Impairment Of Attention Skills After Pediatric Brain Injury

child in hospital bed

Attention is complex skill. It requires the ability to focus on an object or an idea, maintain that focus long enough for the information to be useful, filter out extraneous information, shift from one piece of information to another (or sometimes attend to more than one piece of information at a time), and stop from making automatic mistakes.

We know that attention is a critical skill during school years (thus the prevalence of ADHD drugs in school-aged children). But, we may not fully grasp impairments in attention after a child sustains a brain injury. Recent research has found that impairment of attention skills is common after traumatic brain injury, and especially so after severe traumatic brain injury.

Impairments in attention may last a long time after a brain injury. These results suggest that possibly long-term accommodations for these children may be necessary-both in the classroom and at home.

Anderson V, Eren S, Dob R, et al. Early attention impairment and recovery profiles after childhood traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. (August 2011).