What is acquired brain injury (ABI)?
An acquired brain injury (ABI) is any damage to the brain that happens after birth.
How acquired brain injury (ABI) can affect children and teenagers
Acquired brain injury (ABI) can affect:
- senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste
- eating or swallowing
- attention, concentration, memory, thinking and learning
- communication, speech and language
- behaviour and personality
- energy levels
- coordination, balance, strength and movement
- muscle control and ability to move.
In some cases of ABI, children might have seizures.
The effects of ABI can range from temporary to permanent. They can also range from mild to severe, depending on how severe the damage caused by the injury is.
Living with acquired brain injury (ABI)
A child with acquired brain injury (ABI) can feel quite upset by the health problems and impairments that come with ABI. And learning to live with ABI can be an ongoing challenge. But most children with ABI improve with treatment and make progress daily.
The help of health professionals can also make it easier for families to cope, especially if the child’s personality or behaviour has been affected.
If your child has ABI, it’s easy to get caught up in looking after them. But it’s important to look after your own wellbeing and get support for yourself too. If you’re physically and mentally well, you’ll be better able to care for your child.
People who can help children with acquired brain injury (ABI)
If your child has ABI, you and your child might work with a large team of health professionals. The people in this team will aim to help your child recover or develop the skills they need to reach their goals for life with ABI.
The team might include some or all of the following health professionals:
- child and family health nurse
- general practitioner
- occupational therapist
- social worker
- speech pathologist
- special education teacher or consultant.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) might support your child with ABI, as well as you and your family. Our guide has answers to your questions about the NDIS.
Causes of acquired brain injury (ABI)
Acquired brain injury (ABI) can be caused by: