A Slippery Descent: Adolescent Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Peter L. Stavinoha


With prom approaching in the spring, Judy's high school planned several fundraisers to cover the cost of decorations. This included an annual fall carnival that typically attracted several hundred schoolchildren from small towns across several rural counties. Judy, a beautiful 15-year-old sophomore, was working atop the inflatable slide, where she was in charge of making sure that children safely made the transition from the top of the steps to the slippery descent. Judy gladly paid her dues by working the carnival, because she knew that her junior and senior proms would be supported by the efforts of underclassmen similar to herself.

As Judy grew a bit weary of transferring one grade schooler after another from steps to slide, a breeze began to pick up. Hardly anyone paid much attention to the dark gray-blue line of clouds coming from the north, and those who did welcomed the cool air accompanying the cold front that was supposed to pass through that afternoon. However, as often happens on the plains, there was no warning that the front would bring with it a wall of wind at least 40 miles per hour strong.


Traumatic Brain Injury Brain Injury Emergency Medical Service Closed Head Injury Left Temporal Lobe 
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Resources for Clinicians

  1. Semrud-Clikeman, M. (2001). Traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents: Assessment and intervention. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  2. Yeates, K.O. (2000). Closed head injury. In K.O. Yeates, M.D. Ris, & H.G. Taylor (Eds.), Pediatric neuropsychology: Research, theory, and practice (pp. 92–116). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar

Resources for Families

  1. Brain Injury Association, Inc., Promotes awareness, understanding, and prevention of brain injury and provides education, advocacy, and community support services for those affected by brain injury. 1776 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036-1904. Family Helpline 1-800-444-6443.
  2. Brain Injury Information Network, An Internet-based network of electronic mailing lists, information, and support groups for those affected by brain injury.
  3. Brain Injury Society,, (718) 645–4401. An organization that works with clients, families and caregivers to identify strategies and techniques to improve outcome and recovery from any type of brain injury.
  4. Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide, An online publication that provides easy-to-understand language for survivors and families coping with a traumatic brain injury.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter L. Stavinoha
    • 1
  1. 1.Children's Medical CenterUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallas

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