Blog written by Carly Keane (Owen’s mum)
When Owen was just eight years old he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Prior to this Owen had always had found school a little challenging, but these problems increased since acquiring his brain injury.
In January 2010, Owen was admitted to hospital with massive hydrocephalus and underwent two operations to remove his brain tumour. He also had an infection of the brain after a cerebrospinal fluid leak and was given a long course of antibiotics directly into the brain which caused him to remain in hospital for some time.
The impact of Owen’s treatment was felt in many areas. Shortly after Owen went into hospital his parents’ separated.
After Owen’s short stay in hospital he was ready to return to ‘everyday’ life. Unfortunately, those problems Owen had faced at school before his brain injury had only got worse. Due to the nature of Owen’s brain injury, he suffers from increasing outbursts of ‘bad’ behaviour. His behaviour can be anything from simply refusing to do something to physical outbursts – throwing things, hitting, kicking or even biting.
This kind of behaviour can put a huge strain other relationships within the family. Owen’s mum, Carly has found it is very difficult on her current relationship and her relationship with her other children. Owen’s sisters often suffer too; there have been many day trips cancelled due to Owen’s behaviour.
In October 2013, Owen’s mum, Carly, was given the details of the Child Brain Injury Trust by his paediatrician. Since then things have progressed more quickly in the school environment and the Child Brain Injury Trust have been able to get involved with organising an SEN Statement for Owen.
Owen had always been labelled the ‘naughty’ child at school, even prior to his brain tumour. But these problems have only become more frequent following the tumour.
Carly says “Owen has just been plodding along and because he is just plodding and not achieving to his needs he gets frustrated, which leads to anger and bad behaviour outbursts.”
Owen’s SEN Statement has not been applied for yet and there could be some difficulty getting it due to current changes that are due to take place and other funding issues. But the Child Brain Injury Trust continues to try to work with his school, to offer guidance to help him.
Carly says: ‘Music lessons are always difficult for Owen; he does enjoy listening to music but changes in tones often upset him. Hopefully advice given to his school will help him enjoy the lesson more.’
Owen’s journey is not over yet. Carly reminds other parents in similar situations to: ‘stay strong and take each day as it comes. I’m still finding everything a challenge due to the uncontrollable behaviour.’
The Child Brain Injury Trust will continue to provide as much support as possible. If you have faced similar problems, please call our Helpline for advice and support (0303 303 2248).