Is your child's ASD/ADHD linked to a birth injury? - What you can do

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How did your birth plan go? A personal question but one that is worth considering.

Whilst ASD and ADHD can be genetically linked there are incidences where the conditions are in fact triggered by physical injury caused by sub-standard medical care.

Examples include injury at or around the time of birth, including conditions like birth hypoxia (where a baby has suffered lack of oxygen), strokes, neonatal strokes, and infections such as meningitis or Group B streptococcus. Such injury could activate a pre-existing genetic predisposition.

For instance, a child who has undergone cooling treatment due to oxygen starvation at birth to avoid physical injury or cerebral palsy may not avoid subtle neurological impairment that only becomes more apparent particularly after the child has entered education.

In simple terms a child who would have grown up without signs of ASD or ADHD could develop traits after experiencing birth injury. In addition, these traits often differ from the “typical” characteristics seen in ASD or ADHD.

Consequently, an increasing number of children who experienced birth hypoxia are now presenting with either very mild or no obvious physical symptoms yet are diagnosed with conditions like ASD or ADHD.

If the birth hypoxia could have been prevented with appropriate medical care, this could open the door to a medical legal investigation, potentially leading to a claim on behalf of that child. That claim could prove invaluable to your child and family offering the potential of lifetime financial support.

Education is a crucial period for any child and access to the right educational placement with experienced staff and appropriate therapeutic support can make the world of difference to outcomes. ASD special school costs can be significant. Your child has a right to support, often via an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) funded by your Local Authority. Support navigating the system including challenges can take time and incur costs which may be recoupable via a medical negligence claim.

You can contact our Special Educational Needs team if you require support.

If you think your child has been injured as a result of a medical accident or negligence by a health care professional or if you want to hear more about ASD links to birth injury listen to the podcast from Julie Marsh and Richard Money-Kyrle, Partners from the Medical Negligence Team at Boyes Turner.

I am so happy at the outcome, I don't think we would have had such a comprehensive service from any other law firm, and you took the worry away...I do not regret a single second of the whole process, apart from the bit before you got involved. 

James' mother, Boyes Turner client

Contact our expert specialist education solicitors today for support with your claim

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