Traumatic Brain Injury
Nearly 1.7 million individuals sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in America each year. TBI is brain injury due to an external force, unlike injury as a result of a tumor or stroke. While most people who sustain a brain injury can eventually return to their normal life, at least 125,000 people each year experience permanent or more long-term consequences. Given support and treatment, individuals who sustain a TBI can retrain the ways that their brain functions, and can learn strategies to reclaim the portions of their lives that were affected by the injury.
TBI assessment involves gathering information about the individual so as to make informed decisions about the person’s current physical, cognitive, and communication characteristics. Assessment often includes evaluation of cognitive aspects that affect communication (e.g., memory, word recall and problem solving), processing and attention, speech skills, and social-pragmatic communication.
TBI treatment objectives are specific to the individual and take into consideration the individual’s previous level of functioning, severity of injury, specific symptoms, and the support system that is in place. Treatment includes retraining of impaired functions through drills and exercises, using alternate means of communication, assisting individuals to manage time and stress, controlling the environment, learning strategies to assist memory and problem solving, and educating the individual and family.