At what age can children have a stroke?
Children may experience a stroke at any time before birth, during birth or after birth.
What are some of the causes of pediatric strokes?
Some of the causes of strokes in children may be:
1.Birth defects 2.Trauma to the brain 3.Infections such as meningitis or encephalitis 4.Metabolic disorders 5.Blood disorders resulting in clotting problems 6.Congenital heart disease 7.Acquired heart disease 8.Abnormalities of the blood vessels
What are some of the symptoms of stroke in children?
Although, symptoms may vary, these are some of the warning signs to be aware of:
1.Sudden complaint of severe headache 2.Vision problems 3.Sudden numbness to face, arm or leg; especially on one side of the body 4.Difficulty speaking or difficulty understanding 5.Difficulty swallowing 6.Balance problems 7.Dizziness 8.Paralysis to one side of body 9.Loss of consciousness
What are the types of strokes?
There are two types of strokes:
1.Ischemic stroke – clots form and prevent oxygen and blood flow through the arteries leading to the brain 2.Hemorrhagic stroke – there is a rupture of an artery from trauma, damage or even a malformation of the blood vessels which results in bleeding in the brain which causes damage to the various areas within the brain.
What will children experience after a stroke?
Some of the after effects of the stroke may be some or many of the following:
1.Hemiparesis – a weakness on one side of the body 2.Hemiplegia – paralysis on one side of the body 3.Aphasia – difficulty with expressive language and/or comprehension or understanding language 4.Dysarthria – difficulty with speech; slurred speech 5.Dysphagia – difficulty with swallowing 6.Cognitive Impairment – difficulty with memory, processing and problem solving 7.Changes in personality and behavior 8.Problems with emotional control 9.Vision problems
What type of treatment is available after the stroke?
Children who experience a stroke may require surgical as well as medical intervention. Once stabilized, and based on the damage resulting from the stroke, a rehabilitation plan will be developed to help the child to recover. Rehabilitation may include speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, nutritional therapy, and psychological therapy.
Children who experience strokes may have a long recovery road ahead of them. They may experience learning problems as the result of the stroke which will compromise their ability to thrive academically. It is therefore necessary to work closely with your child’s educators to ensure that an academic plan is in place immediately for school age children. For children ages birth to five years old there are early intervention programs available in the state where the child resides.
Children who experience a stroke may have a difficult time interacting socially and emotionally with peers. Therefore, parents and caregivers should locate socialization and communication groups to encourage conversation and interpersonal communication with other children who have also experienced the effects of stroke.
Aphasia Speaks offers children who are now living with aphasia as well as learning problems an opportunity to socialize and enhance communication and academic skills. Children participate in small groups which are designed to promote socialization, improve language, reading and writing skills and build confidence. In addition, parents and caregivers are provided with educational activities that can be used at home with their children to heighten carryover of newly learned skills to the home, as well as to the social and academic environment.
Finally, parents will have an opportunity to learn how to more effectively communicate with their child who is recovering from a stroke. In addition, they have an opportunity to share their feelings and information with other parents who also have children participating in the groups at Aphasia Speaks.