What does HIE stand for? Hypoxic-ischemic Encephalopathy. While this diagnosis can often be scary for parents, we want you to know you aren’t alone and you have options and resources available at your fingertips. HIE can cause mild delays or serious delays, depending on the severity of injury.
What are developmental milestones to observe in your newborn baby who has HIE? Developmental milestones are signs of the growth and development of babies and children. Developmental milestones assess cognitive ability, social interaction, motor coordination, occupational skills and much more. It is very important that parents be mindful of these common developmental milestones that most children meet based on certain age brackets. The CDC has Developmental Milestones page for this very topic: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/ This website breaks it down from age two months to two years of age.
Is early intervention for developmental delays important? The answer is yes. The brain benefits from positive early experiences, stable relationships with responsive adults, positive nutrition and safe environments. To assist young children with disabilities and who are experiencing developmental delays, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act offers early intervention programs that are often covered by Medicaid or Social Security Disability. This site will give you some resources you need: https://www.parentcenterhub.org/idea/
It is very important that a team of medical professionals is involved in the all the steps for you and your child and the HIE diagnosis. An experienced pediatric neurologist, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists are vital to improving your child’s development.
It is important for parents to remember you need to take care of yourselves too. Parents of children with disabilities and chronic health conditions often struggle with depression, stress and PTSD. There are many resources that help the parent as well. There are organizations that focus specifically on supporting families of children with HIE, and many support groups. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone about how to cope—talking to other families that are going through your same experiences is often a healthy outlet.
Is their financial assistance available? Social Security Disability, Medicaid, and other governmental programs can help ease the financial burden of caring for a child with developmental delays. Attorneys can help set up special needs trusts and help prepare parental wills, while financial planners can help ensure that the funds in the special needs trusts are preserved and available to cover the costs of the child’s care.
What are your legal options? HIE can be strongly associated with medical malpractice. A birth injury case settlement or verdict may go a long way in helping to secure your child’s future needs. Many parents often worry that pursuing legal action will take way too much time away from caring for their child, but scheduling is done at your convenience. We spend our time consulting medical experts, gathering information and building your child’s case. The sum of the settlement that we obtain for your child is usually placed into a special needs trust dedicated to your child’s lifelong care. These trusts are set up in such a way that they are protected and overseen by courts to ensure the child’s benefits (such as Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and other governmental programs) are preserved. This allows your child to continue receiving benefits while being able to cover any needed services that these benefits don’t cover.
Here at Thomas & Wan, LLP we are dedicated to you and your child’s best interest and have a combined 40+ years of experience dealing with medical malpractice and birth injury cases. Please let us answer any questions and concerns you may have. Please call us today for a FREE consultation, and let us help you build a better foundation for your child’s long-term care.