Acquired Brain Injury & Cognitive Communication
An acquired brain injury occurs after birth; it is not hereditary, nor is it progressive. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the result of trauma to the head that may be caused by falls, motor vehicle or bicycle accidents, assaults, etc. following an individual’s brain injury.
Problems with thinking and communication skills frequently accompany an acquired brain injury and can significantly affect a person’s functioning. These difficulties sometimes go unrecognized, particularly in cases where there is no physical impairment.
Communication skills include listening, speaking, reading, writing, interpreting context and gesturing. Cognitive (thinking) skills include: attention; memory; organization; reasoning; problem solving; insight and judgment. The term cognitive-communication impairments highlights how closely communication and thinking skills work in tandem. Difficulties in any of these areas can follow a traumatic brain injury. Other behavioral changes may include trouble initiating tasks, emotional difficulties and lack of inhibition.
Speech-Language Pathologists work closely with clients, families and other professionals (e.g., psychologists, social workers, teachers, etc.) on functional goals targeting specific areas of difficulty. Treatment plans focus on helping clients increase their independence in daily activities, as well as developing ways to increase success at home and in social settings. This may include transition plans for returning back to school or work.