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How do families find rehabilitation after childhood acquired brain injury?

iStock / Getty Images Plus / yacobchuk

Lisa Turan

CEO, Child Brain Injury Trust

The Child Brain Injury Trust explain the rehabilitation journey, for the whole family, after childhood acquired brain injury.

What is rehabilitation after childhood acquired brain injury (ABI)?

Rehabilitation means different things to different people, and rehabilitation changes throughout child’s journey.

Did you know that our brains continue to develop until our early 20’s? So we cannot predict what issues may arise as the young person matures. We always say that there is no textbook when it comes to brain injury, and this applies equally when it comes to talking about rehabilitation.

There is a sense that rehabilitation means “getting back to normal” or as near to normal as possible. Many of the young people we work with are left with significant difficulties, they may need to learn to walk, talk and eat again. They may also have lost cognitive functions, and struggle to learn and focus in school. All the things we take for granted as we grow up, can become a massive challenge.

We estimate that 1 in 30 UK children and young people will acquire a brain injury, that’s roughly one child per class.

What are families’ needs, for childhood acquired brain injury?

When we first meet a new family, who have been referred to us, our Acquired Brain Injury Coordinators will assess the family’s needs, to see how we can support the whole family. Across the UK, there are very few rehabilitation centres for children and young people recovering from acquired brain injury.

Our Coordinators may be introduced to a family while they are still in hospital. Once admitted to hospital, it is possible that the child or young person may be there for a long time, the impact on the family is massive.

When the child or young person is ready, plans will be put in place to discharge the child or young person; they will return home, and eventually return to education.

Schools are the major provider of rehabilitation for the majority of children and young people that we support.

How is knowledge shared for children and young people’s rehabilitation?

The Child Brain Injury Trust’s 2020 conference is all about Finding Rehab (pathways and strategies) – there are many tried and tested theories about the various elements that make for excellent rehabilitation for children and young people, following childhood ABI. We want to explore what’s new, exciting and innovative in the world of rehabilitation for children and young people.

The format of the conference will be divided between expert and family presentations and question and answer sessions, along with networking and exhibition opportunities.

The conference aims to showcase academic research, successful interventions, and highlight how professionals can embrace innovative rehabilitation in their day to day work. It also brings together professionals across all disciplines as well as family members and gives everyone an opportunity to network, learn new information, develop a greater understanding of brain injury and improve practice and care for families facing the life-long journey after brain injury.

We have a fantastic line up of speakers, to find out more and to book your place visit:

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