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Family Concerns

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While no family is ever prepared for the life changes a brain injury brings, almost every family following a brain injury wants to know how they can help during the recovery process. Immediately after a brain injury, it's common for families to place all their energies and focus onto the person with the injury. As the person begins to move through the rehabilitation process, family members begin to ask questions that extend beyond the person's physical well-being. They want to know about what kinds of programs and services are available, and they may even seek out a brain injury support group to help gain additional insight about dealing with brain injury.

After some time has passed, families begin asking questions about the long term. They want to learn ways they can minimize the damage caused by the injury, and they want to find ways to improve the quality of life for everyone in the family.

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Michael Wight and Elementary School After TBI
BrainLine Kids | December 28, 2016
After a severe TBI at age 4, Michael Wight is now in fourth grade at Switlik Elementary, where they call him "the mayor." He attends class with other fourth graders and also gets help from a special education teacher, speech therapist, and physical therapist.

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Helping the Siblings of Kids with TBI
BrainLine Kids | May 2, 2014
Siblings often feel angry, guilty, confused in the wake of their brother or sister's brain injury. Dr. Mariann Young talks about how to help siblings understand the changes in their family.

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The Role of Family in a Child's Recovery from Brain Injury
BrainLine Kids | August 9, 2013
Hospital Executive Amy Mansue talks about the essential role the entire family plays in a child's recovery from TBI — from being able to care for and push the child during rehab therapy to reinforcing those therapies in the home.

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Giving Support to Parents and Siblings of a Child with TBI
BrainLine Kids | August 9, 2013
Hospital Executive Amy Mansue talks about the importance of giving parents and siblings the words and supports they need to help them deal with their loved one's TBI — in the short- and long-term.

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The Healing Process: Helping Families of Children with TBI
BrainLine Kids | August 9, 2013
"One mother I worked with needed to fully grieve the son she lost but who did not die in order to embrace the child who remained," says Hospital Executive Amy Mansue.

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Our Roles Flipped After Hugh's Bike Crash
Personal Stories | February 5, 2013
Rosemary explains how the traditional roles of husband and wife did a 180-degree flip after Hugh's TBI and how she managed.

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The Dangers of Creating "Vulnerable Child Syndrome"
BrainLine Kids | January 9, 2013
Parents need to balance their awareness of a child's mild TBI with letting that worry get in the way of the child's normal development.

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The Many Benefits of Family or Couples Therapy After TBI
January 8, 2013
Family or couples therapy after a TBI can help with strategies but can also address some of the issues the family or couple may have had prior to the injury.

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How Therapy After Brain Injury Can Help Identify the Elephant in the Room
January 8, 2013
Dr. Taryn Stejskal talks about subtly asking questions to elicit answers about the "elephant in the room" no one wants to talk about.

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Using Solution-Focused Questions in Therapy After a TBI
January 8, 2013
Therapist Taryn Stejskal talks about the Solution-Focused Therapy Model that uses questions like the Exception Question and the Miracle Question to help people engage in their own problem solving.

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The Importance of Constituent-Specific TBI Support Groups
January 8, 2013
Joining a TBI support group with others dealing specifically with the same issues can make a world of difference.

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The Process of Dealing with Loss and Grief After a Brain Injury
January 8, 2013
Sometimes people come to think of acceptance as a dirty word, but learning to grieve for the old person and embrace the new one post injury is crucial.

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"If You've Seen One Brain Injury, You've Seen ONE Brain Injury"
January 8, 2013
When Dr. Taryn Stejskal meets with couples, first she listens to their story then works with them to form strategies that work for their individual issues.

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How Older Children Often React to a Parent with TBI
BrainLine Kids | December 18, 2012
When a parent is injured, older children can react — from becoming withdrawn to putting too much pressure on themselves to perform perfectly at school. But most often, kids bounce back.

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Art Helps Psychologists Work with Kids with a Parent with TBI
BrainLine Kids | December 18, 2012
Art work can help children express how they're feeling about their injured parent. In turn, the drawings can help psychologists help those kids adapt to changes in their family.

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Helping Kids Bring Together the "Was" and "Is" of Life with a Parent with TBI
BrainLine Kids | December 18, 2012
Through crafts, story telling, and collage making, psychologists can help kids manage the discrepancy of who their parent was before his injury, who he is now, and how those two can come together.

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Why Kids Understand Ambiguous Loss Intuitively
BrainLine Kids | December 18, 2012
After a parent has TBI, kids might say, "She looks like my Mom, but she doesn't act like it," or "He seems half dead, and half alive."

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Using Play Activities When Working with Children Who Have a Parent with TBI
BrainLine Kids | December 18, 2012
Dr. Audrey Daisley talks about the effectiveness of using crafts or story-based activities for kids of all ages who are dealing with a TBI in the family.

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Strategies for Children Who May Feel Embarrassed About a Parent with TBI
BrainLine Kids | December 18, 2012
Role playing is one strategy that psychologists use to help children deal with embarrassment they may have by their parent with TBI, or people's reaction to that parent.

