Supporting children with acquired brain injury

June 24, 2019

 

Every year 70,000 children will be admitted to hospital with an acquired brain injury (ABI).

 

In any school class of 30 children 3 will have a brain injury, making this a very common condition in children.

 

There are many ways that children can acquire a brain injury including in road traffic accidents, falls, playing sport, and significant illnesses such as meningitis or stroke.

 

COMMON SYMPTOMS

 

Common symptoms include impaired social skills, perception, attention, concentration, fatigue, executive functioning (thinking and planning skills), communication and behaviour difficulties.

 

THE CHALLENGES

 

Life and education can be challenging for children with brain injury and their families for many reasons. 

  • Schools may feel they lack knowledge on strategies and know there are difficulties you can’t put your finger on without recognising what they are.

  • It can be difficult telling the difference between ABI and common conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism and additional learning needs particularly with ‘invisible’ disability such as fatigue and cognitive difficulties. 

  • Children may cope well at times but struggle at key transition points (e.g. moving from primary to secondary school, completing key stage 3). 

  • They may make a good physical recovery but struggle to match the academic progress of their peers.

  • As brain injury is unexpected in the majority of circumstances, parents may experience their own emotional difficulties, including a grief process for the future they expected their child to have.

HOW WE MAY BE ABLE TO HELP

 

We know that these difficulties affect the lives of whole families. At Dr Laura Keyes and Associates we can offer therapeutic support to children with ABI, siblings (who may be overlooked due to the needs of the child with ABI), parents looking for emotional support or whole family support.

 

We are also able to offer recommendations on positive behavioural support identifying the function of particular behaviours and the strategies that may help manage them at home and school. We do this by creating a Neuropsychological formulation - a specialist way of pulling together the parts of a jigsaw to explain the unique strengths and difficulties families experience, explain why problems have developed and explore potential solutions.

 

If you would like more information please contact us on 07880610449 or lauraskeyes@gmail.com to discuss further.

 

RESOURCES

 

Further information on childhood brain injury:

Child Brain Injury Trust - www.childbraininjurytrust.org.uk/campaigns/

Brain Injury Hub - www.braininjuryhub.co.uk

British Institute for Brain Injured Children (BIBIC) - www.bibic.org.uk

Contact a Family - www.cafamily.org.uk

 

 

 

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