Articles

Ohio Medical Malpractice: Diagnosing Mental Retardation in Children

March 20, 2012

Mental retardation (MR) caused by genetic factors or problems during delivery is generally diagnosed early in childhood. Parents of children with cognitive impairments such as MR have a lot of emotional and practical issues to contend with, not to mention financial hardships due to their children’s mental health needs. A birth injury lawyer can help you determine whether you have a potential claim against a healthcare provider.

Healthcare professionals base mental retardation diagnoses on two main factors:

  • Intellectual Functioning – doctors will examine patients’ problem-solving abilities, thinking and learning skills, and their ability to make sense of the world. Intelligence quotient (IQ) is also a useful marker in diagnosing MR; people with an IQ less than 75 are generally determined to have some form of MR.
  • Adaptive Behavior –physicians will also look at patients’ ability to function on their own, determining whether or not they have the skills necessary to live independently (e.g., feeding and clothing oneself, communication skills, and social skills).

Dealing with the reality of having a child with learning and development problems is quite difficult; it calls parents to exercise superhuman strength and tenacity, a path that can seem daunting.

There are available resources, however. Ohio is home to some fantastic pediatric mental health care resources, and you might find local support groups by contacting the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities CCBDD).

If you have questions about a potential birth injury claim for mental retardation, attorney Chris Mellino welcomes you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation. You may also download or request Chris’ free, easy-to-read guide to filing a claim in Ohio.