Teens and Sex after Brain Injury

Posted by Marilyn Lash

Monday, October 25, 2010

Last week, my husband and I went to our first high school football game in our home town. It’s been a long time – I won’t even tell you how long – since either of us have been teenagers. High school sure has changed a lot since our day! We were in culture shock at what passes for the new norms of dress and style – talk about peer pressure!

It made me think about how difficult it must be for a teenager with a brain injury to fit in at middle school or high school. Whether it is cognitive, social, behavioral or physical changes that have occurred as the result of a brain injury, teenagers are under enormous pressures to be included, accepted, and considered attractive among their peers.

Carolyn Rocchio has posted an excellent article on Adolescence, Brain Injury and Sexuality that summarizes the recent research about adolescents and brain injury. We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments – please post us a message.

One response to “Teens and Sex after Brain Injury”

  1. Carolyn Rocchio says:

    The typical adolescent of today is subject to far greater peer pressure than the previous generation. It is all about fitting in and being accepted. When a brain injury interrupts life, the process of fitting in “again” is often very difficult. Youngsters who are “different” are subjected to greater than average bullying, particularly at the middle school level and are vulnerable to abuse as well. The feeling of always being “picked last” erodes self esteem and further isolates the child.

    Parents must be far more vigilant, without invading the privacy of their child, to be aware of how things are going when the child is out of the family home. Making new friends after TBI is difficult and I find it helpful to see that your child is involved in a more caring community, such as, Scouting, church youth activities, choral groups and other activities of small groups of people for whom charitable service or achievement helps provide an attainable goal, thus raising self esteem.

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