As we approach Mother’s Day, we are reflecting on the hardworking mothers of special needs children we have represented. It’s a difficult, often lonely job raising a child with developmental disabilities. We have an ongoing commitment to making a difference in the lives of these mothers and their families. Our advocacy on behalf of special needs children and their parents has been continuous over the last couple of decades.
We receive many inquiries about the unfortunate demise of babies before or at term. More than one million babies die on the day they are born every year worldwide, according to a report from Save the Children, a non-profit with the mission to improve the lives of kids in need around the world. A recent article in USA Today discusses some very simple products that can save newborns. http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/2137163
More frequently, however, we get calls about infants relating to injuries suffered during the birth process, and we see children diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Erb’s Palsy and other neurological conditions. Changes in the health care system have led to an increase in the number of deliveries handled by doctors and nurses without adequate training and experience. As we represent children and mothers who have been injured through negligence, we also seek to foster change that will ensure similar mistakes are not made again.
Due to the length of our experience in this area, we also link our clients with experts, resources, technology, research and developments that may aid in therapy and adaptive assistance for the children, as well as sources of aid for the parents, such as respite care.
New developments in treatment and therapies are assisting some of these children. As an example, we note some increase in function found in babies who have been through hypothermia, or “cooling” protocol, immediately after birth. This therapeutic hypothermia is a medical treatment that lowers the baby’s body temperature in order to help reduce the severity of damage to tissue after the brain has been deprived of oxygen and the body of blood flow. The children we are encountering who have had access to this treatment do seem to fare better than those without it.
Among the extraordinary people we have had the privilege to represent, we look this week to the loving mothers of these beautiful children, and wish them peace, safety and health.