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Acquired brain injuries (ABI)

What is an acquired brain injury?

ABI – Acquired brain injury is an umbrella term for describing an injury to the brain that happens after birth, after a period of normal development.

Children may acquire a brain injury from any of the following events:

  • • Traumatic injury (TBI) to the brain caused by falls, road accidents (as a
    pedestrian or passenger), sports injuries, non-accidental injury (shaken baby),
    near drowning etc.
  • Illness such as stroke, brain tumour or epilepsy
  • Metabolic disorders such as liver or kidney or diabetic coma
  • Infections such as meningitis or encephalitis
  • Medical procedures such as surgery for removal of a tumour, or the effect of drugs or radiation to treat leukemia or similar.

The key point is that it is an injury to the brain after a period of normal development; the child was not born with the injury but acquired neurological injuries after birth. The injury can change the way a person thinks, feels and responds to the world around them.

NASEN and the Child Brain Injury Trust have produced a guide about Acquired Brain Injuries, this can be found by clicking this link (opens PDF in a new window)

Living with a brain injury

This film was made by students at Nescot, Epsom's college of further and higher education. It aims to help families understand more about the effects of brain injury. Interviews take place with a young adult, ten years since her brain injury, and a therapist from The Children's Trust's Brain Injury Community Service. Date released: February 2019.
Last updated: 11/11/2020

Useful links

Child Brain Injury Trust

Child Brain Injury Trust

The Children's Trust

The Children's Trust