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long-term effects of frontal-lobe concussion in very young child?

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Old 04-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #11
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Hi there -- For some reason I didn't see this message until just now, many months after you posted it. I wanted to thank you for posting.

It's now been over a year since my daughter's concussion. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but she is steadily improving. On the cognitive front, she still has some lingering memory and attention deficits, but I have faith that those things will continue to improve. Behaviorally, she is improving too, though there have been ups and downs. (The behavioral stuff was much, much more stressful to me than the cognitive issues -- for a while, it really seemed like she wasn't the same child anymore, and that was heartbreaking.) She still seems different -- less thoughtful, a little hyper, etc. -- but I see signs of her old self coming back.

I guess my daughter's concussion wasn't as severe as your son's, because she didn't receive any of the kind of care you're describing. (She did receive a neuropsych evaluation, and has been seeing a behavior therapist, but that was all because I'm kind of insane and really pushed for it.) I actually wish I could have had her in a helmet for the past year, because she has had some more (minor) bumps to the head since then, just from normal kid activities. And with each bump, her symptoms seemed to flare up again (as you mentioned with your son).

It is a little nerve-wracking -- I don't want to be the kind of parent that views everything as dangerous, but seriously so many things seem like potential causes of head injuries to me now. And it worries me, because I wonder what kind of new damage is occurring each time. But she generally seems to be improving.

Anyway, I am really, really grateful for your post. It's one of the most reassuring things that I've read in all this time, because it really seems that you guys went through a lot of what we're dealing with, and that your son has turned out great. You have no idea how much I appreciate it, and all the information you provided. I do have a few more random questions that I'd love to ask if you have time, and if you ever check back here. But what I really want to say is thank you, and I hope your son continues to do well.

Originally Posted by amyl3 View Post
Lillia- my then 5 year old son had a TBI with concussion. He had a very long recovery. The symptoms you describe with your daughter are exactly what we saw with our son. He was very emotional and often became giddy, out-of -control with laughter and running around. He was seen by our concussion clinic and under their care for more than 2 years. During that time, his symptoms slowly improved but recurred with any bump to the head. He wore a protected helmet and had to go to school with an aid so he would not get bumped or hit his head-no running, jumping etc... until symptoms were completely gone. It's hard to keep a boy down! The concussion clinic recommended that he could not hit his head at all at the risk of dying from second concussion while the first is not healed. Now, no concussion-prone activities for the rest of his life-quite a struggle to way the risk of activities and say no to soccer and basketball.
He is now 10, doing great and tested fine last year for any cognitive, executive function, etc...He does seem unorganized, has difficulty attending at times but more typical "boy" than clinical. A few strategies between home and school was all it took to get him on the ball.
However, watch her growth. My son's growth slowed tremendously following the head injury. At age 9, he was finally tested and diagnosed with pituitary disfunction-the head injury damaged his pituitary gland-he does not produce enough growth hormone or melatonin. We now give him shots every night and melatonin.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:29 PM   #12
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Hello -- thank you so much for your post. I somehow missed all the posts after June of last year, and only saw this now. How have things turned out for your son? We had a similar experience in that no one at the hospital gave us any information about long-term effects. It was also really surprising to me how many doctors seem to be unaware of the more recent research about concussions in children -- how they need to be taken more seriously, and how important it is to monitor children afterwards.

I really, really hope that things are going well for you and your son.

Originally Posted by Junebug77 View Post
My son suffered a head injury at the age of 4yrs3mos which resulted in him losing consciousness for less than a few minutes and three stitches on his forehead. I monitored him for a concussion but he seemed fine at the time.

I was never given any information at the hospital as to what could be expected from an injury such as this. My son began displaying aggressive behavior and as time went on, all the common symptoms of ADHD which I have now learned are the same symptoms displayed by people that have suffered injury to their frontal cortex. He now (at age 8 and a half) also has a very high anxiety level and symptoms of depression. At this point I don't know whether the behavior/symptoms are from the injury or if he just has ADHD and/or some other disorder (anxiety, depression etc) as I am still in the process of getting a diagnosis for him. It is very frustrating for both him and I.

He is starting a form of biofeedback treatment this week that I am hopeful will be helpful. I'll repost at a later time as an update.

Good luck.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:31 PM   #13
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Thank you for this post. I wish I had seen it earlier -- somehow I missed all the posts after June last year. We started having our daughter see a behavior therapist, and I've also been doing a lot of reading on how to help children develop executive function skills. I'm hoping that maybe, if we work on these things now, it will help her as she gets older.

Originally Posted by alissaafonina View Post
My brain injury was much later, but also frontal lobe. I was 17. I had and still have the symptoms that you described, but they were more intense in the months immedietly after.
I still suffer from not having full control of my emotions and impulsiveness. Concentration can be trained and learned I believe, and in my non professional opinion I suggest that you start early with your kids. Get them to read more, introduce better planning skills so that they adapt to any problems they may have later in life when things are more demanding.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:39 PM   #14
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Thank you for posting this. I am so sorry for what happened to your son. It is heartbreaking to think how much this one incident changed his life, and how different things could have been for him. I guess one good thing about all the new research -- especially the research targeting soldiers with TBIs -- is that maybe there will be new and better treatments for people like your son.

