Friday, January 4, 2019

How to Cope with Communication Problems After a Brain Injury

Brain injuries can affect people in various ways, but the problems damage to the brain can cause for communication are often the most obvious and can be some of the most challenging to deal with for brain injury survivors and their loved ones.

How a brain injury can affect communication

Because the brain directly controls so many of our key functions, a brain injury can affect us in various ways, including causing physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural impairment. All of these can lead to difficulties with communication in different ways.

The effects of physical impairment on communication can include difficulty controlling the mouth, tongue and other parts of the body involved in producing speech, leading to slurred or otherwise hard to understand speech, as well as issues with non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions and gestures.

The effects of cognitive impairment on communication can include problems with understanding what is being said, retaining things that have been said, selecting the right words and putting words and thoughts into a logical order.

The effects of emotional impairment on communication can include difficulty understanding other people’s feelings and expressing your own emotions, leading to issues such as an apparent lack of empathy.

Rehabilitation for communication issues following brain injury

Anyone dealing with communication issues following a brain injury will likely benefit from working with a trained Speech and Language Therapist (SLTs). They will work with a brain injury survivor to address their communication difficulties through various exercises and strategies.

An SLT will generally work on improving symptoms, such as difficulty controlling the mouth and tongue, as well as finding ways for the brain injury survivor to work around their communication issues where required.

With the right support from a Speech and Language Therapist, many people living with a brain injury see significant improvement in their ability to communicate effectively, while some may be able to make a full recovery.

Speech and language therapy is usually offered in hospital and rehabilitation units, as well as by community brain injury groups and private practices.

Get the support you need following a brain injury

Living with the various effects of a brain injury can be challenging, so it’s important to have the best possible support so you can live as fully and independently as possible. Much of this support will often need to be paid for privately, meaning there can be significant costs involved for those living with a brain injury and their loved ones.

If you or a loved one have suffered brain damage due to a head injury that was not your fault, you may be able to claim compensation. This can help to cover the costs arising from the injury, ensuring you can access the right support for you or your loved one.

Head injury claims can be complicated, however, so it is strongly recommended to work with solicitors specialising in these types of claims to ensure you get the very best possible legal advice and guidance.

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