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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Neuropsychological Assessment and Rehabilitation of BI - Forensic Neuropsychological Evaluation

Forensic neuropsychology is used in a legal setting and involves data from various sources that can be applied by judges and attorneys in a court of law.

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A forensic neuropsychological evaluation measures cognitive functions. It can involve an assessment of the association of abnormalities in the brain with psychological issues in the individual.

In an infant, it is often not possible to predict learning disorders and potential mental and psychological effects down the road. Acute brain injuries and conditions such as epilepsy, however, can be identified. A forensic neuropsychological evaluation is needed when impairments in function related to a brain injury are suspected. It may be applied in a criminal or civil case.

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For example, data or a neuropsychologist’s testimony may be admissible in court to provide evidence an injury was caused by oxygen deprivation or a physician’s negligence. The facts can point to the injury occurring at birth rather than before, which could pin liability on the medical staff. A forensic evaluation can include a number of elements, including a review of infant and maternal medical history, plus records of data collected during development.

For older children, more evaluation techniques become available. The medications used, social adjustment, academic records, and examinations of mental status may be included in a thorough evaluation. Medical records are applied as well; a forensic evaluation can incorporate previous neuropsychological test results to present evidence or come to conclusions.

It may take a few hours to days, an evaluation looks at motor skills and coordination, sensory perception, concentration and mental processing speed, and other factors as a child develops. Evaluators may compare right- and left-hand performance, language fluency, nonverbal skills, executive functions, and emotional development and personality.

Forensics are applied to neuropsychological assessments in cases where traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, or preterm birth are suspected to be caused by outside factors. Test results can help confirm a diagnosis, track the progression of symptoms, or analyze the impacts of treatment or determine what kinds of specialists are needed. They are also instrumental in presenting the facts during litigation and determining whether compensation should be awarded to a plaintiff.