And thank you for the advice. It seems like, until recently, doctors didn't provide any useful information to people after concussions or even consider the possibility of doing follow-up. (Even now, it's not easy to get the right information and find the right help.) I really don't understand why this is, considering how common this type of injury is.

Originally Posted by dadams View Post
Hello, I am new to this forum. While investigating the very same question you have asked, this thread jumped out at me.
I was a very young, naive mom when my son, at age 18mos, fell very hard and hit his forehead on the cement. He didn't lose consciousness, but after the initial trauma he fell several more times over the course of several months re-injuring the forehead in the same spot, I believe because his reflexes appeared to be diminished for some time following the initial injury. His pediatrician recommended nothing, accept putting a helmet on him. No suggestion of concussion. No follow up. He eventually stopped falling, but developed a calcium deposit on his forehead which remained for about 7 years.
He is now 19 years old. He is a big teddy-bear with a big heart. But he also suffers terrible mood swings which appear out of the blue and has a very difficult time controlling his anger and frustration. He has very little impulse control, and has difficulty with filtering. He was coded throughout his school years as learning disabled due to very poor processing skills. He was not ADHD.
I suspect, and it has been suggested, that he may have developed lesions in the frontal lobe and possibly a similar calcium deposit may still remain on the inside of his skull, opposite the outside one, which could be applying pressure on the brain.
It has now affected him in his adult life to the point where I feel he should be tested and receive guidance specific to his injury. He was fired from his first job, and consequently arrested for an outburst a work. His former employer testified that his "impulsive behavior" was very out of character for him. He understands at this point that he may need to seek treatment in order to lead a normal life.
Now, 18 years later, and with more advanced research, we are finally making the connection between his childhood brain injury and his unwarranted behaviors.
Monitor your childs injury for lasting effects. As I said, I was young and naive, and didnt get the guidance and support I should have from his Doctor. Insist upon more testing and treatment if you feel it is needed. And be sure the injury and list of symptoms is on the childs medical record, and is noted at any and all future appointments so ALL physicians are aware of its possible connection to any illnesses or behaviors!! I cannot emphasize that enough!
Good Luck!!!
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:41 AM   #15
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Default Frontal Lobe Injury Son at 3 yrs now 14 and HYPOPIT with TBI symptoms

My son fell from the about 3 feet off the ground and hit his forehead on the fireplace bricks about 1 foot off the ground as he was falling at the age of 3. Had to have his head glued and looked like Frankenstein with both eyes swollen shut and whole face black and blue. Doctors said at the time that he was "fine". Child went from being extremely bright and willing to learn everything to no attention span, social issues, emotional issues, and now learning problems with no motivation. When he didn't start puberty I took him to endo and he has hypopituitarism from the fall and has to be on growth hormone and testosterone so far. Obviously did enough damage that is damaged his pituitary gland and I feel he has brain damage that has gone undiagnosed. He is failing the 8th grade (extremely bright child) and has NO motivation in any area other than building things. He can't focus and is immature in all areas. He doesn't get social cues, and is depressed and has been suicidal. He has no self esteem and gets picked on regularly. This may be your child's future. I am at a loss as to what kind of doctor to take him to for the possible brain injury diagnosis and how do they determine this? Any thoughts?
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:58 AM   #16
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Hello deniserl and welcome to NeuroTalk, but I'm so sorry for the reason that brought you here.

I wish I had the answers that you need but sadly I do not. May I suggest that you post over in the Traumatic Brain Injury Forum as well as here? That forum deals mostly with adult brain injuries and I'm aware that adult and children's treatments are very different, but it's worth a try.

Here's the link to that forum: http://neurotalk.psychcentral.com/forum92.html

I hope some-one can give you the answers that you seek.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Lillia View Post
I was hoping to hear from anyone who's dealt with a concussion in a very young child (under 7 or so) -- whether there were long-term changes, months or years later.

My four-year-old daughter had a frontal lobe concussion in mid-February. She seemed to be recovering well at first -- there were some minor, immediate behavioral changes (sleep disturbances, moodiness), but we assumed these would subside as she recovered. About a month after the injury, she suddenly began showing more unnerving behavioral changes -- odd/inappropriate emotional responses (such as giggling uncontrollably in response to things that previously would have upset her, which then spirals into a period of increasingly hyper behavior), increasing inability to focus during conversation, loss of attention span, etc. The pediatric neurologist said these types of behaviors are common after frontal-lobe injuries but suggested that they usually fade within a month or two after the injury.

