According to in-depth research and ongoing studies by a series of medical researchers and doctors, a direct link between developmental delay disorders such as Autism and attention deficits and birth injuries exists.
Per Viola M. Frymann D.O., F.A.A.O., F.C.A., at least 80% of all children who live with an attention deficit disorder (ADD or ADHD being the most common) or Autism experienced some sort of birth injury. The most common injuries occurred during the labor and delivery period, a time in which the nervous system can be severely damaged, leading to cognitive and psychological problems. Typical injuries that happen during labor and delivery that lead to disorders include:
- Forceps and vacuum extraction injuries
- Injuries due to improper epidural administration
- Uterine inertia
- Umbilical cord issues, such as the cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck
- Performing a C-section too late
- Inducing labor by use of medication
- Extremely long or extremely short labor
- Failure of physicians to monitor an infant who has a slow heart rate
- Neonatal anemia
- Meconium aspiration
- Maternal hemorrhaging
- Pulled too roughly out of the birth canal
Another study performed by the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine concluded that oxygen deprivation during and shortly after delivery may also leads to Autism.
“Reduced oxygen supply, during labor, during delivery, during the prenatal period, during early infancy, could influence autism risk. We can’t say that definitely from our study, but that certainly is one possibility,” said Hannah Gardener, ScD, one of the researchers on the study.
If the nervous system is damaged, infants typically exhibit common signs within 24-48 hours afterwards, which may include:
- Spitting up or vomiting regularly after being fed
- Excessive crying marked with the failure to console the baby
- Arched back marked when the infant is held on placed on his/her side
- Lopsided, uneven movements in the legs and/or arms
Physical developmental delays will occur when the child fails to meet milestones, including crawling, sitting up, pulling up and holding onto furniture, and walking.
As the child enters school, parents may notice for the first time that behavioral and cognitive problems exist, although in some cases these problems may have been detected earlier. Common signs of attention deficit disorders include:
- Easily distracted and bored
- Easily angered and frustrated
- Difficulties in staying on one task without losing interest or moving around
- Easily losing or forgetting things, such as books and school supplies
- Poor at listening
- Forgets to follow directions or forgets what the directions are
Autism is a wide-spectrum disorder, meaning it can be extremely mild or extremely severe, and no two children will have the same exact signs and symptoms. A child with mild Autism may exhibit signs such as difficulties in socializing with other children, frequent behavioral outbursts, difficulties in showing empathy towards others, and flat innotations. In more severe cases of Autism, children may exhibit symptoms and signs such as not talking at all or only babbling (past the age of three), rocking back and forth, unable to engage in make-believe and pretend play by at least two years of age, repeating words or phrases over and over, difficulties in pointing or using body language, and difficulties in being comforted when scared, sick, or distressed.
Keep in mind that the aforementioned signs and symptoms should never take the place of an official diagnosis. If you suspect your child may have a developmental disability, consult with your physician.