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

Learn More

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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Undiagnosed Brain Injury

We often refer to an invisible disability when a baby’s impairments are not apparent. One particular issue is a birth brain injury, where the injury has left a permanent cerebral impairment, perhaps long after any visible effects have healed.

A Look at the Brain

It is interesting to know that our brains can continue to develop until we are in our early 20’s. This could mean that problems caused at birth to your baby’s brain may only appear months or even years after the injury occurred. However, if the injury occurred a long time ago, it may be perceived by both parents and clinicians as having little impact on a child’s behavior later on. But, as the problems can develop long after, adults and professionals may not realize that there is an injury. Most children don’t have physical signs of their disability, which is why this type of injury may be referred to as a hidden disability and go undiagnosed for some time.

Elk & Elk

What Symptoms Should You Look Out For?

Many of the symptoms of an undiagnosed injury are similar to those of children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or even those on the autistic spectrum. This can bring with it issues as the support your baby needs, especially in school, is very different to children who have other special needs.

These types of injuries can lead to a complex set of issues that are hard to identify or diagnose. While this injury from birth will affect each child differently, there are eight general areas of difficulty that children tend to experience:

  • Memory – working memory is often a problem.
  • Concentration and attention – children have difficulty concentrating for long periods or initiating tasks.
  • Executive skills – problems with organizing and planning. During their time primary school, children are usually in an organized and structured environment, but when they get to secondary school, children with brain injuries may struggle to plan what books they need for the day or prepare to get homework done on time.
  • Fatigue – the brain is in charge of everything we do, and it it’s damaged, even the easiest of tasks can be a battle for your child.
  • Behavior – children can become frustrated and may not realize the consequences of their actions.
  • Social skills – difficulty in making and keeping friends and not understanding the unwritten rules of social interaction.
  • Communication – your child, could have difficulties processing different kinds of communication and misinterpret what is required of him or her.
  • Perception – visual difficulties may arise as a result of the brain injury and go undetected for some time. Your child could be misdiagnosed as having dyspraxia or dyslexia.

If you suspect that your child has an undiagnosed brain injury, there are multiple avenues of support and services available, as well as social security benefits, various treatment options, as well as physical and occupation therapy to consider.