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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
"Families and professionals spend time focusing on the negative aspects of ABI. Families need to be properly supported as 'resilience' is key to delivering successful outcomes for children and young people."
Roberta De Pompeii; USA
"New parenting support intervention showed how parenting style is related to executive dysfunction in children and young people post brain injury. With support parents cope better so the child has a better recovery"
Andrea Palacio-Navarro; Spain
"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
"NHS clinicians struggle with what intervention to priorities in pediatric 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
"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
"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
"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."
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"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
"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 (health) 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 Lottery Funded