Recently in Children Category

Regular Exercise Helps Relieve ADHD Symptoms

November 14, 2014

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who participate in regular exercise may see enhanced memory, cognitive skills and mental preparedness as a result.

According to research recently published in The Journal of Pediatrics children who took part in regular physical activity or exercise showed much greater improvements in cognitive performance than children who did not. According to researchers, the findings support a growing movement to increase physical activity among children who suffer from ADHD.

Physical exercise and activities are good for all children and adults, but are often highly recommended for children who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In fact, researchers found that certain activities may help ADHD sufferers resist distraction, and increase memory and cognitive proficiency. In the study, children were able to switch from task to task much more easily after they had engaged in physical exercise.

In fact, physical activity seems to benefit children with ADHD more than children who don't suffer from the condition. Another study found that exercise and physical activity programs helped children improve their math and reading test scores, especially children who suffered from ADHD.

Children who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may be eligible for benefits under the Social Security disability program, but there are complex issues involved in the filing and determination processes. Contact an experienced disability attorney for help with your benefits request.

Accidental Shootings a Common Cause of Disability

September 30, 2014

The United States is home to a peculiar phenomenon of young children and adults being shot accidentally by guns that are not safely stored or properly supervised. According to a new report, as many as 70% of accidental shootings involving children by friends, family and neighbors are entirely preventable.

The statistics were released as part of a report by Everytown for Gun Safety, which has some very grim statistics for children and parents.

According to the report:

• Between 2007 and 2011, an average of 62 children per year below the age of 14 were accidentally shot or killed.
• Between December 2012 and December 2013, at least 100 children died in unintentional shootings like this. That works out to approximately 2 shootings per week.
• About two-thirds of the shootings were unintentional or unintended, accounting for approximately 65% of the fatalities. According to the data, the shootings took place in the home, or a car that belonged to the victim's family.
• In most of the cases, the guns involved in the shootings were owned legally by the owners, but were not safely secured.
• In more than two- thirds of the cases, the shootings could have been avoided if the guns had been stored properly, and kept inaccessible to children.

As many as 84% of Americans and 81% of gun owners favor laws that would result in gun owners being charged with crimes when a child gains access to an irresponsibly stored weapon, and injures or kills himself or someone else. In spite of that fact, there are no such laws in place.

Gun ownership is a right under the U.S. Constitution. But we must do a better job of protecting our citizens from unsafe gun practices, or the selling of weapons to those who are unable to comply with proper safety measures. It may also be worth considering whether a mandate should be implemented that would require gun owners to purchase a personal liability insurance policy, which would help cover the costs of treatment for those accidently shot and injured.

Child Victims of Gun Crimes and Social Security Benefits

June 12, 2014

Georgia recently became the most gun-friendly state in the country when a piece of legislation became law that allows people to take guns into schools, bars and churches.

Governor Nathan Deal recently signed the bill, officially allowing licensed gun owners in the Peach State to carry their weapons everywhere in the state, except the Capitol Building. So if you enter a church, bar, school, or even Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, there are likely to be people carrying guns around you. The law, called the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014, allows people to carry almost everywhere, but also permits local businesses to decide whether they want to allow guns on their property.

The most debated part of this legislation is that which involves guns inside schools. Even if a school decides to choose not to allow guns inside campus, there are likely to be bitter and very acrimonious debates and lawsuits involving the issue of guns in classrooms.

According to data published in the journal Pediatrics, the majority of child gunshot injuries involve intentional assault with a firearm. More than 4,500 gunshot injuries are the result of intentional assault. Roughly 2,000 are accidental injuries, and 270 are the result of suicide attempts. Typically, the kinds of injuries that result from such gun violence are fractures, open wounds, heavy bleeding or catastrophic brain or spinal injuries. The challenges the United States faces with respect to gun violence is significant, with a fatality rate for gun violence that is approximately 10 times the rate in other developed countries.

Social security disability benefits can be available to families who must care for a child injured by a gun or other weapon. The most important thing you can do after a tragic event involving injury to a child is plan for their future physical and emotional needs. It's not easy, but it's an important step in making sure your child and your family are cared for.

Experimental Study Finds Reversal of Down Syndrome Learning Deficits

December 31, 2013

In the future, a compound that was discovered recently by researchers could be used to boost learning and memory capacities in children who suffer from Down Syndrome. The compound has been identified as part of research conducted by scientists at Johns Hopkins and the National Institutes of Health.

