chapter  25
17 Pages

Traumatic Brain Injury

WithRenee Lajiness-O’neill, Laszlo A. Erdodi, Jonathan D. Lichtenstein

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) continues to be one of the most common causes of death and disability in children and adolescents. Public policy has aided with both increased awareness of pediatric TBI and efforts to improve educational practices and behavioral management of these children. It has become increasingly evident that long-term outcome is contingent upon a host of complex pre-injury, injury-related, and post-injury variables such as pre-morbid functioning, age, severity, socioeconomic status, and family adjustment. Neurobehavioral and psychosocial sequelae such as affective instability and impaired social functioning following TBI also substantially compromise the child and adolescent's entry or re-entry into the school and community. A more comprehensive assessment would require a neuropsychological evaluation that extends the investigation to a wider range of cognitive and neurobehavioral abilities. Neuropsychological assessments focus on discrepancies between areas of development as well as task analyses to identify the specific functional impairment responsible for low scores on standardized tests—essentially performing a "circuit check" on the brain.