People who’ve suffered and survived a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can see tremendous improvement after the event with the help of speech and language therapists. The recovery process might seem long and tedious, but with the guidance and scientific rigor provided by a speech therapist, the recovery comes faster. The results can often astonish both the recovering person and their family.
Coping with lost or damaged language skills after a TBI accident
One of the most stressful issues TBI survivors need to grapple with is their difficulty with verbal communication. Some find themselves with speech deficits and mild to serious cognitive impairment after a TBI accident. This not only is mentally and emotionally frustrating but it also disrupts most of the TBI survivor’s daily activities.
Common language issues include the inability to recall the appropriate word or follow through with a discussion, difficulty understanding written language, and having unusual trouble in reading, spelling, and using language efficiently.
For many people, this difficulty in communicating is aggravated due to physical limitations, again result of the acquired brain injury. Many TBI survivors are left with facial deformities that affect their mouth and lips and make speech troublesome, or make them self-conscious about trying to speak.
When TBI affects language performance, language therapists offer a systematic solution for gradual rehabilitation.
Evaluating language challenges
A language and speech therapist will first identify the linguistic skills brain injury has affected. This gives a clear picture of the situation, and the language therapist and the survivor’s relatives can use it to decide what the best course of action is.
Addressing language challenges in TBI survivors
For TBI survivors with extensive brain damage, language and speech therapists often focus on training relatives and friends to understand the survivor’s minimal or challenged communication output.
At the same time, the TBI person learns practices that help them communicate mostly through sensory and auditory output with their environment, if verbal communication is out of the question.
Another issue speech and language therapists immediately attend to is offering comfort and peace of mind to the TBI person. They offer psychological relief and support to help them get rid of their bewilderment with their acquired limitations.
Regaining basic cognitive and linguistic skills
For TBI survivors with mild damage, speech therapists aim at recuperating basic skills:
– Clear, understandable speech
– Putting together thoughts and expressing them, recalling arguments in conversation
– Problem solving and decision making
– Improving memory performance
– Improving literacy skills such as vocabulary use and spelling
With expert and systematic guidance TBI survivors can in many situations fully recover and regain their cognitive and speech skills.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments