It is Never Too Late to Get Rehabilitation for Brain Injury

It is Never Too Late to Get Rehabilitation for Brain Injury

My daughter was in a car accident when she was 12 and was in a coma for three nights. I was told it could take years for her brain to make new connection, if it did at all. She has had some rehabilitation therapy. Later, she had other problems including running away and a pregnancy. She had problems staying in school and after she had a child she calmed down considerably. She has lived with me most of her adult life and can't seem to keep a job for longer than a month.

My daughter is in her 30's now and has not worked in five years. Her daughter is in elementary school and I am getting old. I did not see the problem; I thought she would find her niche. She needs help .... Now, I realize that her inappropriate behavior is probably due to the accident. I don’t have many resources and she doesn’t have health insurance. I don’t know what to do.


One of the long-term complications for children who sustain brain injury is the frequent need for ongoing rehabilitation and support as the brain continues to develop and grow. When a child has a brain injury before adolescence, it may appear as though interventions such as cognitive rehabilitation and psychotherapy have restored function. But as the child moves into the teen years, the effects of brain injury, especially if the frontal lobes are involved, begin to emerge. These symptoms can be easily misconstrued as teenage rebellion, when in fact they are deficits in the development of the control and self-monitoring functions of the frontal lobes.

It sounds as though your now-adult daughter would benefit from some education, cognitive rehabilitation, and environmental supports to compensate for her lack of executive functions. She may be able to get assistance from your state department of vocational rehabilitation, which will generally support an assessment and some intervention, as well as employment services. She may also be eligible for your state or county developmental services, since her injury occurred while she was a minor. In either instance, I would recommend she have a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment — either one of the aforementioned services may fund that as part of their assessment. She should thus be able to obtain the supports she needs in terms of cognitive rehabilitation, job supports, life skills, and parenting skills. I would also recommend you reach out to your local chapter of the Brain Injury Association to learn what other resources are available in your area to support you and your daughter in this situation, particularly if there are brain-injury specific services.

Posted on BrainLine June 9, 2014.

Comments (10)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

Our son, who is now 18, suffered severe head trauma (subdural hematoma) one year ago. He was in the trauma unit for 3 days and 3 more in recovery/transition. This past year has been very rough on him and the whole family. He has struggled with alcohol and marijuana just to cover up the symptoms. He refused to get help from anyone and his life was spiraling out of control. One year later, that included a DUI--which finally helped him realize that he needed help, he is willing to seek the help he needs. He suffers from the inability to focus, insomnia, impulsiveness, erradic behaviors, spontaneous outbursts, anxiety and depression. His processing abilities are slower now and he often switches words and letters around when writing (which was is strength before the accident). We are in the process of getting him some help, but we are not sure as to who we should go to (neurologist, neuropsychologis, ???)

Thanks for everyone speaking up.

This information is so important.

I will be contacting the local Brain Injury Association for assistance.

Sounds to me like a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment is necessary, and ongoing support/ therapy to assist.

thank you

I had several bad hits to the head before the age of twelve. Boxing a nine-year-old at the age of 6. Running full speed and tripping then smacking my head off of a rock. Bike wreck that my face slid twenty feet on the pavement. Many other events. What would be the best course of action to check for TBI and a course of action? I am concerned because of increasing anger issues and now I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea at 54. Thank you for your time.

My husband suffered a TBI when he was three years old, through a miracle, he survived. Since he was so young, I believe his brain compensated for many things as he grew. However, he has noticed impairment in taste/smell, short term memory and word finding. He makes lists all the time. He just started a new job and is afraid his boss is getting frustrated, he spoke with him about the TBI. Is there anything we can do at home? (we have no funds for a Doc right now)

At age 15 I suffered a severe TBI and was in a coma for a month, lost my sense of smell and memories. I am now 31 and am having severe memory issues .... Is Alzheimer's associated with TBI?

At an early time in my life, I was run over by a backing up car, this is going back to the late 50's. My mother said to me that I just about died, and I was in a coma for a short time and in deep shock. And later in my life I was a out of control teenager, stealing, drug use, and physically violent. To this day I've job hopped all my adult life, my dishonest ways have calmed down, but now I find I forget things all the time, sometimes putting me in serious situations. Is there a way of treating this problem?

May I be having a relapse several weeks later? If so do I need to go back to the doctor?

So many observations and experiences after 40 years; had been convinced "they" were right when I couldn't hold even the most menial job in my favorite technical fields. The upside is that I still look down to see daisies rather than pushing them up! But the human brain is plastic, and has incredible capacity to use redundant ability. No better time than now to get restarted. . .

I am a 27 year old who had a frontal lobe injury on the school bus at age 4. It was very difficult to see the effect it would have on me as I got older: the grand mal seizures stopped around 13, and appeared to have recovered. I was in special education for my entire life, inaccurately labeled me boarder line personality as a teen, and major depressive as a young adult. Only now, after 7 years of struggling with Drs and insurance companies, have I found the help I needed. My general practitioner thought I was a hypochondriac until corrected by my psychiatrist, a mentor at her practice a few days a week. With the help of a lawyer have I obtained the tools for my my continued recovery: a neuropsychological eval, ct scans that identified a petuitary tumor, corrective lenses for my double vision, a case manager, speech therapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy,a tmj dentist specialist, a tbi specialized therapist, a rehabilitation specialist, help from Michigan rehabilitation services and a vocational report, and a psychiatrist. I also suffer with pragmatic issues and executive functioning limitations, but at least I have a team who believes and wants to help me! My advise, never stop advocating for yourself. If something's not right, don't settle for 1 Drs opinion, especially if it's not congruent with your own. Find traumatic  brain injury specialist! There is truly no substitution !!

thanks for this helpful answer.
I had severe head injury in early years and did well in upper education with help from vocational rehab organization  but certainly not in relationships, finances and 'living'.
Professionals also pointed to frontal lobes and development . Working at improving mind has been a lifelong exercise for myself and I can recommend as a patient certainly not an expert, Online brain training , it can be very economical and effective for long time. BrainHQ from Posit Science  just search web, see dr reviews is ,  well respected worldwide. In the past thirty years after my head injury, I've made brain training  an almost daily habit  for the past 20 years at least. . And before that I was very dependant on my own parents and then my older siblings later after I lost my parents too early in life for them.

But the healing is slow but I am glad I was started out with it because now after raising my own daughter and dealing with life issues, we really have trouble thinking straight sometimes. the brain training helps bigtime, even for tbi limited sure but it does help

I subscribed to your sites RSS and will share these insights with head injured and family.