But these things seem to be getting worse rather than better. And I've been obsessively researching in an effort to educate myself on what to expect, and the research I've seen is so frightening. I thought the conventional wisdom was that children recover better from brain injuries than adults, because their brains are still developing. But I guess now the idea is that this means the damage they sustain is actually much worse. Some of the articles indicate that frontal-lobe concussions in very young children (under 7 or so) can actually can prevent the affected areas of the brain from ever developing. So a child may seem to have recovered, but then (as years pass) falls further and further behind socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Or learning deficits and behavioral problems may appear years later.

We're working on getting our daughter evaluated by a neuropsych to see whether there are any sort of therapies that might be helpful for her. But in the meantime, I am sort of desperately trying to find out what the outcomes have been for other people in similar situations. I know every injury is different, and everyone recovers differently. But it would still be helpful to hear from other people who've dealt with this kind of thing.

Thank you.

I cannot stress enough that you locate a neuropschycologist and request that your daughter be evaluated for possible brain injury. My son experienced multiple concussions on the playground in grade school and experienced the exact same symptoms. He was diagnosed with Mild Traumatic brain injury and set up with an Individual Education Plan in school. I believe that brain injury is often misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD. A student with brain injury MUST BE EDUCATED IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY THAN A CHILD WITH ADD! My son is now 21. Trust me, please research head injury, find your state's chapter of the brain injury assocaiation, and be your child's advocate. You will not regret it in the future. Due to the fact that this is your child's first injury the quicker you get assistance the better off I believe you will be. We have had a very difficult path, but my son has overcome huge obstacles with good results due to my persistence to never give up! Best of luck to you and your dauchter.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:30 PM   #18
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Default four year old with head injury

In June 2011 my four year old decided to jump off my laundry basket which was on my bed onto a bean bag, he missed the bean bag a fell head first onto our cement floor. He was knocked out at the time for about two minutes, we rushed him to the hospital where he was examined by a doctor he also had a ct scan and xrays done. there was nothing found the doctor admitted him for the night as he refused to wake up. At 4am the next morning he woke up like nothing happened, he had no memory of what had happened to him. About three weeks later we noticed his behavior had changed he started to tweek and he is sensitive to certain sounds and noises he also cant have any tags on his clothing. I asked his doctor they said there was nothing wrong. I had him tested by the school and they said he showing very early signs of ADHD. Before the head injury he wasn't like this. Now september 2012 hes very hyper he cant sit still hes very moody and whines at every little thing, he doesn't sleep well at night and he forgets simple things like we had to teach him how to bathe himself again and he cant brush his own teeth. Im very fustrated with the doctors not giving me any direction on this subject so now Im doing my own research on this matter.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:50 PM   #19
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Default Consequences of childhood head injuries including concussion.

I suffered head injuries as a child aged 3, 8 and 10. The first and second were caused much loss of blood and required stitching in hospital and must have resulted in concussion although it was not diagnosed. The third one, from sporting accident at school, during a game of cricket, when another boy swung the bat fast and hard and it collided with the middle of my face breaking my nose resulting in loss of consciousness although I do not recall for how long. The school "nurse" simply allowed me to wake up naturally in the sick bay and as a result I was not taken to a doctor or hospital for this injury. It was the final day of primary school and my family were going away on holiday that evening. My injury was ignored by family, school and the medical profession for over three decades. I have struggled with life since my Childhood Head Injuries especially with making the right relationships and protecting myself from harmful individuals. I have survived by my own strengths and abilities. It is only recently that I researched the literature on Traumatic Brain Injury myself (research made possible by the existence of the internet) and discerned that my experiences of my condition matched exactly and in detail those described for TBI and specifically for injury to Frontal Lobes and more specifically to the Orbitofrontal Cortex. I have been able to have an assessment by a Neuropsychologist though I am aiming to have a second more thorough and exhaustive investigation by another independent more senior one.
I will try to be brief. Injury to this area of the brain can lead to impairment of perceptions of risk and around rule breaking. As a vulnerable child and later as a vulnerable whose injury had not been diagnosed I became the victim of serious crime and abuses. Timely diagnosis would have warned my parents give special protection to their most vulnerable child. Also head injury to a child affects the whole family and can disrupt the "family system". My family's system was disrupted though nobody understood why. This disruption continues to this day, 37 years later. Recognition of severity and significance of my brain injury could assist my own healing and assist in healing the other members of my family. Post-concussional syndrome meant I was less able to cope with trauma. My psychosocial development was impaired so I was bullied and had very few friends. When I was seventeen my emotional and behavioural problems and confusion were misattributed as a psychiatric disorder, a manic-depressive illness for which I have been taking medication since that time and those medicines are difficult to withdraw from even if you have no need for them. Also I know that TBI can result in emotional and behavioural complications. My question is :- Can somebody tell me of any books about the consequences of injury to the frontal lobes during childhood
( under 11)?
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:22 AM   #20
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I just wanted to link our forum for TBI/PCS as members may get more replies and info there

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