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Recovery from Pediatric Brain Injury a Lifelong Process, Experts Say

Recent Research Discussed in a Special Issue of NeuroRehabilitation

July 9, 2012
In the last ten years, a new understanding of pediatric brain injury and recovery has emerged. Professionals now understand that recovery may be a lifelong process for the child’s entire circle of family, friends, and healthcare providers. The latest efforts to advance medical and rehabilitative services to move children from medical care and rehabilitation to community reintegration are discussed by the leading experts in a recently published special issue of NeuroRehabilitation.

“Recovery extends well beyond the technical period of rehabilitation,” say guest editors and noted authorities Peter D. Patrick, PhD, MS, Associate Professor Emeritus of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, and Ronald C. Savage, EdD, Chairman, North American Brain Injury Society and International Pediatric Brain Injury Society. “Children, adolescents, and families struggle to regain the momentum of their life so as to reduce problems, increase opportunity, and support increased participation in work, play, home, and relationships.” 

Neural plasticity introduces unknown challenges in the care of the recovering brain, and the issue addresses the most challenging and demanding medical conditions that children may confront following severe brain injury.  However, children do most of their recovery at home, in school, and in the community, beyond medical surveillance. “Family-centered” approaches to developing interventions are emerging. For example, Dr. Damith T. Woods and colleagues report on a novel telephone support program to help parents manage challenging behavior associated with brain injury. 

Children and adolescents with brain injuries have difficulty adjusting to their injuries and altered abilities, and frequently suffer from low self-esteem and loss of confidence. A study by Carol A. Hawley finds that children with traumatic brain injury have significantly lower self-esteem than normal children, and recommends that rehabilitation strategies promote a sense of self-worth. 

Re-entry into school is a major milestone of recovery and the issue highlights a number of efforts to help children improve and return to a positive developmental trajectory. An article by Beth Wicks describes an innovative program in Britain that looks at “education as rehabilitation,” translating successful adult vocational programs into educational rehabilitation programs for children. Lucia Willadino Braga and colleagues report on a program based on cooperative learning that helped preadolescents with acquired brain injury develop metacognitive strategies and improve self-concept, thereby helping empower the preadolescents in their social relationships.

“Over the years and in multiple places around the world, innovative and creative efforts have slowly revealed effective interventions for recovery,” comment Dr. Patrick and Dr. Savage. “Increasingly the interventions are evidence-based.  This issue is a contribution to the effort to improve outcomes for children and families.” 

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Full text of the articles is available to credentialed journalists. Contact Daphne Watrin, IOS Press, at +31 20 688 3355 or to obtain full text of the articles listed below. Journalists wishing to request interviews with authors should contact Peter D. Patrick, PhD, MS, at or Ronald C. Savage, EdD, at 856-816-0427 or

Special Issue: Pediatric Brain Injury and Recovery

Guest Editors: Peter D. Patrick and Ronald C. Savage

NeuroRehabilitation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 30(3) 2012

Table of Contents:

Pediatric Brain Injury and Recovery, P.D. Patrick, R.C. Savage
The Two Janes We Knew and Loved, R. DePompei, S. Somers, J. Gray
Self-Esteem in Children after Traumatic Brain Injury: An Exploratory Study, C.A. Hawley
The Invisible Brain Injury: The Importance of Identifying Deficits Following Brain Injury in Children with Intellectual Disability, A. McKinlay, T. McLellan, C. Daffue
Feasibility and Consumer Satisfaction Ratings Following an Intervention for Families Who Have a Child with Acquired Brain Injury, D.T. Woods, C. Catroppa, R. Giallo et al.
An Innovative Approach to the Educational Needs of Children Following Acquired Brain Injury in the UK, B. Wicks
Empowering Preadolescents with ABI Through Metacognition:  Preliminary Result of a Randomized Clinical Trial, L.W. Braga, L. Rossi, A.L.L. Moretto et al.
Caregiver Reported Problems of Children and Families 2-4 Years Following Rehabilitation for Pediatric Brain Injury, E. Hermans, I. Winkens, S.T. WInkel-Witlox et al.
Decompressive Craniectomy in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury:  A Review of the Literature, D. Weintraub, B.J. Williams, J. Jane et al.
Medical Aspects of Pediatric Rehabilitation After Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury, L. Cantore, K. Norwood, P. Patrick

Also in this issue:

Factitious Torsion Dystonia in Rehabilitation: A Singular New Case and Literature Review, J-M. Beis, N. Bertoni, M-E. Isner-Horobeti et al.
Effects of Functional Task Training with Mental Practice in Stroke: A Meta Analysis, Y-J. Cha, E-Y. Yoo, M-Y. Jung et al.
Gender and Stroke Lateralization:  Factors of Functional Recovery After the First-Ever Unilateral Stroke? S. Drača


NeuroRehabilitation; An Interdisciplinary Journal is an international journal that emphasizes publication of scientifically based, practical information relevant to all aspects of neurologic rehabilitation. Founded in 1991, it features peer-reviewed articles that are interdisciplinary in nature and cover the full life span and range of neurological disabilities including stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, neuromuscular disease, and other neurological disorders.  Information is intended for an interdisciplinary audience.  Issues of the journal are thematically organized. Themes have focused on specific clinical disorders, types of therapy, and age groups.


Commencing its publishing activities in 1987, IOS Press ( serves the information needs of scientific and medical communities worldwide. IOS Press now (co-)publishes over 100 international journals and about 120 book titles each year on subjects ranging from computer sciences and mathematics to medicine and the natural sciences.

IOS Press continues its rapid growth, embracing new technologies for the timely dissemination of information. All journals are available electronically and an e-book platform was launched in 2005.

Headquartered in Amsterdam with satellite offices in the USA, Germany, India and China, IOS Press has established several strategic co-publishing initiatives. Notable acquisitions included Delft University Press in 2005 and Millpress Science Publishers in 2008.


Daphne Watrin
IOS Press
Tel: +31 20 688 3355
Fax: +31 20 687 0019