Traumatic Brain Injury Speech Therapy
Convenient & Effective Speech Therapy
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
What is Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI)?
TBI is a type of brain injury that occurs when the head is hit by an object or when the head hits an object. This can cause the brain to swell, bleed, or be damaged in other ways. The brain is made up of different parts that control different functions. When the brain is injured, these functions can be affected. For instance, if the part of the brain that controls movement may be damaged, it can cause paralysis. Or, if the part of the brain that controls speech may be damaged, it can cause problems with communication.
Depending on the location of the brain injury, each person will experience unique symptoms. The symptoms can be divided into four categories: physical (headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue, sensitivity to light and sound), cognitive (difficulty thinking clearly, concentrating or remembering things), emotional (irritability, anxiety, depression, mood swings) and sleeping problems.
Speech and language therapy can be of huge importance following a traumatic brain injury. Of course, this depends on the severity of the injury and the location of the injury. But in many cases, the individuals need speech and language services following their injury.
Adult speech therapy helps people with TBI regain the ability to speak clearly and understand what others are saying. Speech therapists also help people who have trouble eating or drinking because of swallowing problems. Speech rehabilitation after a traumatic brain injury can be a long and difficult process. However, with the help of a speech therapist, most people can regain their ability to speak clearly and understand others.
In the days following a traumatic brain injury (past the stage in which the injury is no longer life-threatening), beginning therapy is of huge importance. This is because the sooner an evaluation and therapy services begin, the likelihood that therapy will be more effective. The longer one waits to receive services, the more difficult it is to retrain and assist in the healing of the brain while relearning speech and language. Even if therapy simply includes evaluating the patient’s responses to certain stimuli, it is often still very helpful to the recovery of the patient in the long run, while awaiting further recovery for more advanced treatment.
TBI SPEECH DISORDERS
Communication Disorders Associated with Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause a variety of different communication disorders, depending on the severity of the traumatic brain injury as well as the location in the brain of the injury. Some of these communication disorders include:
Dysarthria: Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder that is characterized by weakness and incoordination of the articulators (i.e., the tongue, lips, jaw, etc.) Dysarthria can also affect a person’s breath support when speaking.
Apraxia: Apraxia is characterized by difficulty producing syllables and formulating words, causing difficulty with the pronunciation of certain words that includes inconsistent errors.
Memory Deficits: An individual with a traumatic brain injury might struggle with short-term or long-term memory deficits that lead to confusion and emotional dysregulation.
Aphasia: Aphasia is a language disorder that can accompany a traumatic brain injury. It is characterized by difficulty in the production and comprehension of language. This can be both verbal language and written language.
Cognitive Difficulties: This can include difficulty with attention, both maintaining and obtaining.
TBI SPEECH TREATMENT
How speech-language pathologists treat TBI patients?
Treatment of a traumatic brain injury can be different depending on the severity of the injury, the location of the injury, as well as the patient’s preferences or the preferences of their loved ones. A traumatic brain injury treatment plan might be carried out through the stages of the TBI, including:
Early Recovery Stage: At this point, the individual is often not very coherent or even awake. They may be sedated in a coma. The speech-language pathologist might focus on simply introducing stimuli in order to receive any kind of response.
Aware Stage: When the patient begins to become more aware following sedation/coma, the speech-language pathologist will focus on reducing the confusion that may follow. They might try to assist the patient in understanding where they are and what has happened to them.
Recovery Stage: In the recovery stage, the speech-language pathologist will begin to introduce activities that assist the patient in memory, emotional regulation, communication with caregivers, etc.
Continued Treatment: In continued treatment, the speech-language pathologist will expand the horizon of treatment to include more methods of communication recovery, memory improvement, emotional regulation, etc.
TBI SPEECH THERAPY GOALS
How can speech therapy help in brain injury recovery?
The goal of speech therapy for those with a traumatic brain injury is to help the patient regain their ability to communicate effectively. Common speech therapy goals for TBI include:
Focusing on basic communication tasks such as talking, listening, and reading aloud. Since patients suffering from a TBI usually have difficulty processing information, it is important to keep communication tasks simple.
Using visual aids such as picture boards or flashcards to help the patient communicate. Visual aids can be very helpful for patients with TBI, as they can provide a way for the patient to communicate without having to rely on their memory or processing abilities.
Teaching the patient alternative communication methods such as sign language or the use of a computer.
Working on cognitive skills such as memory, attention, and problem-solving.
Providing support and encouragement to the patient and their family. The road to recovery after a TBI can be long and difficult, so it is important to provide support and encouragement to the patient and their family throughout the process.
With the help of speech therapy activities and adaptive technology, those with TBI can make progress in their communication skills and lead a more independent life. It is important to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of acquiring a traumatic brain injury and to provide support to those affected by it. Taking the time to practice speech therapy activities at home can also be beneficial for recovering individuals, as it will help them improve their language abilities further.
How to Improve Your Speech?
Join Better Speech
We'll Match You With
the Ideal Therapist
No Waitlists - Start This Week
Live Weekly Zoom Sessions
WHY PEOPLE LOVE US
Our Shining Testimonials
It's really convenient, easy and affordable. My son speech really got better.
We have seen our son just explode in terms of speech, language and confidence. It gets our highest recommendation!
I love the flexibility of the online schedule. Also with insurance, it was a fraction of the cost of a clinic, I wish I have tried Better Speech sooner.