When you’re starting a family, there is a lot of information to take in. You learn about what you can and can’t eat while pregnant, what medications you should avoid, and how to form a pregnancy plan. You research potential complications and any symptoms you experience— even the slightest hiccup may have you calling your doctor. You want to ensure you do what’s best for your child. That’s why so many parents have been surprised to learn that high use of acetaminophen, the main ingredient in drugs like Tylenol, could lead to the development of Autism or ADHD in children.
What We Know About the Tylenol-Autism/ADHD Link
The science isn’t conclusive, and more in-depth studies are needed. However, research sponsored by John Hopkins University has revealed that children whose umbilical cord blood flows contained high amounts of acetaminophen were more likely than their peers to be diagnosed with autism or ADHD. Research also shows that children who take Tylenol or like products six times within their first year of life are three times more likely to develop these conditions than their peers.
Regardless of further data, federal courts have determined that the available research has a strong enough foundation for parents to seek legal compensation from retail distributors and healthcare professionals who encouraged them to use acetaminophen during pregnancy and first-year treatment without providing adequate warning of the associated risks.
What Parents Should Know
If you are a new or fairly new parent in Chicago, you should inform yourself about the lawsuits and the potential effects of the medication. A few key points to keep in mind are:
- Understand the Alleged Link: Read about the research and ongoing studies that explore the connection.
- Recognize Symptoms: Know how Autism or ADHD can appear in young children and consult with your kid’s care team if you have any concerns bout their development.
- Seek Legal Advice: If you think your child may have been affected by your Tylenol use, consult with an attorney specializing in harmful drug cases. These lawyers are familiar with the lawsuit and can offer you professional advice through a free consultation.
- Connect with Other Parents: Reach out to support groups or online communities; you can share experiences, gain knowledge, and find solace connecting with Chicago families going through a similar situation.
- Connect with Adults Who Share Your Child’s Condition: You can learn a lot from individuals who have experienced the challenges and triumphs of living with autism or ADHD. More and more adults are coming forward to discuss life with neurodivergence and offer advice and education for confused parents.
It’s important not to fall into the trap of depression and unnecessary grief. While autism and ADHD can affect your child for the rest of their lives, medical science understands far more about these conditions than it did in the past. Additionally, advocates with autism or ADHD are coming forward to help parents and society learn more and understand these conditions better.
It’s entirely too easy to infantilize people with these disabilities or mourn who they “could have been,” but such grief shouldn’t last forever. Neurodivergent children are a different sort of magic than neurotypical children; their minds simply work differently and process the world in unfamiliar ways.
Learning to Accept and Accommodate
Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder fall under the umbrella term “neurodivergence.” Neurodivergence refers to anyone whose mind works differently than the accepted standard. If your child has been diagnosed with either condition, it’s important to research different ways these conditions can affect their life.
ASD and ADHD present differently in everyone, but there are overlapping effects. For example, children with autism may have more difficulty learning to communicate and may or may not benefit from speech therapy. You may also experience self-stimulating habits, also known as “Stimming.”
Children with ADHD may find their own ways to cope with trouble focusing, such as doodling during lessons or using a fidget device. Extra-curriculars like sports and music can help them learn coping habits to concentrate on tasks and work with teams.
There are many different therapies and assistive devices available to help your child thrive with their diagnosis. Unfortunately, these all cost money; these expenses are one of the main driving forces behind the Tylenol/Acetaminophen lawsuits.
How Chicago Lawyers Are Stepping Up
Lawyers in the area who are familiar with product liability and dangerous drug cases are working with families to hold companies responsible for not providing adequate warnings to pregnant or new parents. Under the FDA, pharmaceutical companies and distributors are required to let patients know about potential adverse effects, including the likelihood that certain medications can trigger certain health conditions.
Illinois parents and parents across the US are moving to hold distributors like CVS, Walmart, and others liable for their children’s diagnosis, as the companies either did or should have known about the risks and provided better direction. If your child has been diagnosed and you used Tylenol or a like product during pregnancy, you may be entitled to compensation to help pay for their additional expenses. Contact a local personal injury lawyer with experience in these cases today for a free consultation.