In this section
Living skills include activities such as travel, cooking, social
skills and managing finances. Independent living
skills are an important area to address for young people with
a brain injury. Children who have a brain injury early in
life may experience difficulties developing independence in
An occupational therapist is the main professional involved in
working on living skills with the child/young person.
Nursing staff are also involved when the child or young person is in
hospital, and families remain actively involved throughout.
An assessment of the child or young person's abilities
in certain tasks helps identify what the difficulties
are. For example, does the child have problems with organising
and planning things, or do physical issues limit their
Results from the assessment determine what the intervention
strategy will be, and what actions need to be taken.
Daily routines are important for a child or young person with a brain injury. After a brain injury, the child or young person
may have difficulty initiating and starting activities,
planning how to do them, solving problems that arise and
maintaining concentration. Routines can help children and young
people to remember what needs to be done and in what
Intervention strategies may include:
As a general rule, practicing living skills is best done in the
house or other environment where the child or young person will
normally have to do that activity. This is because skills are often not generalised. For example, a travel training program should
include sessions during the usual time of day the young person will
be travelling so that the impact of factors such as noise,
crowds and distractions can be considered.
Developed by The Royal Children's
Hospital Paediatric Rehabilitation Service based on information from the Brain
Injury Service at Westmead Children’s Hospital. We acknowledge the input of RCH
consumers and carers.
Reviewed September 2020.
Kids Health Info is supported by
The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit www.rchfoundation.org.au.
This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.