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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

Learn More

Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Neuropsychological Assessment and Rehabilitation of BI - Principles of Neuropsychological Rehabilitation

Neuropsychological rehabilitation of people with brain injuries is a challenge, especially in an infant whose higher brain functions haven’t fully developed yet. There are various principles to consider.

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. One is to find ways to engage the patient in the process; in the case of a baby, there are limited methods to do this, but one can provide engagement through contact and sensory stimulation. Another principle is the overall picture provided by the symptoms and changes associated with the observed brain pathology as seen with medical tests.

Interpersonal interaction is a major principle as well, so parents and therapists must keep an infant engaged. Cognition in relation to personality is another, but clinicians can focus on precursors to cognitive development, and this relationship is important to consider at all stages. The neuropsychological evaluation also deals with systematic retraining, but the understanding of higher cerebral functions, even in adults, is limited. For babies with immature brains, it is even more so.

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The rehabilitation process also affects families and clinical staff. The dynamics of this process are also a major principle to be considered; therefore, the efforts made must take into account developments, declines, and the general progress a patient makes. Scientific observations are used to help rehabilitation teams gain from both successes and failures.

Some methods of rehabilitation work for certain patients, but the same method that works for one person may not work for another. Failing to identify these hampers the ability to find an approach that works. The understanding of how recovery and even deterioration occurs, and relate to the direct/indirect effects of the traumatic brain injury, helps yield a more competent patient management and rehab planning process.

Other principles such as disturbances in self-awareness, interpersonal impacts, and psychotherapeutic intervention are gray areas in the addressing the neuropsychological impacts of birth brain injuries. The major principles must be adapted based on the need to assess an infant’s physical, neurological, psychological, motor, and sensory condition. The one thing that needs to be considered is a baby’s brain is rapidly changing, so diagnosing and assessing the outcome of an injury can be an ongoing process.