Did you know that each year 2.4 million Americans sustain a brain injury? Brain injuries can cause a range of deficits and disabilities, including a variety of issues with speech, language and communication. Each March, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) raises awareness for this issue with Brain Injury Awareness Month. In support of their campaign, we at Speech Associates of New York will present a blog series on brain injuries, how they affect communication, and how speech-language therapy can help.
No two brain injuries are exactly alike; as the location and the severity of the injury vary, so do the deficits and difficulties that may follow. However, difficulty with communication is a common result. What are some of the ways a brain in jury can affect communication?
- Speech Deficits: A brain injury can impact the communication between the brain and the parts of the mouth and throat that take part in speech. The movements of the mouth can become weakened or discoordinated, resulting in slurred speech, or planning of the movements can be disrupted, resulting in production of incorrect sounds.
- Language Deficits: Aphasia, the disruption of the comprehension or production of language, is a common result of brain injury. A person with aphasia will often know what they want to say, but have difficulty expressing it, similar to a “tip of the tongue” sensation. The severity of aphasia can range from occasional difficulty with word finding to near complete loss of language.
- Pragmatic Deficits: Pragmatics refers to the way we use language. This includes everything from knowing how to tailor your language to different people, to knowing how to take turns in a conversation and maintain a topic. The organization of language is also commonly disrupted.
Stay tuned: next week we’ll continue our series on brain injury and communication and discuss some of the ways speech-language therapy can help a person with a brain injury.
Want to learn more about Brain Injury Awareness Month? Check out the BIAA’s webpage: http://www.biausa.org/brain-injury-awareness-month.htm
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 http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!
© 2014, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved