Cambridge University Press
Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise, Biomedical & Health Science/Child Health Promotion Research Centre
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common causes of acquired disability during childhood. While the majority of such injuries are mild, and result in few, if any, functional sequelae, children sustaining more significant insults may experience permanent cognitive and behavioral deficits. Clinical reports indicate residual impairments in a range of skills, particularly information-processing, attention, memory, learning, social function and behavior. These deficits impact on a child's capacity to interact with the environment effectively, resulting in lags in skill acquisition, and increasing gaps between injured children and their age peers, as they move through childhood and into adulthood. Secondary deficits may also emerge, relating to family stress and adjustment difficulties. Treatment and management of the child with TBI and family requires long-term involvement, where the role of the neuropsychologist is to understand the child's difficulties, to inform parents and the wider community of their cognitive and behavioral implications, to liaise with teachers and rehabilitation workers, to design academic and vocational interventions and behavior-management programs, and to provide counseling with respect to adjustment issues for the child and family.