Notice: The staff at CEDSA considers Child Abuse a horrific crime and will not ever help in defending a person who abuses another person no matter what age. The best interest of the minor children are always the focus of our work in legal cases!
Types of Cases CEDSA advocates, provides expert testimony, or consults in:
- School Law
- Child Abuse
- Child Neglect
- Social Security Disability
Note: The staff at CEDSA are not lawyers and any advice or information shared with you is done in good faith and does NOT replace the knowledge or advice of licensed professionals.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome like many other rare or under diagnosed medical conditions can be misconstrued as Child Abuse (CA) or Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP). CEDSA works with families who have allegations of abuse, neglect, and/or truancy with first and foremost the minor child’s best interest in mind. Many of the times, these cases can be resolved with limited legal involvement, but sometimes cases will require intensive legal, medical expert, and consultation involvement to find a favorable resolution.
CEDSA provides an in-depth consultation with the attorney’s defending the family who have been accused of some sort of abuse while keeping the minor child’s best interest in mind at all times. Many of the times, after intensive interviews with the parents and a thorough review of all the records, CEDSA may ask for additional consultations with medical experts to form a second opinion. Never will we advocate for or consult on behalf of a person that we feel has intentionally abused a child.
Just because a child has a rare or underdiagnosed medical condition does not mean that there is not abuse or neglect. In these cases, it is important to determine if the act was accidental or intentional, and this needs to be determined prior to abuse charges being levied against a parent(s). There are many conditions that can mimic abuse at first presentation. One must do their due diligence first to protect the child, but then second to rule out medical conditions that could have caused said injury.
CEDSA will not on our website explain each and every possible medical condition that could mimic child abuse, but three of the most common conditions are:
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
- Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI)
Each of these conditions are misunderstood and underdiagnosed. Recently, there have been 13 new markers found for OI, these markers are still expanding. Also with respect to EDS and Rickets, there are many new research projects underway that we hope will help correct the lack of understanding of these conditions. Not all markers are known for EDS and this condition is poorly understood by many. As for Rickets, the change to digital radiology has caused many errors to occur in diagnosing this condition. We need to understand more about these conditions in order to help ensure children who suffer from these conditions receive the treatment they need and that families are not broken due to misinformation and lack of understanding.
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is another reason CEDSA becomes involved in legal cases. Many doctors struggle to understand the full impact of EDS and how it will effect each person differently, and often the neurological manifestation of EDS becomes complex. When doctors who are not well educated on the condition are involved in a patient’s care, they may misinterpret problems as being psychosomatic when in fact the organic source is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Historically, EDS was thought to be a relatively benign condition which only affected joints, but we now know this to be the furthest thing from the truth. EDS is a multi-systemic condition that affects the entire body and can manifest itself in many very challenging ways. One of the biggest problems that draw the attention of DSS or law enforcement is the need for narcotics to manage the pain in some EDS patients. These patients or their parents are investigated for MSBP due to the lack of understand of how the pain in a person with EDS can be so drastically different. Often medical tests and imaging to identify a specific source of a patient’s pain is negative as many of the problems that can cause pain in EDS such as joint instability, micro-tears, and neuropathic conditions often cannot be seen on imaging. This is the reasoning EDS is considered an InvisibleCondition because while patient’s may not look injured or ill on the outside, they have debilitating problems on the inside. The term Medical Zebra is often used in describing EDS and similar rare and difficult to diagnose conditions.
For those who are under investigation and feel that they need our help feel free to email us with information about your situation. Our team will discuss it and get back with you to let you know if/how we feel that we can help.
Below is what you can expect if CEDSA is able to help in your case:
- In-depth interview with you and others who are implicated in your ongoing case, as well as others who might have useful information to share.
- Review of all the documentation and medical records.
- Discussions with your attorney(s), if you do not have one and the case is still in the hands of DSS we will be glad to talk with them on your behalf.
- At the conclusion of our investigation, we may ask that you seek additional medical review by known experts to help substantiate your innocence.
- Once we have enough data, we will provide you a report that explains our findings and medical journals that would back those findings.
- We will consult with your attorneys to help them understand that there is a medical cause to substantiate that you are innocent.
- Should your case proceed to trial we would be willing to testify and/or help your legal team cross examine the prosecution’s witnesses
- MOST OF IMPORTANT, we will be looking at your case from the perspective of what is best for the minor child or children!
Should we feel that we cannot be of help due to the fact that the case is outside of our mission statement or realm of expertise, we will not proceed forwards. If we find evidence that you are being untruthful or have inflicted harm to the minor child, we will advocate for appropriate services that protect the child. CEDSA has worked on over 100 cases in which neglect or abuse was questioned and in all of those cases we have always fought for what we felt was in the best interest of the child.
CEDSA has in the past advocated for removal of children and/or treatment plans that will help the family receive much needed services. Most of CEDSA’s staff members are mandatory reporters due to their professions and/or ethical convictions. This helps to insure that those who have no or limited voice remain protected.
You can always call our office during normal business hours at (989) 872-3372.
Protecting innocent children is always our number one goal!