Acquired brain injury (ABI) is the name given to a range of disabilities that occur due to damage to the brain acquired after birth due to things such as accidents, stroke or disease. It results in differences in cognitive, physical, emotional or independent functioning.
ABI can cause learning problems due to difficulties with memory function. A person with ABI can find it difficult to remember long instructions, perform multi-step tasks or problems, remember key points or ideas, take notes or complete tasks such as mental arithmetic.
They may also take longer to learn new information, remember information over time or remember to do things in the future (for example, passing on a message from the teacher to their parent). There can also be difficulties with concentration, attention or thinking that may impact on learning.
A person with ABI can also have problems with communication. The ABI might affect their production of speech sounds, their voice, their ability to understand language and retrieve the words they want, difficulty organising thoughts into sentences and starting and having conversations.
Changes in moods and emotions can also occur in people with ABI and they may have difficulties with emotional responses.
These differences can lead to social difficulties at school.
Some people with ABI may have
epilepsy as a result of their brain injury.
Identifying your child’s strengths and difficulties is important so that support can be provided and reasonable adjustments made. Intervention is available for people with ABI across a range of areas. Your child’s general practitioner or specialist can advise you about ongoing interventions.
The following websites are a good starting point if you are looking for information, supports and advice.