Supporting children and young people with an acquired brain injury (ABI) and their siblings: The experience of a camp for families with a child with an ABI

Penelope Analytis, Narelle Warren, Jennie Ponsford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Paediatric acquired brain injury (ABI) is associated with long-term negative sequelae, and families must continually adapt to meet the needs of the child with ABI and family members. Condition-specific camps may support families in this process. This study explored the experience of camps for children with ABI and their families from the perspective of children and young people with ABI and their siblings. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 people with ABI (M age = 23.93, SD = 16.52 years) and 19 siblings of people with ABI (M age = 14.53, SD = 5.73 years). Using reflexive thematic analysis, the central theme identified was “My safe space,” supported by three further themes: “Having fun and relaxing,” “Making friends,” and “Enjoying choices.” Camp was a space where the shared understanding and acceptance of ABI created a sense of safety. This was facilitated by enjoying activities, developing friendships with peers who shared the experience of ABI, and having a sense of control through choice availability. Thus, camps appear to offer opportunities to enjoy typical childhood experiences while restoring a sense of security, increasing understanding of ABI and validating attendees’ experiences. Camps may, therefore, offer low-cost interventions to support children with ABI and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-813
Number of pages17
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Children and adolescents
  • Family support
  • Paediatric acquired brain injury
  • Qualitative interviews
  • Recreational camps

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