Support for families after brain injury

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Support for families after brain injury

When a child has a brain injury, certainly, all of the attention of the family and all the support is focused on the child with the injury. It's important for families and parents to remember that there are still other members of the family, and they need support as well. Sometimes there are really significant family changes, where the child who has the injury is requiring a lot more attention, to the point where the parent may even stop working; which can have a financial impact on the family. They may need to be seeking out financial support. The spousal relationship becomes more difficult during that time when the child is injured and requiring so much attention. The parents really need to think specifically and deliberately about maintaining that relationship. Certainly siblings are another fallout from injury. They simply are not getting all the attention that they need because of the injury. There can be resentments that build up and that can change a relationship in the family long-term. Parents need to make sure that siblings are staying socially connected, and also, that they have enough parent time or outside of the family time with relatives or extended family and friends.

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Peter Stavinoha, PhD


Peter L. Stavinoha, PhD, ABPP, is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist in Dallas, Texas.  He directs the Neuropsychology Service at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and he is Professor in Psychology/Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He was named Distinguished Psychologist for 2005 by the Dallas Psychological Association. Dr. Stavinoha specializes in the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional aspects of developmental disabilities and acquired brain injury in children. As a general parenting expert, he is regularly interviewed in the media, Dallas morning television, Parents and Parenting Magazines, and numerous parenting blogs. Together with Sara Bridget Au, he is co-author of Stress-Free Potty Training. He has also authored several chapters in scholarly texts on subjects ranging from pediatric concussion to brain tumors in children. Dr. Stavinoha received a BA in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Stavinoha completed a residency in Clinical Neuropsychology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and is a member of the American Psychological Association, the International Neuropsychological Society, and the National Academy of Neuropsychology. Dr. Stavinoha has a 16-year old son named Joe.

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