Teaching children with brain injuries


Teachers who work with children with acquired brain injury (ABI) are being offered support in the form of a new resource.

Thousands of young people in the UK live with the long-term effects of an ABI, which can come from road accidents or falls, although there are also causes such as brain tumours, choking or meningitis.

Now, a website called the Brain Injury Hub has been created by The Children’s Trust, Tadworth, a national charity which runs the UK’s largest rehabilitation centre for children with ABI.

The content of the site is based on the clinical expertise that has been developed at the trust over the last 25 years and it features a dedicated section for teachers and other education professionals in recognition of the fact that children with a brain injury can struggle in school, sometimes for years after their original injury.

It also offers a discussion forum and includes introductory information about brain injury and practical strategies for the classroom.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence estimates the total number of head injuries presenting at A&E in England each year as 750,000, of which almost 300,000 are children aged under-16. Of these, 2.6 per cent are moderate to severe injuries. In addition, hundreds of children each year suffer a brain injury as a result of non-traumatic causes such as a brain tumour or meningitis.

Richard Hammond, the Top Gear presenter who suffered a serious brain injury himself when he was involved in a car crash while filming in 2006, is backing the resource.

The website has been accredited with the Information Standard, the Department of Health’s quality mark for reliable sources of health information.

Chief executive of The Children’s Trust Andrew Ross said: “Many children are left with severe disabilities as a result of a brain injury, while others can appear to have made a full physical recovery and yet may be left with significant, life-long difficulties with their behaviour, memory or concentration. For this reason, acquired brain injury is often called the ‘hidden disability’.”

The Brain Injury Hub’s section for teachers and education professionals can be found at www.braininjuryhub.co.uk/teacher.

CAPTION: Richard Hammond visits the children at The Children’s Trust centre for brain injury rehabilitation (Photo: Richard Bloomfield)


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