Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, can have a significant impact on communication. As an individual heals from a neurological injury, communication deficits can range from a slight difficulty organizing one’s thoughts to the complete loss of spoken language. Last week, we discussed how a TBI can affect the muscles necessary to form speech, as well as the ability to use language effectively in different social situations. Today, we’ll talk some other ways a TBI can impact communication and how a speech-language pathologist can help.
- Language Difficulties: Depending on where the brain damage is concentrated, a person can experience a variety of difficulties with understanding and producing language. A person may have trouble with finding the words they want to use, organizing language, or have difficulty with reading or writing. A decrease in the ability to effectively understand or process spoken language is often seen as well. A speech-language pathologist can identify the areas of language that are affecting communication the most, and provide language therapy targeting these areas.
Recently, one of our speech-language therapists worked with a client of ours on integrating back into his environment. The therapist actually brought the client into the public library and helped him to better understand and access information in the library. Naturally this took time, but the end result was that the client was able to get his own library card and begin to check out books on his own (with guidance)!
- Cognitive Decline: Many cognitive issues often result from traumatic brain injuries, including difficulty with memory, organization, planning, and attention. In addition to speech, language, and swallowing, speech-language pathologists are also able to provide cognitive therapy, and can provide compensatory strategies and exercises to increase cognitive functioning following a traumatic brain injury.
Have you experienced a traumatic brain injury and received therapy? What strategies did you find useful in improving communication? Share your story in the comments section below!
For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212)308-7725 or visit our website at www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help you communicate your best!