Double Trouble: Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children
Traumatic brain injuries in children (pediatric injuries) result in double trouble or more problems than are experienced by an adult that has a traumatic brain injury.
First of all, a child with a traumatic brain injury is much more difficult to diagnose than an adult with a traumatic brain injury. The child does not communicate as well and cannot express the symptoms and what they are feeling. When a traumatic brain injury occurs in a child it is extremely important for the medical professionals dealing with the child to meet with family members, friends and often times teachers who can go in and see the medical professional to explain differences in the child since the pediatric traumatic brain injury occurred.
It is important to establish the pre-morbid level of the child to determine how the child was prior to the traumatic brain injury and how they are since the traumatic brain injury.
Therefore the first problem in dealing with a child with a traumatic brain injury is recognizing the injury when the child does not communicate as well as an adult.
The second problem in dealing with a child with a traumatic brain injury or the second part of the double trouble is following the initial traumatic brain injury, problems for the child with a traumatic brain injury increase as time goes on. This is because the child with a traumatic brain injury that is still in the developmental stage, still learning and being educated "stalls" and fails to develop cognitive, behavioral or social skills at the same rate as a child without a traumatic brain injury. This is caused by the initial traumatic brain injury causing cognitive problems stops the child from learning at the same rate as children without the traumatic brain injury. This causes a stall in the injured child's ability to develop.
Therefore the double trouble of a child with a traumatic brain injury is:
- Difficulty in properly diagnosing the traumatic brain injury.
- Causing a stall in cognitive, behavioral or social skills getting the child further behind.
Because of this double trouble it is extremely important to get the child the proper treatment including:
- Evaluation by a pediatric neurologist.
- Testing and evaluation by a pediatric neuropsychologist with specialized testing for children.
- The proper cognitive therapy.
- Getting the child the proper help in school including the use of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that has a specific checklist for students suffering from traumatic brain injury and incorporates the proper help.
- Obtaining the help of an educational professional to help formulate the IEP.