Leeseberg & Valentine

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Addressing emotional, physical and legal issues re cerebral palsy

The day your child was born in an Ohio hospital was supposed to be one of the most exciting, joyful days of your life. You thought it was, at first, until something went wrong and your baby suffered a birth injury. The signs of cerebral palsy might not have been immediately apparent. However, it's not about when your child's symptoms surfaced as much as who is liable for the injury when medical negligence was the causal factor.

Your life changed forever as a parent of a child with cerebral palsy. Connecting with other parents who are in similar situations can provide tremendous emotional support as you learn how to care for your son or daughter so that he or she can live as healthy and joyful a life as possible. It's also a good idea to know where to seek legal support, especially if you have questions regarding medical malpractice laws.

Addressing your child's physical needs

There are various degrees of injury for cerebral patients. Like all good parents in Ohio and beyond, you know what's best for your child even if you do not know all there is to know about his or her condition. The following list shows ways you can help with his or her physical needs:

  • Always ask doctors and physical therapists questions to learn as much as you can about how to build strength and agility, as well as how to relieve pain and discomfort.
  • Closely observe your child's physical therapy sessions, so that you can learn to do some of the exercises at home.
  • Learn how to massage your child's body. This would be especially helpful if he or she suffers a muscle spasm, which is a common occurrence in cerebral palsy patients.
  • Allow your child to use his or her limbs and body as much as possible. If he or she is wheelchair-bound, there may still be ways to stretch, bend and exercise to build strength and agility.
  • If your child can walk or perhaps, even run a bit, you can help him or her thrive by providing ample opportunities to participate in physical activities as much as he or she is able. The more physically active your child is, the healthier he or she is likely to be.

With cerebral palsy, your son or daughter may not be able to play sports or participate in other rigorous, physically-driven competition; however, that doesn't necessarily mean there aren't fun, worthwhile activities available to help him or her improve quality of life. You might try visiting museums, art galleries or music concerts together to enrich your child's emotional and intellectual well-being and to boost his or her spirits, as well as yours.

The legal side of the issue

Things often happen in life that are accidental. Such situations may result in injury, but that doesn't necessarily mean someone is at fault. However, if your child's injury occurred because a doctor was negligent, there is no reason you should have to bear the full financial burden associated with your child's condition.

Many Ohio parents of children with cerebral palsy have obtained financial relief through the civil justice system, by filing medical malpractice claims against those who were liable for their children's injuries.

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