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Brain Injury

The Child Advocate is devoted to children and the parents and professionals that work with them and advocate for them. Brain injury is a serious problem for children and their families, yet is often misdiagnosed.  Traumatic brain injury causes numerous psychiatric and mental health problems.  Part of this information is presented with the permission of Robyn Smith of The Penn State College of Medicine. The information presented at this site is for general use only and is not intended to provide personal advice or substitute for the advice of a qualified professional. If you have questions about the information presented here, please consult a physician, the resources listed or other professional in your area.

America’s Child Death Shame

Published: 17 October 2011 Last updated at 07:35 ET, BBC © 2011 “Every five hours a child dies from abuse or neglect in the US. The latest government figures show an estimated 1,770 children were killed as a result of maltreatment in 2009. A recent congressional report concludes the real number could be nearer 2,500.“  “Sixty-six children under the age of 15 die from physical abuse or neglect every week in the industrialised world. Twenty-seven of those die in the US – the highest number of any other country.“ “Over the past 10 years, more than 20,000 American children are believed to have been killed in their own homes by family members. That is nearly four times the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.“ “America’s Death Shame,” was seen on BBC World News affiliates, including PBS and NPR stations in most American cities. The nature of the broadcast is about the magnitude of child abuse — and particularly child-abuse-related deaths — in America. See the full article at BBC ©...

Brain Injury and Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis of Psychiatric Disorders Secondary to Brain Injury: ODD, OCD, ADHD Robyn Smith Penn State College of Medicine 2002    I. Traumatic Brain Injury: General information  Prevalence: Traumatic Brain injury in children and adolescents is a major public health problem in the US. Each year, an estimated 2 million people sustain a head injury. About 500,000 to 750,000 head injuries each year are severe enough to require hospitalization, involving the annual hospitalization for about 100,000 children under the age of 15. Preschool- age children are the second highest risk group for brain injury. And 2/3 of children under 3 who are physically abused suffer traumatic brain injuries. (Savage, NHIF pediatric task force) Head injury is most common among males between the ages of 15-24, but can strike, unexpectedly, at any age. Many head injuries are mild, and symptoms usually disappear over time with proper attention. Others are more severe and may result in permanent disability. Sometimes the deficits are mild and go unnoticed and others may not exhibit their effects until years after the injury. Causes of TBI: Motor vehicle accidents account for an estimated 28% of traumatic brain injuries; sports/physical activity account for 20%; assaults are responsible for 9%; 43% are due to “other” reasons. However, when considering those brain injuries severe enough to require hospitalization, virtually half (49%) are caused by motor vehicle accidents.2 Consequences of Brain Injury: Cognitive Deficits-Shortened attention span, short-term memory problems, problem solving or judgment deficits, inability to understand abstract concepts. Loss of sense of time and space, identity of self and others. There may also be an inability to accept more than...

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