Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Teens
A New Hampshire Guide for Families

Introduction

Brain Injury Association of NHWelcome to the Brain Injury Association of NH (BIANH) and the online "Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Teens: A New Hampshire Guide for Families".

This is a difficult time for you and your family. After the initial shock of your child's injury, you want information about your child's care. How serious is the injury and what is being done for my child? The next questions are about your child's recovery. Will my child be all right?

This guide can not answer specific questions about your child. Each child's injury is different. So is each child's recovery. This guide provides a lot of information to try to meet the needs of many different families. Some of this information will not apply to your child and family. Use the information that applies to your child's situation.

The guide is divided into several chapters. The first chapter provides an overview of the brain and brain injury. The second talks about your child's hospital care. There may be times during your child's hospitalization when you feel unsure of what is happening. The unfamiliar procedures, people, and surroundings may be upsetting and overwhelming. Sometimes parents feel as if they are losing control of what happens to their child. By becoming knowledgeable about the hospital and your child's care, you will feel better able to deal with the situation and more in control. By reading this chapter, you will understand more about your child's injury and treatment.

As your child's health improves, you will start to think about rehabilitation and your child's return to home and school. When you are ready, read these chapters. It is important for you to set your own pace and to take one step at a time. You will know when it is time to move on to the next step. Depending on your situation, you may want to skip around rather than read each chapter in order. Because each child and family are different, some chapters may not address your needs as closely as others do. You know your child and family better than others and you will know which parts of this guide best meet your needs.

Special Note

Families have many different members and living arrangements. Not all children live at home or with both parents. The words "family" and "parents" are used as general terms. They are intended to include all parents whether married, single, widowed, or divorced. Family may also include step-parents, grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even very close friends. Please interpret the words "family" and "parents" to fit your situation. The word "child" is used in this manual to include son or daughter, step-child, or adoptive child. It includes children of all ages, including adolescents.

Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Teens: A Guide for Families was written with the help of families whose children have had brain injuries and with the help of experienced health care providers. It was revised by the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire to include information related to services and supports that are available in New Hampshire. This is a "living document", and the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire would appreciate your feedback so that we can continue to make this publication useful to families. A feedback form is included in the navigation menu.

The guide encourages families to learn as much as they can about their child's injury and treatment. This information will help families cope with their child's injury, locate medical and educational services to assist their child, and find ways to pay the bills. It is a beginning to understanding brain injury and its consequences for your child and family. This information can help you participate in your child's recovery and prepare for the future.

We strongly encourage you to contact the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire and inquire about the Neuro-Resource Facilitation. This program is designed to provide families with support and assistance by lending an ear, providing information about brain injury, helping families understand the recovery process, identifying community supports and services, and helping families apply for services.

The Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire also provides the following services:

  • assistance to educators as they prepare for the student's return to school;
  • development of educational services at school;
  • planning for the student's transition to adulthood.