What is Brain Injury?
Brain injury is a general term used to describe damage to the brain, and may be caused by hereditary, congenital or degenerative factors. Injury to the brain can also be acquired after birth through infection, accident or trauma, in which case it may be referred to as acquired brain injury (ABI) or traumatic brain injury (TBI). ABI is the leading cause of acquired disability in children and young adults.
What are the effects of Brain Injury ?
The effects of brain injury in children vary enormously according to the type, size, severity and location of the area of damage. It may affect physical and cognitive abilities as well as speech, hearing, vision, behaviour and learning skills. Some problems will be immediately obvious whilst others do not become apparent until the child is older.
Some common effects of brain injury include:
- Physical problems including impaired movement, abnormal muscle tone, poor balance, fatigue and mobility problems
- Cognitive problems such as poor memory, concentration, and organisational skills
- Behavioural problems such as aggression, irritability, impulsivity and inappropriate behaviour
- Epilepsy, headaches and depression.
What Therapies for Kids can do
We understand that the effects of brain injury can be devastating and traumatic for both the child and parents. At Therapies for Kids we have a team of specialist Paediatric Physiotherapists & Occupational therapists who can provide assessment and treatment for your child in order to maximise their potential and improve quality of life following their brain injury. The brain is adaptable, and improvements are possible with regular physiotherapy input to maximise function and independence immediately following the injury and longer term.
The type of Physiotherapy treatment will depend on the child’s needs and abilities and can help to:
- Improve functional abilities such as rolling, standing and walking
- Make therapy sessions fun
- Retrain normal patterns of movement
- Improve balance and coordination
- Improve muscle strength and range of movement
- Improve posture
- Improve positioning and alignment
- Reduce muscle spasm, stiffness and pain
- Review and assess orthotics
- Liaise with parents, carers and teachers regarding the best way to manage a child’s physical needs in order to maximise their independence.
- Provide advice on equipment and positioning to make caring for your child easier
- Provide you with an appropriate home exercise programmes to continue therapy between physiotherapy sessions.
The type of Occupational Therapy treatment will depend on the child’s needs and abilities and can help to:
- Improve functional abilities such as holding objects, writing and problem solving
- Put behavioural strategies in place to manage dysfunctional or anti-social behaviours
- Put strategies in place to support working memory and organisational skills
- Improve coordination and range of movement of the upper limb
- Improve independence and confidence at home, school and within the community.
What you can do
Involve your child in physical activities and this can help them in many ways including:
- the chance to mix with friends, siblings and family
- help with fitness and weight control
- keeping muscle strength and motor abilities
- having fun
- helps with fitness
- making new friends
- feeling better about themselves
How can your child be involved in physical activity?
- Unstructured physical activity includes general mobility and play and can happen at home, in the backyard, at school or at the playground.
- Increase your child’s physical activity levels by reducing the amount of time watching television and playing electronic games.
- Our physiotherapist can recommend appropriate physical activities for your child.