General

Physical Communication Cognitive Behavioural / Emotional

Cognition is the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. It includes processes such as knowledge, attention, memory and working memory, judgment and evaluationdecision making, comprehension and production of language.

Human cognition is both conscious and unconscious, concrete or abstract, as well as intuitive and conceptual. Cognitive processes involve the use of existing knowledge and the generation of new knowledge.

Unlike physical complaints, which are easily diagnosed, cognitive impairments can be very subtle. This is especially true with higher-level cognitive abilities which are referred to as executive functioning. The primary components of executive functioning are:

  • Analysing
  • Prioritizing
  • Planning
  • Sequencing
  • Organizing
  • Directing
  • Multi-tasking
  • Monitoring
  • Reasoning
  • Evaluating
  • Troubleshooting
  • Problem-solving

The most debilitating cognitive complaint is a lack of awareness of one’s deficits. Without this realization, the person sees no reason to work hard to recover their cognitive abilities and, therefore remain seriously impaired. They may be unable to understand why their life has become so difficult.

Problems in cognition may not be recognised until a person returns home or to education or work. During rehabilitation, cognitive abilities can improve dramatically.


"Participation in teen sports and normal activities leads to improved quality of life for children and young people post brain injury and helps to maximise outcomes"
Claire Willis; Australia
"Different 'experts' involved in pediatric neuro-rehabilitation come from different organisational cultures which causes conflict and has a negative effect on the outcomes for the child."
Barbara O'Connell; Ireland
"We would like to see earlier identification and support for children with brain injuries to help them succeed in school."
Dalton Leong; Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"More play increases brain plasticity and makes for better recovery post brain injury"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"When someone has a brain injury, early access to local, specialist rehabilitation is crucial to ensure the maximum recovery and make significant savings to the state in health costs"
Headway; United Kingdom
"Often families don't have the financial capability to access services. We need to rethink how we deliver neuro-rehab services to children and young people"
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"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"
James Tonks; University of London
"Too often children and young people with ABI are discharged from hospital without specialist brain support that they and their families need to overcome lifelong challenges"
Andrew Ross; former Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"We are medical practitioners. The real experts are the parents. Over the last 35 years they have taught me everything I know"
Lucia Braga; Brazil
"Healthy teens are better at identifying strategies to deal with barriers. KIDS WITH ABI'S CAN'T!"
Shari Wade; USA

OUR MISSION: To work to remove inequalities for children & young people affected by acquired brain injury; and provide effective support to their families that makes a real difference.

Council for Disabled Children Charity Excellence Lottery Funded