Children and TBI​

After one of my presentations I was asked abouta child that had fallen down the stairs a month before that was still complaining of nausea, difficulty thinking, confusion and not feeling well. The father had told this clinician that he thought the child was manipulative and "milking it". I told her that they should bring the child for further evaluation now.

One of the frustrations I have as Executive Director of Beacon Place is the lack of information, guidance or direction given to adults and children affected byTBI and their families. Another frustration is when there is denial and/or avoidance. Both occur on a regular basis. When a child or adolescent is affected by a TBI treatment can make a profound difference.

When there is the initial injury being addressed in the emergency room or afterwards in the hospital we recognize the seriousness of the injury. Medical services including surgery, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, physical therapy and psychotherapy may be provided. Services may continue at a rehabilitation hospital and possibly a sub-acute rehab. Sometimes services may still be needed and the medical providers or parent "drop the ball".

We provide services for children ad teens affected by TBI as well as adults. While that may not seem notable, there is a lack of services and knowledgable clinicans for them. Symptoms are thought of as behavioral issues or acting out rather than being physical in origin. Compensatory behaviors, including unhealthy ones, may develop. Gains made may stop or be lost. Issues with memory, filtering, impulsivity, sequencing, sensitivity to light or sound or others may negatively impact their performance at school, work or socially. 

Clinically I have found that there is a sense of relief that has come when TBI is discussed.  There is a greater understanding for the child, and for the parent, that "I'm not being bad and I'm not stupid, this is from a TBI and its a physical thing". The person begins to learn how to deal with and grow despite the TBI, with assistance and help by people who know and care. Parents are helped to help their children. I have an adult that had a TBI as a child. Her parents did everything for her, doing the best they could without direction. As the child grew to adult she felt incapable, stupid and lacked confidence. Her parents had good intent--- treatment helps us provide a unified direction.

Wherever you consider treatment please make sure of their knowledge base prior to beginning. Have they treated people with TBI? What is their clinical background, education and experience? What are their concerns, plans and goals and do you and the child help develop them or are they the same goals given to everyone?

As indicated elsewhere on the website I can be reached at [email protected] and you can call the agency with any questions at 845-827-6680.

Warmest regards,
Executive Director Randy Bleiwas, LCSW, MA, CASAC, CBIS, CHt