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How caregiver perceptions change after a brain injury

A brain injury, especially to a child, is something that impacts the entire family. Naturally, at the beginning, caregivers often feel quite optimistic. What has happened is terrible, but they still think a full recovery is on the horizon. In this, known as the first stage, experts say that caregivers often perceive the child as someone who is only a little difficult. This is true for the first three months.

During the next stage, from one to three months after the injury to six to nine months, this starts to change in cases in which there isn't significant progress. Caregivers then begin to say that the person is not very motivated, won't cooperate with them and is even self-centered.

The next two stages are from six to nine months after the injury to as long as 24 months later. During these stages, caregivers start to say that the person is irritable, lazy and irresponsible. Then they begin to claim that he or she is a "different person", someone who is childlike and difficult.

In the last two stages, caregivers continue to talk about how difficult the person can be, but they'll also talk about how dependent he or she has become. Finally, they start to lose hope that a recovery is going to happen, and they eventually go through a period of mourning, knowing that the pre-injury child may be gone forever.

This is not to say that a recovery can't happen, as all cases are different. Brain injuries heal differently from one person to the next. Instead, it is simply to paint a realistic picture of how a tragic accident can have a drastic impact on the family unit as a whole. When this has happened because of someone else's negligence, family members need to know what options they have to seek compensation for things like medical costs, life-long care, lost earning potential, and more.

Source: Brainline, "Behavioral Considerations Associated with Traumatic Brain Injury," Joan Mayfield, accessed Dec. 01, 2016

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