David’s mum contacted the Child Brain Injury Trust as there were major issues at David’s school. Our Child and Family Support Co-ordinator tells their story:
The school had no understanding of David’s brain injury and the impact this has on his behaviour and ability in the classroom. As a result David was not receiving the appropriate support.
David struggles with concentration and attention, short term memory, fatigue and controlling behaviour. He also couldn’t cope with extraneous noise and needed time out from classroom. It was clear that the teachers needed strategies for supporting David in the classroom.
Behaviour at home was also an issue as David was frustrated and aggressive losing his temper easily. His behaviour was also affecting his younger sister who would get upset as a consequence.
How did we help?
Our Child and Family Support Co-ordinator attended school meetings, liaising with teachers regarding strategies for the classroom and providing additional information to the parents about Additional Support for Learning. A ‘time out’ card was introduced so David could leave the classroom without asking and have 5 minutes on his own when needed.
We also delivered a training session to the whole school team explaining the challenges David was facing due to his injury.
The whole family attended our free family events, giving Mum and Dad the opportunity to meet other parents with similar challenges and David’s younger sister opportunity to meet up with other siblings.
We also referred the family to our Welfare Rights Adviser for help with their DLA application, contacted the transport department regarding transport to high school and delivered training at the new high school before David started his secondary education.
We talked with Mum who was getting stressed and passing this on to David. We discussed techniques for taking a step back from fraught situations and for keeping calm in these situations.
We discussed the need for Mum and David’s sister to spend some quality time on their own to chill out, which led to them having a day out which Mum said really helped.
We provided the parents with factsheets on behaviour, thinking and feeling and siblings. Mum said she found the information to be clear and succinct and very helpful and reassuring to know that David’s behaviour was not unusual.
The education team were also given factsheets on acquired brain injury, behaviour, thinking and feeling, memory, concentration and attention and a list of strategies to try which they could develop/adapt. Teachers said this information and training session was invaluable and they quickly implemented strategies which vastly improved David’s behaviour in class (although there was a few hiccups now and again).
I returned a few years later and did another training session as the teaching staff had changed and behaviour issues were re-emerging in the classroom. At that time, I gave self esteem building factsheets to David, which Mum said he enjoyed working through. We gave some books to his sister which were specifically designed for sibilings of a child with brain injury, to ehlp them understand. Little sis was much more relaxed and understanding after reading these books.
What life is like now for the child and family?
David will start High School after the summer. He is quite apprehensive but has visited on three occasions and staff are confident they will be able to support him after receiving training.
Outcomes/difference we have made & evidence
Parents tell us they feel supported and more confident to support David, who is much more relaxed at school and now looks forward to attending – before he would stand at the school gates and refuse to go in saying he was feeling very stressed.
Quotes from the family