Intellectual Disabilities in Babies and Children

One of the many disadvantages of birth injuries, whether minor or severe, is that they can lead to cognitive problems and disabilities. Although these issues can affect people who never experienced a birth injury as well, the chances of cognitive issues have been associated with many injuries that occur before, during, and shortly after delivery.

What is a Cognitive Disability?

Cognitive disabilities, also known as neurodevelopment disabilities, are learning disorders that prevent babies and children from developing learning skills and applying them. Cognitive disabilities doesn’t necessarily mean that those affected will not learn or will never be able to grasp skills appropriate for their age, yet it means that they will need additional assistance and may hit their learning milestones later than usual.

How Do I Know My Baby Has an Intellectual Disability?

Normal developmental stages are often delayed in children and babies with cognitive disabilities. For example, most children can formulate at least a few words by the age of 2, yet a child with cognitive disabilities may not be able to say anything at all.

It’s important to note, however, that just because your baby doesn’t hit a milestone in time doesn’t necessarily mean that they have any sort of cognitive impairment. Children and babies develop cognitive skills at different times, but you also want to let your doctor know if your child doesn’t appear to be approaching these milestones.

For more mild disabilities, you may not know that your child has an intellectual disability until he or she becomes school-aged and is attempting to retain information. If your child doesn’t learn as quickly or in the same manner that the rest of the children, you may work with the aid of a child educational specialist to decide if your child’s information retention is normal, or if he or she has a birth-related learning disability.

What are the Symptoms of an Intellectual Disability?

Again, sometimes intellectual disabilities take a while to diagnose. However, if you’re looking for symptoms in a toddler or child, here are a few things to look for: rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking late; talking late or having trouble talking; slow to master things like potty training, dressing, and feeding himself or herself; difficulty remembering things; inability to connect actions to consequences; behavioral problems such as explosive tantrums; or difficulty with problem solving or logical thinking.

Is an Intellectual Disability a Birth Injury?

 While intellectual disabilities are not birth injuries by themselves, they can be caused because of birth injuries. For example, an intellectual disability may have been caused by brain damage during birth, caused by failure to perform an emergency C-section, failure to monitor fetal distress, and more.