Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Chronic afflictions linked to childhood trauma

Pittsburgh readers may have heard the expression that healthy habits can last a lifetime. According to a recent study, there may be some truth to that expression.

The study, coauthored by a University of Pittsburgh medical researcher, explored the relationship between early childhood adversity and physical or mental disabilities that sometimes did not emerge until adulthood. Researchers found an observable correlation between victims of childhood maltreatment and long-term chronic health issues, often ending in premature death.

Researchers suspect that a child's ability to respond to stress might be altered after childhood trauma. The environmental influence may actually affect genetic development or expression in such children. In addition, cognitive development may also be affected, making such children more susceptible to substance abuse or other unhealthy habits.

The best medicine for children may be to start them with healthy habits at an early age, such as regular sleep patterns, healthy eating, good oral and personal hygiene, and a calm approach to problem solving. Of course, parents may not be responsible for every physical or mental condition their child may experience.

Indeed, the Social Security Administration has a listing of disabilities under children may qualify forSupplemental Security Income assistance. Although there may be income restrictions on whether a child and his or her family may qualify for SSI benefits, an attorney might be able to clarify the available options. The application process will likely require extensive medical records and statements so that the SSA may determine the degree to which a child is impaired by his or her physical or mental disability.

Source:, "Childhood Adversity Linked To Chronic Physical, Mental Disability," May 10, 2013

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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