Recently in Children Category

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.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT FILING A CHILD'S DISABILTY CLAIM IN GEORGIA

August 8, 2012

Child photo.jpg

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.