Helping Children Succeed after Brain Injury

Helping Children Succeed after Brain Injury

Ann Deaton, Ph.D.
The self esteem of a child can change with a TBI or traumatic brain injury. This tip card helps families and educators understand the effects of a brain injury upon a child’s sense of self. It provides suggestions for building a child’s self esteem after the onset of a disability or impairment with a special focus on recognizing the child’s strengths and encouraging independence.
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Full Description

Self esteem can be altered when a child has a TBI. As families face new challenges after a child has a brain injury, this tip card helps families to find alternatives in order to overcome obstacles. It gives examples of how parents can help a child increase self-awareness after brain injury. The strategy of guided success is used with examples of parenting children with special needs and traumatic brain injury. Tips are given on how to support a child at home, in school, and with friends. Examples illustrate strategies that parents can use at home to help children succeed after brain injury.

Pages 8
Year 2006


Ann Deaton, Ph.D.

Dr. Deaton is a leadership coach, and founder of DaVinci Resources, a coaching and consulting company. DaVinci Resources offers coaching to leaders and teams to make the difficult possible. She specializes in coaching with individuals and with organizations who want to have a positive impact on the world, holding nothing back.


This tip card helps families...

  • build a child’s self esteem
  • focus on strengths
  • encourage independence

What Do I Need to Know to Help My Child?

Children Want to Succeed

  • Examples of guided success

Go Around, Through and Over Obstacles

  • Tips for families to find alternatives…
  • Example of alternative approach to obstacles

Maximize Self Awareness

  • Example of building self awareness

Enable Guided Independence

  • Example

Play and Have Fun

  • Example

Use Environments to Support Your Child

  • Tips for what to focus on at home
  • Tips for what to focus on in school
  • Tips for what to focus on with friends
  • Tips for what to focus on as your child gets older

Help Your Child Give to Others

  • Tips for helping your child give to others
  • Examples

Know What You Don’t Know

  • Tips for increasing your knowledge




Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

Example of building self awareness

Use yourself as a model by talking about your strengths and weaknesses. Examples of comments are…

“I’m too tired to do this now. I will wait until tomorrow when I’ll have the energy to do it right.”

“I’m excellent at writing e-mails but your dad is better at talking on the phone.”

Enable Guided Independence

  • Find ways to minimize over-protectiveness.
  • Celebrate successes in growing independence.
  • Take it one step at a time.
  • Try to let go.


Jenny’s dad could not imagine letting her shop in the mall with her friends, but he knew she needed to grow up. He started by letting her buy a Slurpee while he watched through the front window of the 7-11 store. Once she did this easily, he took her to the grocery store and let her follow a list to buy groceries for dinner while he waited by the front entrance.

Next, Jenny’s dad chose one of her best friends and took the girls to the mall, setting a 20 minute limit for them to shop before meeting him. Eventually, he was able to let her go for longer periods as Jenny gained in skills and confidence.

Depending on your child’s abilities, including mobility, memory, and judgment, some families continue and graduate to increasingly independent activities. By gradually increasing the independence of your child, you can be reassured by your child’s abilities and at the same time increase your child’s confidence.

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