Parenting a young adult with TBI

Parenting a young adult with TBI

When most people look at  Kay,  they see a typical 17 year old teenager, who is a Senior in high school.

She’s a great kid  with a wicked funny personality . She loves history and is of a very curious nature. She also happens to have a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Her diagnosis does not define who she is, her passions or even her life goals. However, it does present daily challenges for herself and family.

For many people like Kay, mild/moderate TBI is a silent disability. It’s hard to tell without being given that information. You just don’t know what the day will hold. Will it be the anxiety? Will it be an anger issue?

Parenting a young adult is challenging all by itself  but when you throw in TBI .. it can be a large challenge.

Anxiety can come from any new or different situations. Even people and places she sees everyday, can be a catalyst for anxiety to raise its ugly head. People with TBI don’t have much of a filter either — Kay is no different .

She is observant of everything that happens. She listens to everything hat people say. She prefers to interact with adults than her own peers. As Kay says herself, ” Those kids my age are just too dramatic and immature.”

Theo se with TBI can appear self-centered and  “un-emotional.” It is true that everything appears to revolve around them because in their world, everything affects them. My daughter experiences deep emotion and can see the big picture. In her experiences, something that is minor, she sees as a much bigger deal.

What does the future hold?

As a mom, I worry. Every parent does. The level of worry for my special needs daughter is at a much higher level then our neuro-typical daughter, Beck.

I worry about Kiersten all the time. I worry about her, I worry about how other’s perceive her and I worry for her future. Now that she’s in her last year of high school, it is a bit bittersweet.

She’s about to accomplish a MAJOR life goal for herself but what will her future possibilities look like ? Will she fall in love? Will she get a job that she wants? Can she live on her own some day ? Will she be able to be independent?

Thanks to Kay.. I’ve learned that things work out like they are supposed to . Worrying doesn’t help me, her or anything else.  I’ll just let her continue to teach me, jump in when needed and give her all the love and support that I can.