Problem Solving

Physical Communication Cognitive Behavioural / Emotional

The term “problem solving” is used to describe how we deal with everyday difficulties. When we problem solve we apply a set of rules to everyday problems to solve them quickly and successfully. After brain injury, problems often seem to pile up and people may feel so overwhelmed that they may give up trying to solve their problems.

Persons with a brain injury or their families may get conflicting advice from other family members, friends, and professionals making it even more difficult to decide what steps to take. Survivors and families often find that resources are limited after brain injury. Money is a problem for those who stop working. Support from friends and outside family members may also be hard to find.

Signs that someone may have difficulty with problem solving are:

  • Individuals with TBI may not recognize there is a problem, which is the first step in problem-solving.
  • They may have trouble analysing information or being flexible in the way they think.
  • They may have difficulty deciding the best solution, or get stuck on one solution and not consider other, better options.
  • They may make quick decisions without thinking about the consequences, or not use the best judgment.

Strategies for problem solving:

  • A speech therapist or psychologist experienced in cognitive rehabilitation can teach an organized approach for daily problem-solving.
  • Work through a step-by-step problem-solving strategy in writing
  • Define the problem
  • List possible solutions
  • List the pros and cons of each solution
  • Pick a solution to try
  • Evaluate the success of the solution
  • Try another solution if the first one doesn’t work.

"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
"Pediatric neuro-rehabilitation cannot be delivered in isolation. The needs of the child have to be looked at both holistically and within the context of the family unit. Parents need to be empowered to be parents in post-acute pediatric neuro-rehabilitation following brain injury"
The Children's Trust; United Kingdom
"NHS clinicians struggle with what intervention to prioritise in paediatric neuro-rehabilitation due to limited clinical time and the complexity of needs. Children, clinicians, parents and schools all have different neuro-rehabilitation priorities"
Recolo; United Kingdom
"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
"We need to harness the power of brain plasticity for treating children and young people with brain injury, especially at the key ages of 0-3 and at ages 10-16"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"With support parents cope better so the child has a better recovery"
Andrea Palacio-Navarro; Spain
"Our 10 year study proves that family-led home-based neuro-rehab interventions deliver the best outcomes for children and young people"
Lucia Braga; Brazil
"Different 'experts' involved in paediatric 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
"More play increases brain plasticity and makes for better recovery post brain injury"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"Families need to be properly supported as 'resilience' is key to delivering successful outcomes for children and young people."
Roberta De Pompeii; 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 Community Funded Charity Excellence Lottery Funded Youth Foundation BBC CiN