement or the case goes to trial. If the case is settled outside the court then you receive the settlement amount agreed on by both parties. However, if not then the case goes to trial where if you win you will receive an amount greater than the settlement amount. But if you lose then you receive nothing. The good news is that most of these lawsuits end in settlements or the jury deciding in your favor.
Before starting treatment, you need to educate yourself and your family about what cerebral palsy is. Not just the parents, but also the people around the child need to know handle or communicate with the child. Unfortunately, there is no cure for cerebral palsy; however, you can help the child reach their greatest potential by getting them into therapy as soon as they are diagnosed. Therapy can be for various functions such as speech, movement, hearing, and social and emotional development.
You need to work out the treatment plan for your child with a doctor as soon as possible. Depending on what kind of cerebral palsy your child has, the doctor will recommend different types of therapies as well as any assistive devices such as braces or a wheelchair that the child may need. The doctor may also prescribe medicines if your child suffers from intense muscle pain or stiffness. Dislocated hips and curved spine are common in kids with CP however, the good news is that it can be treated with surgery. Doctors may also recommend different types of diets depending on your child’s condition.
#3 Social Support
After your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, parents can get in touch with organizations that will offer them support. These organizations will also help them connect with families of kids suffering from CP and learn about their experiences. It makes parents feel like they are not alone in this and get the emotional support they need. Plus, listening to other parents’ experiences and stories can help you handle your child better.
You can also find various organizations locally or nationally and even online to connect with different people from different countries.
They even offer support for your child through playgroups and summer camps so that kids with CP do not feel left out. It gives them a chance to feel normal and make friends with other kids suffering from the same condition.
Social support is crucial when raising a child with CP, so make sure you keep an eye out for support groups in your area. You can also talk to your child’s doctor and ask them to get you in touch with relevant community members.
#4 Mental Health
While taking care of the child, parents also need to take care of their own mental health. If you look after yourself well, only then can you look after your child better. Studies have shown that parents of kids with cerebral palsy show more signs of depression and anxiety as compared to parents of a typically developing child. They have also shown that the more time spent on childcare, the higher risk of mental illness among parents, especially mothers.
The child’s mental health also needs to be considered, which is often ignored as their physical health is given priority. Children with cerebral palsy are much more sensitive than other children and require extra care.
Although there is no cure for cerebral palsy, it does not get worse with time. Instead, your child’s condition can improve over time with the help of therapies and medications.
Many children with cerebral palsy grow to live their adult life normally and pursue their interests.
Raising a child with cerebral palsy can be difficult both mentally and financially. If the cause of your child’s cerebral palsy is medical negligence, you can file a lawsuit. Lawsuit settlements will help you cover your child’s medical costs and prevent other children from suffering the same fate. You can get emotional support from organizations that will help you connect with parents of other kids with cerebral palsy. Panic and fear are common in parents after their child’s diagnosis but don’t lose hope because many kids have grown up to lead normal lives and with the right care, your child can be one of those!