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Autism Speaks

For every book sold, $3 is donated to Autism speaks. When a child speaks the first word, it is memorable, but if a parent never hears the first word, it is most memorable.

Year One – Post 16 | Baby’s Brains & Traumatic Brain Injury

I am sitting here in the emergency room after my car was reared-ended on the freeway by a girl painting her toe nails.  I am not use to being on the receiving end of this situation, I have always been the one meeting the parents of a child who had been in a similar accident.  It is cold, scary and lonely in this ER room.  The sounds, lights and smells are so unfamiliar and unnerving.

I can only imagine the anxiety a parent feels after their baby has experienced a similar accident.  Sitting in the ER, awaiting the results of a baby’s tests to see if there is a head injury must be a gut-wrenching experience for a mom or dad. My heart goes out to those parents.

In my experience as a speech pathologist, if the doctor had concluded the child suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), I would meet with the parents and evaluate the child.  Trying to get developmental milestones out of a parent that is traumatized is very difficult if not totally impossible.  A speech pathologist needs to know what a baby could do before the injury in order to evaluate how much injury had occurred to that precious baby’s brain.

I would ask questions such as: “When did he start making sounds, reaching and tracking objects?” and “Did you notice differences in his cries?”  Most of the time, mom and dad would look at each other, hoping the other one knew the answer.  The most important thing you can do for your baby besides making sure your child is safe, is know his developmental milestones in the areas of speech, motor, cognitive and social emotional and write them down. More than likely your child will go through life with out a hitch and your written record of what your baby could do by what age will be a lovely reminder of those growing years.  If on the other hand, you have a speech pathologist, pediatrician, child psychologist or other health care provider asking about your child’s development, you will be able to give that information with little difficulty.

My Baby Compass, Birth to Two provides you with easy-to-use checklists that will help you track your child’s developmental milestones so you have a written record, in the event you find yourself in ER.

 

–          Kathryn Thorson Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series

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