Rearrange your Brain – Schools Project

The subject of childhood brain injury might not be at the top of many reading lists but with an estimated three children in every class suffering from some form of diagnosable mental health disorder the issue is becoming increasingly topical.

A recent report for the Children’s Commissioner suggests that a large number of incidents of acquired brain injury (ABI) are either diagnosed at the time as a ‘mild concussion’ or simply a ‘bump on the head,’ with symptoms showing up weeks, months or even years later. Since many symptoms of ABI are shared with other learning disabilities the condition is often misdiagnosed or leaving educators confused by children who do not fit in to a usual diagnosis.

As part of their strategy to promote mental wellbeing in primary schools, the Child Brain Injury Trust’s book, written by popular children’s author Sarah Mackie; incorporates a cognitive behavioral therapy in its narrative, specifically designed to demonstrate to readers how resilient their brain is and how they can learn to control feelings of concern and overwhelm.

“The People’s Lottery Grant has enabled us to offer every primary school in Wales a FREE set of teaching resources that includes everything they’ll need to run a sixty minute PHSE lesson. The lesson and accompanying book have been structured to provide a meaningful experience for ALL children, they’re not specific to children with ABI,” explains the Trust’s CEO, Lisa Turan.

“Learning a strategy that focuses on thinking differently about their challenges, may help children to feel differently and ultimately behave differently and we hope with practice, this approach will equip them with a robust approach that promotes emotional wellbeing throughout life.”

The Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay was specifically chosen for the launch because of its stated aim to inform, involve and inspire a new generation.

“We couldn’t have found a more perfect setting for the launch,” continues Turan. “For us, the Rearrange project represents the beginning of a dialogue that we hope will raise awareness of the issues of childhood acquired brain injury amongst teaching professionals, families and children alike.”

The Trust is delighted that children from Ponthir Church of Wales School, Torfaen, will be part of the launch event, and will perform a reading of the book that will highlight the how it will help mental health and wellbeing, as well as supporting the siblings of children and young people affected by an acquired brain injury.

Ty Hawkins, the young boy who fronted the television campaign that won the charity the funding, will also be there along with some of his friends who were at Perthcelyn Community Primary School, Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taff.  Sadly Ty acquired his brain injury as a result of a road traffic collision, and now attends a local special education school away from his friends.


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