Letting Your Adolescent with TBI Have Independence with Limits

[Mariann Young] In trying to keep an adolescent safe— because of their vulnerability due to the brain injury— [Mariann Young, PhD] [Clinical Psychologist – Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers, Inc.] what we recommend to the parents is increasing the structure, increasing the times that they check in, and really setting a different kind of limit that you would do with a non-injured kid. And that's because you have to replace the frontal lobe; you have to replace the part of the brain that's injured. You have to explain that— you know—this is where you are and this is why we have to do it. We are letting you go to a party, but you have to go with this friend, or you have to go with your brother or sister, or you have to be home at 11 o'clock instead of 1 o'clock in the morning. Yes you can go, but your cool cousin who is your age—but not injured— is going to go with you. You know—so you have someone that is trusted that can look out for— they're not— not necessarily has to be attached— you know—right at the arm, but right there to watch and to know—you know. Because kids know in their gut when somebody's trying to do something, or someone is— you know—trying to take advantage of the person that's injured. Or—God forbid— they go and they have— you know—they're thinking that, "Oh, it's going to be a party, or it's going to be a dance and I'm going to dance with this person and have a great time," and they sit in the corner. So you also want someone that's going to come and dance with them and pull them out into the action and make the experience fun for them too. And it's got to be that way. If—if you want to enjoy— and you have to explain this to the adolescent— sure we can do it, but things are going to be different. And again, you have to have the support system, whether it's through a spouse, whether it's through someone that you can call because all adolescents try and get their— try to beat down their parents so that they can get the decision they want, But you're still a parent; it's more difficult with a brain injured adolescent.

Clinical psychologist Mariann Young talks about how parents need to let their injured adolescent still be an adolescent while setting limits and creating a structure to keep the child safe.

See more video clips with Dr. Mariann Young.

Mariann Young

Mariann Young, PhD, CBIS, is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked with children, adolescents and young adults with TBIs for over 20 years initially at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and currently at Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers, Inc. 

Posted on BrainLine April 30, 2014

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Justin Rhodes, BrainLine.

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