Traumatic Brain Injury

[deleted account] ( 21 moms have responded )

My 18yr old has a tbi that he acquired at age 15. He's VERY immature...I don't know how much discipline is the right amount! I don't want to jump on him for something beyond his control, but I also don't want to let him get away with murder while his sister and brother are towing the line. Help!

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Dawn - posted on 07/20/2009

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My daughter suffered a severe traumatic brain injury at the age of 5 she is now almost thirteen but honestly very much still that five year old mentality. Not the same personality as you all may know from experience, but developmentally age 5-6 on a good day. I agree with many of you all you can do is go day to day, what works today may not work tomorrow. The triggers of behavior vary and at times I am at a loss to determine ANY trigger. She too rarely sleeps, yet is physically exhausted. Oddly enough I had a doctor tell me to chose which problem she had insomnia sleeping too much because sometimes when she does fall asleep she can sleep for 10-12 hours! I have researched for seven years and befriended many adult and teen TBI sufferers and they have the same problem can be exhausted yet unable to sleep.
I have a difficult time determining when to reprimand Victoria for certain things as well, I generally follow what I would allow a five year old to do.... and with tantrums and mood swings I try to remove her from the immediate trigger if I know what that is. My 15 year old was giving me the why can Victoria do this when I can't or why doesn't seh get in trouble that kind of thing too so I allowed Liz to become part of her care giving routine for a brief period and she came to me after about a month and promised never to complain about how much time I spend with Victoria or to compare herself with her anymore because she realizes now just how challenging it is on a daily basis and how each day holds something very different!

Vickie - posted on 03/26/2014

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I have a soon to be 14 year old girl who sustained her traumatic brain injury one year ago. She sleeps 20 hours a day for 2 years to heal the injury. She has had a complete personality change. She is hateful in her attitude and the way she speaks to me. We see a therapist weekly for the last year but still no positive changes. Every time I try to discipline her , or correct her bad behavior she claims that I am mentaly abusing her. I am at my wits end. This is the single hardest thing I have ever experience in my life. I had to retire from working we are now on social security disability to make ends meet. Our lives are filled with social workers, special ed home school teachers. She is very bright but wont leave the house. I can't find one single person in our area to talk to who has experience a child with tbi.
Vickie in Henderson Nevada

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Katie - posted on 07/11/2016

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My step son is 15 and has tbi - I guess. He has a genetic kidney disease and in utero had 2 strokes. He has brain damage on both sides of the brain. His father and I just got married in Nov 2015. His mother is not and has not been in the picture since he was 7 right after his kidney transplant. My husband had to deal with all of his health issues on his own until he met me.
My husband was aware that he was developmentally disabled but didn't know the extent until I pushed for further testing this year.
He is 15 but very developmentally delayed. Acts and thinks like a 5 yr old. Plays like a 5 yr old. Has speech problems, memory issues, extreme impulsivity, lack of behavioral understanding, ADD, lack of comprehension when spoken to, has bad hygiene and can't even remember to flush the toilet, zip his fly, or take his meds twice a day. We basically live his life for him and at this point (since he's had this since birth) we see no hope that he will get better or ever be able to live on his own.
We are extremely dumbfounded on how to discipline him since he is so impulsive that he is always breaking rules, stealing, lying, etc. Taking stuff away and grounding doesn't work. But we also don't want to do nothing. We know he can't control it but still have to discipline. We have 3 other kids who understand his issues and are pretty accepting.
Thanks for all of the comments on this post. I'm new to parenting a child with TBI and am trying my hardest to get him the care he needs and still be a good step mom. I am also looking into other community resources through his school that will help him and us. It's so sad his real mom walked away when he needed her most! I hope I can make up for that at least a little.

Vickiemitchell64 - posted on 06/08/2016

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Hi Ladies
1. Discipline, I only take things away, TV phone laptop snacks sweets etc.
2. Sleep. My daughter set her alarm for every 15 minutes. In order to heal the brain deep sleep called REM rapid eye movement has to occur. The longer your children are in the REM state that faster the injury will reverse and ultimately heal. My child I'd 16 now has been released with full recovery. We have little things like she can't use a knife to cut food, the sawing motion is not happening, and she will trip out of the blue with no reason. Neurologist says the hemispheres are still synchronizing.
So I encourage you to find a medication for 20 hours of sleep for the next 2 years. It works. You and your child will lead healthy happy normal lived again.

SUE - posted on 09/24/2013

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sHOULD A DAD OF A 13 YEAR OLD GIRL WITH tbi IN JANUARY BE PROVIDING PERSONAL CARE TO DAUGHTER, BATHING, TAKING TO BATHROOM, CHANGING MENSTRAL PADS?

Dixie - posted on 06/29/2012

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Check out my book and site as an added TBI resource. www.dixiecoskie.com
~ Dixie

[deleted account]

Casey- Like Tammie said, all TBI's are different...personality changes are different. With Jeremy, they told me that all recovery that he made during the two years after the accident would be it (memory recovery, academic recovery, etc...). However, it's been three years now and just recently he's started remembering things that he hasn't. His behavior is stunted by the accident (he was 15, so he's around 15 mentally...sometimes a little younger). But everyone's different and your child may come through this with only minor setbacks. I'll be praying for that:).

