Social Judgement

Physical Communication Cognitive Behavioural / Emotional

Acquired brain injury may affect social judgement as a result of disinhibition or an inability to be able to read social clues. Disinhibition is a lack of restraint which is shown as disregard for social conventions, impulsivity, and poor risk assessment.

Disinhibited behaviour occurs when people no longer follow the social rules about what or where to say or do something. They may present as rude, tactless or even offensive. A person with a brain injury may make a comment without realising its impact on others or make a joke that is inappropriate in the context.

A person with a brain injury may enter another person’s ‘personal space’ without being aware that it is uncomfortable for them. They may not understand the ‘rules of conversation’ and talk without letting the other person speak, over-talk another person, or have difficulty staying ‘on topic’ which can be frustrating for others.

People with impaired social judgement may have other more problematic behaviours, such as verbal or physical aggression, socially inappropriate behaviour, sexual disinhibition, wandering, and repetitive behaviour.

With support and rehabilitation, social problems do improve for people with acquired brain injury but it is necessary for them to understand that there is an issue and be prepared to work on it.


"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
"Parent-supported interventions after paediatric ABI bring reductions to the cost to society"
Eric Hermans; Netherlands
Child 1 - Aged 14 and 3 years after a traumatic brain injury
2019 2020 Change
REASONING 301/800 426/800   +  125
MEMORY 181/800 304/800   +  123
ATTENTION 463/800 573/800   +  110
COORDINATION 47/800 309/800   +  262
PERCEPTION 158/800 374/800   +  216
"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
"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
"There are problems with getting people into neuro-rehab. Those most in need are often those most excluded due to a lack of socio-economic resources."
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"Families need to be properly supported as 'resilience' is key to delivering successful outcomes for children and young people."
Roberta De Pompeii; USA
"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
"Brain development is complex and prolonged. Brain plasticity is influenced by a range of factors. Plasticity provides a base for neuro-rehab therapies and treatment"
Professor Bryan Kolb; 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 Youth Foundation BBC CiN