Developmental Delays | Birth Injury Delays | Honolulu, HI

Developmental Delays

Understanding Birth Injuries and Supporting Developmental Delays

Every parent wants their child to reach those big moments: first steps, first words, and making friends. But sometimes, things don’t progress quite as expected. If you’re worried that your child might be developing a little slower than other kids their age, you’re not alone. Understanding developmental delays in Honolulu is important because it helps families know how to support their children better.

Sometimes, kids develop at a different pace than their peers. This can lead to questions about delays and what kind of help is available. That’s why it is crucial to know what developmental delays are all about and why it’s important to know your rights when dealing with them.

Quick Summary:

  • Developmental delays occur when a child misses milestones like walking, talking, or socializing.
  • Delays can happen due to various reasons such as genetic conditions, pregnancy complications, birth injuries, medical negligence, premature birth, brain injuries, health conditions, and environmental factors.
  • Laws like the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Hawaii’s Early Intervention (EI) system provide crucial support for children with developmental delays.

What Are Developmental Delays?

Developmental delays happen when a child doesn’t reach milestones, or goals, at the same time as other kids their age. Sometimes, it just takes a bit longer for some kids to catch up. Each child is unique, so their delays might show up in different ways.

These milestones involve things like:

  • Moving around: Rolling over, crawling, walking, using stairs.
  • Talking and understanding: Making sounds, babbling, using words, putting sentences together.
  • Learning and problem-solving: Playing with toys, figuring things out, following directions.
  • Social skills: Making eye contact, playing with other kids, taking turns.

What’s Causing My Child’s Developmental Delay?

Developmental delays can happen for different reasons. Sometimes, it’s not clear why a child is experiencing delays. But there are some common causes that we often see. Understanding these causes can help parents and caregivers better support their children. Here are a few:

Before Birth

There are many possible causes of developmental delay before birth, but often the cause is unknown. Some potential causes include:

  • Genetic Conditions – Sometimes, developmental delays can be linked to genes passed down from parents. This means that certain traits or conditions run in the family. These can affect how a child grows and develops.
  • Pregnancy Complications – Things like premature birth, low birth weight, or infections during pregnancy can impact a child’s development.

At Birth

Sometimes, childbirth doesn’t go exactly as planned, and a baby can experience an injury during delivery. Here in the US, there are a lot of different types of birth injuries that a newborn can suffer. All of them, though, can lead to medical conditions that prevent them from living a full life. Some of them are even likely to be fatal after only a few years.

Here are some of the common birth injuries linked to developmental delays:

  • Difficult Birth – This can happen if the baby is too big, or if the birth canal is too small. During a difficult birth, the baby’s head might get squeezed or pressed, which can cause injuries to the brain.
  • Lack of Oxygen – Complications during childbirth, like issues with the umbilical cord or placenta, can cause birth asphyxia. This lack of oxygen can lead to brain damage in the baby.
  • Forceps or Vacuum Extraction – Improper use of tools like forceps or vacuum extractors during childbirth can result in head injuries to the baby, potentially causing developmental delays.
  • Infections – Infections during pregnancy or delivery, such as rubella, CMV, or toxoplasmosis, can contribute to developmental delays in babies if contracted by the mother.
  • Medical Negligence – Medical negligence during childbirth, like insufficient monitoring of vital signs or delayed medical interventions, can lead to developmental delays in some cases.
  • Premature Birth – Babies born prematurely, or before their due date, might need extra time to catch up on their development. Being born early can sometimes lead to delays in reaching milestones.
  • Brain Injuries – Injuries to the brain can impact a child’s development. The brain controls everything we do, so damage to it can affect how a child learns and grows.

After Birth

After birth, developmental delays can arise such as:

  • Health Conditions – Health problems or conditions can also play a role in causing developmental delays. For example, a child might have hearing impairment or vision problems that make it harder for them to learn and communicate.
  • Environmental Factors – The environment a child grows up in can also affect their development. For example, if a child doesn’t have access to nutritious food, safe living conditions, or stimulating activities, it can hinder their growth and learning.

How Can the Law Help My Child with Developmental Delay?

If your child is facing developmental delays, you might wonder how the law can help. In Hawaii, just like in the rest of the US, the law protects the rights of children with developmental delays and ensures they get the support they need. Here’s how the law can assist your child:

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

This federal law guarantees free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to all eligible children with disabilities, including those with developmental delays. Hawaii follows the guidelines set forth by IDEA.

Here’s what FAPE means for your child in Hawaii:

Free Education

Your child has the right to attend public school without your family having to pay tuition for their special education needs.

Appropriate Education

This means an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be specifically created for your child’s needs. This IEP outlines the goals, services, and support your child will receive at school.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

Whenever possible, your child will be placed in a regular classroom setting with support services. This will allow them to learn alongside developing peers.

Early Intervention in Hawaii

Hawaii has its own Early Intervention (EI) system available under Part C of IDEA. This program provides crucial therapies and support services to infants and toddlers (birth to age 3) with developmental delays. These services are offered at no cost to families, with some exceptions based on federal or state law.

Early Intervention Services are provided to assist a child in five developmental areas:

  • Physical (sits, walks)
  • Communication (talks, understands)
  • Cognitive (pay attention, solve problems)
  • Adaptive (eats, dresses self)
  • Social or emotional (plays with others, has confidence)

Why Do I Need a Birth Injury Attorney in Honolulu?

Every parent wants a healthy baby and a smooth delivery. But sometimes, things don’t go as planned. Birth injuries can happen, and in some cases, these injuries can lead to developmental delays later on.

If your child has developmental delays due to a birth injury, you might be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. Here’s how our Honolulu birth injury attorney can help your child and your family:

  • Investigating the Birth Injury: We can gather evidence to determine if a preventable mistake caused your child’s birth injury.
  • Understanding Your Rights: Hawaii law allows families to seek compensation for damages caused by medical negligence. This compensation can help cover the costs of therapy, medical care, and other needs your child may have due to developmental delays.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Birth injury cases often involve complex medical issues and insurance claims. We can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure your child receives fair compensation.

By seeking legal help, you can ensure that your child receives the care and support they need despite their developmental delays. Remember, you don’t have to face this challenging journey alone.

Call Our Honolulu Birth Injury Attorneys Now!

Developmental delays can be scary and overwhelming, but there is hope. Remember, you’re not alone. In the United States, there are many resources available to help your child reach their full potential. The sooner your child gets the support they need, the better their chances of thriving.

Whether you’re seeking early intervention services, dealing with the educational system, or exploring legal options, our Honolulu birth injury lawyers at SRB Hawaii Law are here to help. If your child’s delays were caused by medical negligence or a birth injury, we’ll work to secure compensation to cover medical expenses. Our birth injury law firm understands the challenges you’re facing and will provide you with the support you need every step of the way.

Your child’s future is worth fighting for. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation and let us help you advocate for your child’s rights and well-being. From birth injuries to catastrophic damages, we can help you obtain your rightful compensation.

SRB Hawaii Law


SRB Hawaii Law

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