Traumatic Brain Injury
What causes a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
A sudden impact/blow to the head that leads to damage of the brain. May result from either an injury that penetrates the brain (i.e. bullet, surgery, etc.) or a closed head injury without penetration (i.e. accident related Concussion, sports-related Concussion, Stroke, etc.).
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) may result in changes, sometimes subtle, in the way the brain is thinking and communicating. There are different areas that may be affected:
- Processing and Sequencing Information
- Language and Cognitive Communication
- Learning and Memory
- Speech/Articulation Precision
- Reasoning and Problem Solving
- Planning and Organizing
- Reading and Writing
- Behavioral Changes
A TBI can have more serious effects on a developing brain. The functional impact on children may be more devastating than for adults because the brain is still developing. In fact, there are five stages of brain growth with the last stage occurring in your twenties. Cognitive impairments may not be obvious after the injury but become more apparent as the child gets older and educational and social demands increase (long-term effects):
- Increased expectations for cognitive and social skills
- More complex socially appropriate behaviors expected
- School work increased in complexity as the grade level increases, requiring more complex problem solving skills and using higher level cognitive skills
- Increased need for memory, sequencing, and organizational skills
- Reading material becomes more complex
- Writing tasks become more demanding
The adult also may not be aware of any deficits they may have following a TBI. The cognitive deficits may not be obvious until that person returns to school or work:
- Ability to analyze and synthesize information is slower
- May have feelings of self-doubt, often checking and rechecking their work
- Difficulty meeting deadlines for projects
- Easily distracted with difficulty focusing on more than one task at a time
- Recurrence of headaches, especially under florescent lighting and/or in a noisy environment
- Difficulty communicating or engaging in long conversations
- Short-term memory difficulties
- Impairment of perception
A person’s ability to process information may slow down as a result of a Traumatic Brain Injury. It takes longer to grasp what others are saying and response time is also slowed down. It is very common that a person with a TBI is unable to focus, concentrate, pay attention, and attend to more than one thing at a time which has a negative impact on memory and reasoning skills. They may have problems carrying on long conversations or sitting for long periods of time. Language and communication problems can cause a person with a TBI to have difficulty understanding and expressing information in the following ways: word-finding difficulties, problems starting or following conversations, difficulty with complex language skills such as expressing thoughts in an organized sequential manner; trouble communicating thoughts and feelings (including tone of voice) non-verbally and interpreting others’ emotions and nonverbal behaviors.
A person with a TBI may have difficulty remembering entire events or conversations. More often a person will take bits and pieces from several situations and remember them as one event instead of separate ones. This also reflects their inability to analyze and synthesize information Cognition may be limited by significant deficits in executive functioning , impairing reasoning, judgment, and problem solving skills. Delays in processing speed result in working memory deficits that compromises a person’s cognitive status.
“Neurons that fire together, wire together”
Cognitive Bridges’ treatment approaches are based upon the results of neuroscience research and the principles of brain plasticity. Combining years of experience with current evidenced-based technology and therapeutic tools, therapy at Cognitive Bridges, Inc. is dynamic, integrative, and individualized. New pathways and neural connections are created to maximize an individual’s potential in achieving his/her goals.
We help families by providing a supportive environment with individual and group meetings to discuss and share concerns. Educating the client and family members is critical to the process of healing. Achieving success is not only dependent on therapeutic rehabilitation but significantly upon the client’s attitude, motivation, and drive. A positive mental attitude is an essential part of recovery.