The researchers found that when the compound is administered to newborn mice who suffer from a Down Syndrome- like condition on the day of birth, it helped improve their learning capacities and memory abilities.

According to researchers, use of the compound, known as sonic hedgehog pathway agonist, was given to mice immediately. What the researchers were hoping the compound would do was increase the size of the cerebellum. In a normal patient who suffers from Down Syndrome, the cerebellum is just about 60% of the normal size.
However, what the researchers were not expecting was that the compound would have a positive effect on learning and memory abilities, because these abilities are generally controlled by the hippocampus area of the brain, not the cerebellum.

So far, the molecule has not been judged safe for use in human beings, but researchers are optimistic about the use of the compound for the treatment of Down Syndrome in the future. They believe that in the future, drugs containing these molecules may be administered to patients who have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome soon after birth to help eliminate many of the negative cognitive effects of the condition.

Individuals who suffer from Down Syndrome are often eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration has specific requirements in these cases, including that applicants provide a chromosomal analysis lab report for eligibility.

Young Cerebral Palsy Patients May Suffer Chronic Pain

August 14, 2013

Young patients with cerebral palsy may suffer from chronic severe pain, and may also be unable to verbalize their symptoms. According to new research, doctors and parents need to look out for signs of pain, because patients often begin to believe that the pain is normal.

In most cases, the pain is due to dystonia or a hip dislocation. Dystonia is a condition that is linked to excessive muscle tone. According to the research, 25% of young people who were diagnosed with cerebral palsy suffered from moderate to severe chronic pain. The pain was severe enough for it to restrict the person's activities.

The study, which was conducted by the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, was based on an analysis of more than 250 individuals who suffered from cerebral palsy. These patients were between the ages of three and 19. The research data were collected in the form of questionnaires, and also from physicians, caregivers and parents.

It is important for parents, caregivers and doctors to frequently ask patients with cerebral palsy about pain levels. This can be difficult because a cerebral palsy patient may struggle with communication, especially verbal communication. Additionally, diagnosing pain is likely to be difficult because there may be a number of different triggers that set off pain for different patients.
Persons who suffer from cerebral palsy may be eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security disability benefits program. In cases of severe cerebral palsy, if the person is no longer able to talk, walk on his own, or has vision difficulties, the person may be eligible for benefits.


August 8, 2012

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Children from birth to age 18 may receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) if they are:

  • Disabled and

  • Family has little or no income or resources

Children's disability claims are evaluated at a different standard than those of disabled adults. Children must have a physical or mental impairment that is "marked or severe." The disability must very seriously limit his or her activities and the condition must have lasted or be expected to last a year or more or result in death.
Some conditions are considered "marked and severe" if they meet a medical listing under SSA guidelines. Some of these conditions arising in childhood that may qualify under an SSA listing are:

  • HIV infection

  • Blindness

  • Cerebral palsy

  • Down syndrome

  • Muscular Dystrophy

  • Severe intellectual disorder

  • Low birth weight (under 2 pounds and 10 ounces)

  • ADHD (although symptoms must continue to be severe with medication)

In order to determine if your child's conditions meets a listing requirement, you can access the listings at Social Security's website.

Other conditions that may arise in childhood may not constitute listings per se, but may be considered "severe" if one or more conditions can meet the listing criteria by being medically equally or functionally equal. Some of these conditions may be:

  • Asthma

  • Seizure disorder

  • Learning disabilities

  • Low IQ

If a limitation is severe, then a diagnosis or a problem in one of these areas will usually be enough to establish eligibility. If the limitation is "marked" but not quite severe, then SSA determines how the impairment impacts functioning as compared to a child of the same age. Multiple impairments may be evaluated to determine overall functioning. SSA will evaluate your child's functional impairment by assessing his or her cognitive or communication functions; social functions; personal functions, and concentration, persistence and pace as compared to children of the same age. In order for your child's condition to be functionally equivalent to a medical listing SSA will consider his or her abilities in :

  • Acquiring and using information

  • Attending and completing tasks

  • Interacting and relating to others

  • Moving and manipulating objects

  • Caring for self

  • Health and well being

In order to support your child's claim for disability you will need the following documentation:

  • Medical findings in medical records

  • Historical information in school records and from parents

  • Testing results

Children's disability claims are often complicated and require the expertise of an attorney competent in handling these specialized claims.