Chicago parents really don’t need us to tell them that pregnancy and raising children can be difficult, expensive, and utterly fantastic. The joy of seeing our little ones grow and come to experience more and more of the world is unparalleled. The urge to protect our children from the darker aspects of the world and to ensure they experience the best of childhood.
But sometimes, when we act in what we believe to be our children’s best interests…we’re wrong. It can be crushing to discover something we did to help our child wound up harming them— even more so if we did it before they were born because we didn’t properly understand the risks.
Medication manufacturers, retail distributors, and healthcare professionals are facing growing criticism of the warnings provided to pregnant parents about using acetaminophen to treat aches, pains, and fevers. Recent studies have noticed a link between parents who used products like Tylenol during pregnancy and the likelihood of children developing neurodivergence such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
What We Know About Neurodivergence?
Sadly, we know rather little about neurodivergence, like Autism and ADHD, but we are progressing in that matter. One of the main questions people ask is what causes these conditions; so far, data points to a combination of genetics and environmental factors. What we have come to learn, thanks in part to more children with neurodivergence reaching adulthood and informing us of their experiences, is that neurodivergence shouldn’t be approached as a disease to be eradicated. Instead, it is simply a variant in neurological function that, in most children, can be accommodated and still allow for independence.
It is true that some people will struggle more than others due to their neurodivergence and may remain dependent on caretakers. But we are learning better ways to care for them and just how widely the effect can vary for those diagnosed. Some children with ASD or ADHD have trouble learning in traditional schools; parents can work with teachers and principals to form an Individualized Education Program, known as an IEP, or find schools better suited to neurodivergent students.
Many new organizations and programs targeting parents, children, and diagnosed adults are springing up across the US. These programs connect families to assistive programs, suggest devices, and even give advice on how to create autism-friendly environments. Adults who have grown up with ADHD or Autism have started blogs to share their experiences and connect with others. And businesses are starting to tailor some experiences to help those with neurodivergence enjoy their experience.
The Acetaminophen Lawsuits
So why, with all we are learning about neurodivergence and accommodation, are parents teaming up with local personal injury lawyers to hold businesses accountable for acetaminophen exposure possibly triggering neurodivergence? If these aren’t diseases to be avoided, why shame a business for lack of proper warning?
Neurodivergence comes with many difficulties. For one, your children have to learn how to survive in a neurotypical world. Many things in society aren’t designed with them in mind. Children can struggle with meltdowns, judgment, and more. Children with autism often need assistive devices, whether to help with sensory issues or communication. And children with neurodivergence may need medications, therapies, and more to help them thrive in an ableist community. And all of these things cost money.
Healthcare in the United States is expensive. Assistive devices can cost tens to hundreds to thousands of dollars just to help your child be comfortable in public. Waiting lists for specialists can be long, and mental services aren’t always covered by insurance. To help ensure their children receive the best care and help to thrive, parents are seeking compensation from companies who are likely liable for their children’s struggles.
If you were encouraged by a retailer or a healthcare professional to use Tylenol or like products while pregnant, you may also be entitled to such compensation. To find out, you should contact a local experienced personal injury lawyer.
How Lawyers Help Parents Tackle the Legal System
Lawsuits are complicated, time-consuming, and difficult. Your lawyer will help take that burden so you can focus on your family. Your lawyer will take over gathering evidence and testimony, though they may ask you to provide certain documents. What you need to do is keep track of all expenses related to your child’s condition and focus on accommodating their needs in the home and at school.
It is important that you don’t talk to anyone about ongoing legal cases. Whether it’s a news reporter or a representative from the defending party, direct them to your lawyer. Don’t sign anything until your lawyer has read and approved it to avoid unintentionally waiving rights. You can trust that your lawyer is doing everything in their power to ensure you get the compensation you need to help your neurodivergent child thrive in a neurotypical world.