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What is Acquired Brain Injury?

Acquired brain injury (ABI) refers to any type of damage to the brain that happens after birth. In children, it can be caused by a number of things, for example as a result of an illness such as meningitis, a stroke, a brain tumour or encephalitis.

The brain is the most sophisticated part of our bodies, therefore any injury can be equally complex. Unlike other surface injuries such as broken bones, a brain injury doesn’t heal the same and is often something that is with the child for life. It has an impact on everything you think, feel or even do.

Effects of Acquired Brain Injury

For children, it can sometimes take years to be diagnosed with an acquired brain injury. The symptoms vary between each person, meaning some may be harder to detect. Often the effects have a significant impact on daily life, relationships, education and work in adult life. Here are a few common effects.

  • Physical effects – Children with an acquired brain injury may experience constant tiredness and fatigue. Your child may be doing things at a much slower pace than usual.
  • Emotional effects –  Your child may have feelings of sadness, fear anxiety and depression, and obsessiveness.
  • Behavioural effects –  Immaturity, physical and verbal aggression, sexually inappropriate behaviour and acting quickly without thinking about consequences.
  • Thinking effects – Children may find it difficult to concentrate. It may also take longer for them to process information, leading to forgetfulness and an inability to follow verbal instructions.


Acquired Brain Injury Treatment 

Whilst there is no single ‘cure’ or treatment for acquired brain injury, there are opportunities for children to regain some of the skills they have lost, using different types of therapies and support. 

Recovery from an acquired brain injury can vary greatly. Whilst some people may recover in the first two years following the injury, others may find it a life-long process. The type of injury, its severity, the age of the child and other factors will impact recovery. 

There are a number of options available to support children with an acquired brain injury. Some of these include:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Psychology

This ongoing process is called ‘rehabilitation’. Family members and other support units also play a strong role in helping a child resume normal activity. There may be home adaptations, specialist pieces of medical equipment and more that can help a child to develop and make their day-to-day life easier and more independent. 

How Tree of Hope helps

Not all of these therapies, treatments and pieces of equipment are available to children via the UK healthcare system. Tree of Hope can support you and your family to raise funds for your child’s medical needs. We’ll support you with your fundraising campaign from start to finish, helping you reach your target as quickly as possible. 

Contact our Family Support Team at 01892 535525 to find out how we can help.

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