I have been working on behalf of a Claimant who sustained a minor brain injury following a road traffic accident when he was under the age of 3. The incident itself was traumatic for the family. It was difficult for the parents to know how their child was developing following the accident and whether the trauma to the head had impacted on the child’s learning and development in par with children of his own age. This in itself is difficult to assess for any child as all children reach developmental milestones at differing times.
The impact on speech and language following a brain trauma
If a person suffers from a traumatic or acquired brain injury, this often does result in speech and language problems but also problems such as swallowing, which will have an effect on eating and drinking which is something often take for granted.
Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) has greatly helped my client. The therapy has particularly helped with communication skills and has assisted in developing his confidence especially at the early stages of schooling.
The Defendant representatives took a collaborative approach and agreed to engage in the rehabilitation code. A case manager was appointed and my client benefited from an early assessment for SLT.
For a child, their brain will continue to develop until they become an adult and a trauma to the head can cause a major impact on the child’s development.
The benefits of speech and language therapy
SLT can help with improving speech to make it clearer, assisting in expressions and improving attention spans and memory and to assist with social skills.
SLT can provide a child with confidence to allow them to express themselves and to try and prevent frustrations. An initial assessment will always be necessary to consider each individual’s needs so that a programme can be put in place. For my client SLT has assisted my client with constructing longer sentences and developing his usage of phonics. The Speech and Language Therapist has worked closely with my client’s school engaging directly with those teachers working with and supporting my client,on a day to day basis.
The Child Brain Injury Trust (CBIT) is a charity which assists children and families who have been affected by a brain injury. They can provide a great source of support and have done so for my clients’ family. They offer a useful guide on ‘Childhood Acquired Brain Injury: the Hidden disability’ which is a helpful read.