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.

"Intensive and individualized approaches work. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't. You have to make it relevant to the child."
Recolo; United Kingdom
"When different organisations assess different aspects of a child's neuro-rehabilitation needs, everyone looks at things from a different perspective and have conflicting priorities"
Cathy Jonson; Rehab without Walls; United Kingdom.
"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
"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
"Positive and coordinated neuro-rehab interventions for children and young people is proven to bring health improvements; improve independence; reduces the need for sheltered living; decreases vulnerability; decreases drop-out rates in schools; decreases youth offending"
Eric Hermans; Netherlands
"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
"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
"Healthy teens are better at identifying strategies to deal with barriers. KIDS WITH ABI'S CAN'T!"
Shari Wade; USA
"My colleague was blown away by the tremendous work your organisation is doing for society."  Social Worker
"Taking brain injured children home causes high stress for families. Disjointed services exacerbate family stress levels."
Deborah Andrews; New Zealand

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