Judith - posted on 08/16/2009

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i find letting my son know his boundries and getting him to understand why he has these and what will happen if he breaks them like his brother and that he has the same boundiers helps i also do not try to talk with him about this until he is calm he will also go to his room which we made his safe place to be to think my son is 13 and had his tbi when he was 7 ther is no right way just what you find works best for you family

Tammie - posted on 08/09/2009

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For Casey and Melanie-
Every ones TBI is different as to what extent it is. My 4 year old was a shaken baby but yet is almost at a 4 year old level. She does have anger issues.
I had a car accident 3 1/2 years ago and have TBI from that.

Melanie - posted on 08/08/2009

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My son's TBI occurred at birth I believe from the vacuum extractor and he now has Periventricular Leukomalacia. He is 2 now. I'm scared to see if this is how things will occur as he gets older. I've already noticed mood swings, but he IS a two year old. I've known about John's PVL for almost a year, and I felt a loss of a dream then. I couldn't imagine having a "normal" child for a few to several years and then a TBI occuring and changing everything. :( I'm sorry. I've always accepted differently-abled children/people, but having one myself has changed my whole outlook. I must say I've learned more patience through John than I had learned in 28 years. You all are in my prayers!

Casey - posted on 08/07/2009

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My son is three now and i was just wondering if there are any signs I might look out for. I see that the majority of the kids I read about have delays. "17years old with the mind of a 5 year old." Did the doctor tell you guys your children would be like that when they got older, did they tell you at a certain age. I'm just wondering, cause I'd like to be prepared. I'm very fortunate that my son has made so much progress since his accident.

Casey - posted on 07/22/2009

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My son is 3 years old and has tbi and ataxia from a car accident in january. and I was just reading some of your posts. Is this what I should prepare for when he gets older.

Dawn - posted on 07/21/2009

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That is exactly what I did with Liz, got her to help with meds, bathing, dressing and remi to help her get dressed appropriately. It worked really well for us. =) I would try it if I were you it gives the sibling a better understanding of how it is to for both you and your son. I would not suggest asking if your other children would like to be in his place as that is too relative a question, for example the sibling may respond YES because he doesn't have to do anything! I would rather not put that type of question out there because in my opinion it is unfair to both children. I traded chores with Liz and gave her more care giving jobs, it really did make a huge difference so in y opinion yes I would try it. take care talk to you soon. God bless you and your family.

[deleted account]

I wonder if it would help if I had my middle son help me with Jeremy sometimes...like maybe have him remind Jeremy about his medicine and help him with chores that I give him. DJ gets really upset because he has the chores that require more than one or two steps or jobs that have to be done correctly the first time. He thinks that Jeremy gets off easy...

[deleted account]

I know what you mean Lois. We have to be incredibly consistent with Jeremy, he hates not to be told about everything that might be different during the day. We also have a lot of trouble with getting him to go to sleep and stay asleep...he operates on 2-3 hours at best. I'm hate to even start the discussion with you all about his hygiene! Just two minutes ago, I had to remind him about how to brush his teeth correctly and use his deodorant before going to a birthday party later (for a 5 year old:) He's great with little kids). I'm a kindergarten teacher and he loves to come to my room and be the "big kid"

Lois - posted on 07/18/2009

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this is so hard,it is realy about finding what he can do,and with mine,(28,tbi since 18 months) it CHANGES day to day depending on what is going on,what he had for breakfast,who is home,how much sleep he had,ect.,the best thing you can do is be as consistant as you can with the day to day stuff,bed making personal hygein (shower shave) and the onece a week stuff be as lose as you can-he dose ther rest of his chores when he is having a good day.and as far as the it's not fair that his siblings throw at you-the only thing to say is life is not fair ,and or would you rather be you or in his shoes?

[deleted account]

My other kids are 14 and 10...it helped that they were around while Jeremy was in the accident and recouperating. My 14 year old understands that Jeremy is "special" and that he has to be understanding about his quirks. It doesn't mean that they don't spar on regular occasion. This fall, he's going to be attending a rehabilitation center to help him with his TBI and also get him some training in order to be able to get a job. It's in a college type atmosphere, living on campus...he wants so badly to be "normal" that I hope this will be a good thing for him.

Melissa - posted on 07/17/2009

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I just started taking care of my step-son who is 19 and had a TBI at age 17. I have been careing for him since April, his father and i have moved him to Florida after his mother passed away. Having a hard time with are other 3 children understanding his condition and why he does certain stuff. Any advice would be great!!!!

Lisa - posted on 07/17/2009

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My son is 17 and a survivour of Shaken Baby Syndrome. A few years back we had trouble with him and his temper and we would make him run down to the creek and back (5 acres). We would watch him because he is legally blind but after running this twice he always decided that was enough to get his temper under control. He hasn't had to run in a long time.

Kristy - posted on 07/16/2009

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I cant help, but I can tell you your not alone!! My 7 yr old suffered a TBI when she was 3. She has many emotional swings and I have the same challenges! Sometimes it seems there is no "right" overall answer. One thing might "help" one day, but might make her completely blow up another! Hang in there, I would love to talk more :-)

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