Every individual suffering a brain injury potentially faces a wide range of difficulties, from minor short term memory lapses to serious long term physical and learning disabilities. Some parents talk about a personality change as their child’s behaviour alters post-injury, which can be immensely distressing.
Each child’s experience – and response – will be very different, and whilst some effects will be immediately apparent, others could take weeks, months or even years to manifest themselves. Some of the more common side effects are listed below:
- Weakness of limbs
- Difficulty speaking, understanding and using language
- Tiredness, struggling with concentration – often talked about as ‘fatigue’ by professionals
- Changes in behaviour – irritability, behaving impulsively or inappropriately
- Learning difficulties
- Problems with memory
- Difficulty processing information
- Anxiety and depression
- Find it harder to organise and plan properly
- A tendency to be more self-centred, and have trouble putting themselves ‘in someone else’s shoes’.
A severe acquired brain injury may lead to children losing the ability to walk or talk permanently, or cause difficulties with eating and drinking.
As the condition is so varied, there is no single treatment but there are opportunities for children to get back some of the skills they’ve lost through the ongoing process of rehabilitation – which might include physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.
Rehabilitation aims to give children their very best chances at making improvements and to provide children and young people with as much independence as possible. There may be treatment ‘goals’ in regaining skills and independence, and you will be given guidance on what you can realistically expect as a family.
Different therapies may take place:
- While a child is an inpatient in hospital.
- At a specialist centre with a multi-disciplinary approach offering lots of different treatment options. Children might stay or visit.
- In the community: therapists or care staff come to the child’s home, school or a local centre.
Rehabilitation is a long process and it is quite possible that your child will experience all of the above at different stages. If their rehabilitation starts in hospital, there will normally be a discharge planning meeting to discuss their care plan on leaving hospital.
How can the Brain Injury Group help you?
If you’ve been affected by brain injury and need free legal or welfare advice, there are several ways to get in touch:
- Call us on 0800 612 9660 or 01737 852203
- Email us at [email protected]
- Complete this short enquiry form and we’ll get back to you