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Children with Brain Injuries Face Mounting Challenges When Returning to School

NeuroRehabilitation, a top medical journal, recently reported on the challenges faced by children with brain injuries when transitioning from a hospital or home back to school. 

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Written by Brenda Agnew, Client Liaison

Looking at U.S. data, 700,000 children sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) requiring hospitalization or emergency treatment. Pediatric TBI can affect most aspects of a child's functioning - cognitive, behavioural and social. Acquired brain injury (AB) is caused by events after birth.

According to Mark A Linden, Ph.D., School of Nursing & Midwifery at The Queen's University of Belfast, "The education setting is increasingly recognized as a key contributor to post-injury rehabilitation in children and adolescents. It is a natural environment where children's social, behavioural, and academic needs are met. However, to date, interventions have appeared to focus on the deficits of the child rather than key environmental influences such as school resources and policy, teacher training and education, identification and tracking."

Dr. Linden and his colleagues review evidence-based educational interventions for students with brain injuries. Current results of these reviews suggest that there are no properly tested intervention strategies that improve academic achievement(s) in children following a brain injury.

According to Dr. Linden, "If the academic needs of children with ABI are not being met at school, this has clear implications for achieving qualifications, occupations, higher education, and even housing. This places these individuals at severe economic and social disadvantage and increases their vulnerability."



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