My husband and grandson were in a car accident almost two years ago. My grandson was 9-months old at the time. The doctors assured us that he was fine and that there was no damage to his brain. The scans were negative. Now he is almost three and having trouble with his coordination and his language. Could he have had a brain injury after all that is affecting his development?
This is always a challenging question. When trying to find a connection between your grandson’s current issues and what might have a been a brain injury in the car crash, it’s important to know what your grandson was acting like immediately after the collision and for the next few days and weeks. This information may be a clue that a brain injury did occur. More specifically:
- Was he unusually quiet?
- Did he throw up (not just spit up but actually throw up)?
- Was he more irritable than usual for several weeks after the collision?
- Did he lose any of his recently attained skills for a few a weeks and then resume attaining his developmental milestones?
A yes to any of these questions would raise the suspicion of a brain injury.
Plain x-rays do not tell anyone much about the brain and even a CT scan may look normal even if a brain injury has occurred. An EEG done early may have shown the impact the collision had on your grandson’s brain. A MRI of his head with diffusion tensor imaging sequences may demonstrate some evidence of an old injury. If your grandson had any of the symptoms listed, talk with his pediatrician about the possibility that he may have had a TBI when he was a baby.
If he seemed fine right after the accident, then his learning issues are most likely not related to the crash. Whatever the cause, he may be eligible for special education services at no charge. Contact the Child Find office in your public school system to see if he might be eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Dr. Jane Gillett was a neurologist certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in both pediatric and adult neurology. She created and developed the Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Community Outreach Program, Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario. She died in 2011.