The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is an organization devoted to advancing brain injury prevention, research, treatment, and education to improve quality of life for all individuals impacted by brain injury. Each year BIAA declares March National Brain Injury Awareness month; in support of the BIAA’s awareness campaign, we will be publishing a series of blogs on how brain injuries affect language and communication, and how a speech-language pathologist can help. Today, we’ll provide a little background information on what exactly a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is and how it affects people across the globe.
The BIAA defines a traumatic brain injury as “a blow, jolt, or bump to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” Each year approximately 1.7 million Americans will sustain a traumatic brain injury; of these 275,000 will result in hospitalization, and 52,000 will be fatal. Because the brain is such a complex organ and the type of injuries sustained can vary so greatly, the results of a TBI can be extremely diverse ranging from concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) with minimal lasting deficits, to devastating neurological injuries which rob a person of their physical and mental functioning. One thing that many TBIs have in common is a disruption in the individual’s linguistic or cognitive functioning. For this reason, speech-language therapy is often prescribed for an individual recovering from a TBI.
Some common cognitive-communication deficits that may result from a TBI are:
- Expressive language issues, such as difficulty with word finding
- Slower processing speeds for receptive language
- Memory impairment
- Difficulty concentrating
- Executive function impairment (e.g. planning and organization)
- Difficulty with social use of language
- Speech impairments
- Issues with spelling, reading or writing
Are you or is someone you know living with a brain injury? How do you cope with difficulties in communication?
If you or someone you love has a communication disorder, contact Speech Associates of New York and allow our professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists help you communicate to the best of your ability. Our team provides in-home evaluations and therapy, and is trained in the assessment and treatment of a range of pediatric and adult speech, language and communication disorders. Call us today at (212)308-7725 or visit our website at www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how we can help you communicate your best!