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If your child or teenager has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and needed ‘cooling’ after their birth, their condition could be the result of a birth injury. If the injury and need for ‘cooling’ was caused by mistakes in the care that the mother or baby received, your child may be able to claim compensation.

Children and teenagers with ASD or ADHD caused or exacerbated by hypoxic injury to their brain around the time of birth may have difficulties which affect their ability to learn, work, socialise and be safe around others, or live independently in adult life.

An ASD/ADHD compensation claim can help provide the necessary support to enhance the child’s development and the teenager’s growing independence, reducing their vulnerability whilst enabling them to live fulfilling lives.

What is autism?

Autism is a developmental disability which affects around 700,000 adults and children in the UK. Autism affects people in different ways and to different degrees across a wide spectrum, which is why it is sometimes called autism spectrum disorder or ASD.

Common challenges associated with autism or ASD include difficulties in communication, social interaction, patterns of behaviour and flexibility of thinking. Some children with autism also have sensory difficulties (hypersensitivity to noise or touch), problems with coordination and learning disability.


What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 2.6 million adults and children in the UK. Children with ADHD are often restless or hyperactive, or have difficulties with concentration and attention, and may act on impulse without first thinking about the consequences of their actions. Some people with ADHD may also have anxiety, problems with sleeping, and learning difficulties.


What causes ASD and ADHD? 

Until recently most doctors believed that autism/ASD/ADHD were caused mainly by DNA sequencing and were primarily genetic conditions. In recent years, medical and scientific understanding of the causes of ASD / ADHD and other neurocognitive disorders has moved on and continues to develop rapidly. 

Recent scientific studies have identified that other factors can also influence why some family members develop ASD / ADHD traits, whereas other members of the same family with very similar DNA do not. In some cases, the difference is a birth injury.

Compensation for autism and ADHD after birth injury frequently asked questions

Can birth injury cause autism and/or ADHD?

Many doctors and medical scientists now believe that that a hypoxic injury to the baby’s brain around the time of birth can trigger autism and/or ADHD in children who would not otherwise have developed the condition, or would have had it more mildly, despite any genetic predisposition.

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What is hypoxic birth injury?

Hypoxic birth injury is damage to the brain that is caused by a lack of oxygen, such as during delays in delivering a baby with heart rate abnormalities or fetal distress.

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How is cooling linked to autism, ASD and ADHD?

For many years, the NHS has routinely treated newborn babies who have suffered hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) during their birth with therapeutic hypothermia or ‘cooling’.

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Can I make a medical negligence claim for compensation for my child’s autism or ADHD?

If your child has autism or ADHD and needed cooling after their birth, their condition may have been caused by a hypoxic birth injury or neonatal brain injury.

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How can birth injury compensation help a child with autism or ADHD?

Compensation from a birth injury ASD/ADHD claim ensures that the child or teenager has the necessary support to meet all their additional needs arising from their neurodevelopmental disability.

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