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.

"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
"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
"Thousands of children and young people living in the UK today without the help and support that can make a huge difference to their lives"
Dalton Leong; Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"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
"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
"Poor parenting styles affects children's behavior; increases their learning disability; and has a negative impact on emotions; anxiety; anger management post brain injury"
Andrea Palacio-Navarro; Spain
"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
"When different organisations assess different aspects of a child's neuro-rehabilitation needs, everyone looks at things from a different perspective and highlight needs and conflicting priorities"
Cathy Jonson; Rehab without Walls; United Kingdom.
"Case management for children and young people post acquired brain injury is 'pivotal' to successful outcomes and must be local"
Deborah Andrews; New Zealand
"Strength-based family intervention after pediatric ABI is essential. Parents need to be equipped with the skills to cope and advocate for the child."
Caron Gan; Canada

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