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Brain Injury in Children

Traumatic brain injuries that occur in children are quite common and are often associated with significant cognitive, academic and brainsocial/emotional concerns. Studies have indicated that brain injuries occur in approximately 180 out of every 100,000 children.

Transportation-related injuries are the most common cause of brain injuries in children as well as adolescents. Studies have indicated that motor vehicle accidents and bicycle falls account for upwards of 80% of all brain injuries in children. The causal factor for brain injuries is varied based upon the age of the child. Specifically, infants and young children are more likely to sustain a brain injury through falls while older children are more likely to sustain a brain injury from a sports injury, bicycle accident or motor vehicle accident.

Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death amongst children and adolescents. Data has indicated that about 40-50% of deaths of children and adolescents are associated with brain injuries. The mortality rate associated with a brain injury is related to the severity of the injury. Children with mild brain injuries almost always survive the injury.

The majority of brain injuries are mild and mostchildren and adolescents will usually survive the injury; however, there is often a wide range of neurobehavioral and cognitive concerns associated with the injury. Issues with attentional regulation, slow speed of processing and concerns with executive functioning are often associated with a brain injury. In addition, \children and adolescents that experience brain injuries often exhibit concerns in regard to their social and emotional functioning.

It is often that these children require significant interventions and accommodations within both a clinic setting and academic setting. The specific interventions and accommodations that the child needs must be individually determined based upon the specific areas of strength and weakness that are observed. The interventions may often consist of pharmacological intervention, social work support, academic accommodations (as part of an Individual Education Plan) and supplemental environmental accommodations.