While the symptoms of a brain injury in children are similar to the symptoms experienced by adults, the functional impact can be very different. Children are not little adults. The brain of a child is continuing to develop. The assumption used to be a child with a brain injury would recover better than an adult because there was more “plasticity” in a younger brain, but recent research has shown that this is not the case. A brain injury actually has a more devastating impact on a child than an injury of the same severity on a mature adult.
The cognitive impairments of children may not be immediately obvious after the injury but may become apparent as the child gets older and faces increased cognitive and social expectations for new learning and more complex, socially appropriate behavior. These delayed effects can create lifetime challenges for living and learning for children, their families, schools, and communities. Some children may endure lifelong physical challenges. However, the greatest challenges many children with brain injury face are changes in their abilities to think, learn, and develop socially appropriate behaviors.
Common deficits after brain injury include difficulty in processing information, impaired judgment and reasoning. When an adult is injured, these deficits can become apparent in the months following the injury. For a child, it may be years before the deficits from the injury become apparent.
Parents of a child with brain injury often spend their time and energy on keeping their child comfortable, happy, and healthy. Unfortunately, expensive medical treatment combined with time spent away from work can cause significant financial distress on the family. In a situation where the parents are struggling to maintain financial stability while caring for their child, they may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits on behalf of the injured child. These benefits can help cover everything from medical expenses to the expenses associated with daily living. (biausa.org)