What does neuro-rehabilitation do?
‘Rehabilitation aims to reduce the impact of (brain) injury by restoration of damaged function, or compensation for lost function, within the limitations of underlying disease, to optimise physical, cognitive, psychological and social function.’ (Seeley & Hutchinson, 2006)
What do we know?
From adult studies of traumatic brain injury:
Better access to neuro-rehabilitation associated with better outcomes means people:
* This is is the main focus of our charitable work and where we add value to existing NHS provision.
Additionally, the outcome of a paediatric acquired brain injury is related to family function, economic factors and social support. Neuro-rehabilitation is therefore not just about physiotherapy, occupational therapy ,speech and language therapy etc. Children, young people and their families need lots of ongoing support during the neuro-rehabilitation journey; and for long after the usual therapy interventions have ended.
Neuro-rehabilitation is most effective if:
Post discharge is where these very vulnerable children are most at risk of not receiving the help and support they need, due to a lack of understanding of their hidden disabilities. Working in partnership with parents and professionals, we coordinate the ongoing needs of brain injured children and young people across a range of community organisations; ensuring their ongoing and often changing needs continue to be met. Without us, this does not happen and the needs of this vulnerable cohort often go unrecognised and unsupported.
"Strength-based family intervention after pediatric ABI is essential. Parents need to be equipped with the skills to cope and advocate for the child."
"We are medical practitioners. The real experts are the parents. Over the last 35 years they have taught me everything I know"
"There are problems with getting people into neuro-rehab centres. Those most in need are often those most excluded due to a lack of socio-economic resources."
"We would like to see earlier identification and support for children with brain injuries to help them succeed in school."
"Case management for children and young people post acquired brain injury is 'pivotal' to successful outcomes and must be local"
"Intensive and individualized approaches work. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't. You have to make it relevant to the child."
"We need to harness the power of brain plasticity for treating children and young people with brain injury. Stressful experiences alter brain development of a child, especially at the key ages of 0-3 and at ages 10-16"
"More play increases brain plasticity and makes for better recovery post brain injury"
"Children and young people have poor social competence post brain injury due to reduced cognition, executive functions, and emotional control. As a result they are twice as likely to have mental health issues in the future"
"Often families don't have the financial capability to access services. We need to rethink how we delivery neuro-rehab services to children and young people"