Community & Enrichment
Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI)
TBI and your Speech Therapist's Role
What is TBI? It stands for a traumatic brain injury, which causes damage to the brain. TBI is a type of concussion, and not always easily noticeable. Many people can be out walking and talking and unaware that they have a TBI because the symptoms are not always easily noticeable. That leaves us to wonder, what to look out for if you, or someone you know, have experienced some trauma to the head, like from a fall or hit.
Some of the symptoms to look out for include having short-term memory loss, difficulty staying on a topic of conversation, or switching to a new one, difficulty multitasking, and learning something new. As mentioned everyone is not aware or may not believe they have a TBI, which can cause them to be rude, overconfident, or blame others for their difficulties. The key is to be patient with your friend or loved one. Let them know that you are there if they need help, but do not push.
Currently, the best treatment is rehabilitation from a qualified clinician, this includes your Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). The role of the SLP is to target the areas impacting communication and cognition. This includes the difficulties I mentioned earlier, such as staying on topic, starting a new topic, multitasking, and short-term memory. Some medications are available for specific symptoms, but no direct treatment for TBI currently exists. If you suspect yourself or someone you know has a TBI, please consult with your physician.
Author, Chanel Bogany, Intern SP '21
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