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Countering Children's Belief That They Are Responsible for Parent's TBI
December 18, 2012
It is common for children to think they are responsible for their parent's brain injury. Psychologists have strategies to talk these emotions through so as to minimize them.

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How to Deal with the Worries of Kids Who Have a Parent with TBI
BrainLine Kids | December 18, 2012
Psychologists have effective strategies like the "Worry Worm Box" to help young children deal with their anxieties about their injured parent.

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Children with a Brain Injured Parent Want Honesty, Inclusion
BrainLine Kids | December 18, 2012
Parents often think that protecting their young children from the truth about a spouse's injury will spare the children. But sometimes kids imagine something far worse than reality.

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How Younger Children Often React to a Parent with TBI
BrainLine Kids | December 18, 2012
After a parent's injury, young children often cope and adapt by becoming clingy with other adults, acting out, or regressing developmentally. This is normal and, with help, will pass.

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Marilyn Spivack: Be Patient but Hopeful After a Brain Injury
August 28, 2012
It is easy for people with TBI and their families to become discouraged or depressed at what seems like a very slow rate of recovery. But a bruised brain needs time to heal.

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Advice for Families with a Loved One with Severe Brain Injury
August 28, 2012
Keeping a journal, taking videos, and looking back to mark progress can help families with a loved one with a severe TBI. But most importantly, families need to seek help.

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Strategies to Help People with TBI and Their Families Deal with Loneliness
July 30, 2012
People with a brain injury — and their families — often feel as if no one understands what they're going through. But there are strategies to help.

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Dealing with Unpredictability and Uncertainty After a Brain Injury
July 30, 2012
Unpredictability and uncertainty after a TBI are scary, but life will get easier as problems are solved and families develop a new normal.

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Helping the Family When a Loved One Is in the ER
December 1, 2011
Having a loved one in the ICU with a severe TBI is traumatic for the whole family. Medical staff can help families become part of their loved one's recovery process.

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Keep Moving Forward: Children with Brain Injuries
By: Brain Injury Association of New York State | BrainLine Kids | June 14, 2011
Learn from three children and their families who live day to day with the effects of brain injury.

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Making a Difference #13: Sammy
By: The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council | Personal Stories | April 12, 2011
Watch how the lives of Sammy and his parents have taken new shape since his injury. "Life changes, priorities change ..."

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Finding Home Health Services After Brain Injury
By: BrainLine | February 7, 2011
Home healthcare for a loved one after TBI usually ends up being a creative "hodge-podge" of services.

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Aceptando los cambios familiares que vienen con una lesión cerebral traumática
By: BrainLine.org | Spanish | December 16, 2010
Dr. Judd explica cómo los papeles familiares pueden cambiar después de una lesión cerebral, y cómo el paciente y los familiares pueden acostumbrarse a los cambios.

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Should You Let Your Child Play Contact Sports?
By: BrainLine.org | BrainLine Kids | October 20, 2010
A doctor/parent talks about trying to find a balance between the benefits and dangers of letting his children play contact sports.

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My Child's Brain Injury: Coping with Guilt
By: Brain Injury Partners: Navigating the School System | BrainLine Kids | July 1, 2010
Stop the "what ifs" and "if onlys" and take action where you can to help your child.

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My Child's Brain Injury: Why Do I Feel So Sad?
By: Brain Injury Partners: Navigating the School System | BrainLine Kids | July 1, 2010
"I'm so thankful she survived, but I miss the little girl who used to run and sing and dance."

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How Can Physicians Best Help Families with Children with Brain Injury?
By: BrainLine.org | BrainLine Kids | June 8, 2010
Especially with children with brain injury, health professionals need to think outside the "medical model."

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Common Problems Children Have After a Traumatic Brain Injury
By: BrainLine.org | BrainLine Kids | June 8, 2010
Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion or brain injury so you can get the best help for your child.

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The Role of Family-Centered Care
March 16, 2010
Learn why educating the whole family about TBI is important.

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Family Counseling Services After Brain Injury
March 16, 2010
Dr. Jeffrey Kreutzer and Dr. Tayrn Strejskal talk about their work as teachers and doctors.

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Brain Injury and Substance Abuse: One Woman's Story
March 16, 2010
Jan Brown talks about her experience with substance abuse following traumatic brain injury.

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Adolescents and TBI
BrainLine Kids | March 16, 2010
Adolescence is a tough enough time. What happens when a brain injury is added to the mix?

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Changes in Family Roles After Traumatic Brain Injury
March 16, 2010
A brain injury can change everything -- for everyone in the family.

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Jan Brown Talks about Family Support
August 5, 2009
Hear how children can be affected by their parents’ addiction.

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BrainLine Talks with Dr. Jeffrey Kreutzer and Dr. Taryn Stejskal About Working with Couples in Crisis
May 27, 2009
You can learn to work together after a traumatic brain injury.

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BrainLine Talks with Dr. Jeffrey Kreutzer and Dr. Taryn Stejskal About How TBI Can Affect Marriage
May 27, 2009
Hear what two family therapists have to say.

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BrainLine Talks with Dr. Jeffrey Kreutzer and Dr. Taryn Stejskal About the Uniqueness of Their Approach
May 27, 2009
Listening is crucial when sorking with people with TBI and their families.

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BrainLine Talks with Dr. Jeffrey Kreutzer and Dr. Taryn Stejskal About What Happens to a Family After Brain Injury
May 27, 2009
Brain injury affects the whole family. Learn more.

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BrainLine Talks with Dr. Jeffrey Kreutzer and Dr. Taryn Stejskal About What Kinds of Support they Provide
May 27, 2009
These doctors share their experience working with people wth TBI and their families.

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Finding Support in the Brain Injury Community
April 29, 2009
Advice from a family therapist on finding community support after TBI.

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Educating Families About Behavioral Changes
April 29, 2009
TBI affects the whole family. Hear advice from a family therapist.

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Caron Gan Talks About Providing Culturally Relevant Treatment
April 29, 2009
Why therapists need to take a person's cultural background and traditions into account.

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Caron Gan Talks About Working With Families From Different Ethnic and Cultural Backgrounds
April 29, 2009
Why are being cognizant of these differences so important during therapy for TBI?

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Dr. Tedd Judd Talks About Brain Injury, Cultural Competency, and Relavence in Rehabilitation
April 29, 2009
Neuropsychologist Tedd Judd talks about the way professionals can help their patients with TBI — and their families — who are from different countries or cultures.

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Dr. Tedd Judd Talks About Brain Injury and Working With Hispanic Families of Returning Wounded Warriors
April 29, 2009
Professionals working with returning veterans of Hispanic descent need to learn about their cultural mores. 

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Dr. Tedd Judd Talks About Understanding Behavior Changes with TBI
April 29, 2009
Emotional and behavioral changes in a person after a TBI can be significant.

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Guidelines for Using Brain Injury Rehabilitation Techniques at Home
April 29, 2009
The more professionals can teach caregivers, the more effective the rehab techniques will be at home.

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Dr. Tedd Judd Talks About Brain Injury Professionals and Cultural Competence
April 29, 2009
Professionals need to be culturally savvy to work most effectively with people of different ethnicities.

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Dr. Tedd Judd Talks About Brain Injury and Setting Family Centered Goals
April 29, 2009
What makes family-centered care so effective?

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Dr. Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla Talks About his Brother's TBI Story
Personal Stories | April 1, 2009
When brain injury hits home.

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Dr. Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla Talks About the Importance of Family in Hispanic Culture
April 1, 2009
The role of family differs culture to culture.

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Dr. Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla Talks About Cultural Differences in Caregiving
April 1, 2009
Professionals working with people with TBI and their families should have knowledge about different cultural backgrounds and traditions.

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Dr. Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla Talks About Cultural Differences in Treatment of TBI
April 1, 2009
Do people from non-US cultures get treated differently after a TBI?

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Differences in Expressing Emotion After Brain Injury
March 4, 2009
BrainLine talks with Dr. Maria Mouratidis about differences in expressing emotion after injury.

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Dr. Maria Mouratidis Talks About Compassion Fatigue in Caregivers
March 4, 2009
BrainLine talks with Dr. Maria Mouratidis about why burn-out can be a very real problem for caregivers.

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Brain Interrupted: The Story of John's Traumatic Brain Injury
Personal Stories,BrainLine Kids | February 3, 2009
Mt. Sinai's Dr. Wayne Gordon introduces one mother's powerful story about the importance of accurate diagnosis.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome
January 26, 2009
This video features guests who share their stories and experts who talk about diagnosis and the latest in treatment in PTSD.

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Caregiving and TBI: What You Need to Know
January 26, 2009
BrainLine's webcast "Caregiving and TBI: What You Need to Know" offers ideas and strategies for people caring for a loved one with TBI.

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BrainLine Talks with Jason and Susannah Ferguson About Family and TBI
Personal Stories | December 1, 2008
BrainLine talks with Jason and Susannah Ferguson about how Jason's brain injury has affected their marriage, family, and outlook on life.

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Michael Paul Mason Talks About Unlikely Heroes
December 1, 2008
TBI Case Manager Michael Paul Mason talks about the unexpected heroes he encounters in his work.

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Lee Woodruff Speaks on Supporting Intimate Relationships
December 1, 2008
Lee Woodruff talks about her experience with her husband, ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff, who sustained a brain injury while reporting in Iraq.

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How to Succeed in Biz-Ness by Really Trying (Logan's Story)
Personal Stories,BrainLine Kids | November 24, 2008
This is the story of a girl named Logan who persevered through her brain injury to create a magazine for other kids with disabilities and inspire them to achieve their dreams and goals.

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BrainLine Talks with Sarah and Ted Wade About Their Personal Story
Personal Stories | November 24, 2008
Retired Army Sergeant Edward "Ted" Wade and his wife, Sarah, share their story after Ted sustained a severe TBI while serving in Iraq.


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