Brain injuries are multifaceted and can occur for a variety of different reasons, both before and after birth. Children can be born with injuries - this is known as congenital brain injury, whereas an injury from trauma is known as acquired or non-congenital brain injury. Acquired injuries can have an impact on all aspects of a child’s development and academic learning.
Conditions that relate to congenital brain injuries include inter-cranial bleeds, brain tumors, cerebral palsy, speech disorder, auditory processing disorder, autism, behaviour and emotional problems and epilepsy.
Difficulties the child may experience:
Motor and Sensory Deficits.
Impaired senses: vision and hearning for example.
Lack of a concept of self.
Problems with speech and written language.
Academically behind peers.
Non age appropriate motor co-ordination skills.
Lack of attention and concentration at home and school.
Poor organisational skills.
Poor control of arousal levels.
Lack of self esteem.
Behavioural and emotional issues.
Aims of therapy:
Hemispheres is primarily focused on neurological improvement. Our therpay is directed towards identifying the impact of the brain injury on neurological development in the context of the brain damage and resulting difficulties. Depending on the age of the child, it may be important to develop efficient compensatory techniques to deal with functional issues, whilst developing improved neurological connections for improved motor control, functional skills as well as cognitive skills and attention. Therapy would also support parents to understand how their child best learns, and how to adapt activities to maximise the learning situation.
Hemispheres would primarily adopt a neurodevelopmental approach to therapy, thereby improving the communication between the brain and the body for motor and functional skills, whilst also stimulating different levels of the brain to encourage and facilitate improved neural communication for attention, concentration, cognition and learning. It is important to clarify that therapy can assist with improved functioning and relieve many different symptoms for children with congenital brain injuries but it is not possible to cure the brain injury. Hemispheres also informs parents and other professionals on how the child’s neurological system is ‘wired’ for learning, so appropriate strategies and approaches can be used to maximise the learning potential.
On average, children with brain injuries stay on the programme for a minimum of 12 – 24 months, but frequently as changes and improvements occur intervention continues on a 4 - 12 weekly basis. Early intervention in the programme will better prepare children and their carers for the challenges ahead. Hemispheres do not claim to cure brain injuries, however, we do help relieve many different symptoms and improve each child’s overall level of engagement and functioning.