A traumatic brain injury is a sudden severe injury to the brain, this may be as a result of an impact injury, or a penetrating injury and might occur as a result of an accident, fall or an assault.
Acquired brain injury also includes other injuries to the brain that occur after birth and may include thing like tumors and strokes.
There are many consequences to brain injury including physical, cognitive and language difficulties.
A person who sustains a severe brain injury will initially undergo acute medical care and support from within the NHS. From there they will often be treated at a specialist rehabilitation Centre.
I work with people who have completed months of specialist excellent treatment, but the long term implications and consequences of their brain injury means that they require ongoing help and support.
The people I work with all have specific achievable therapy goals and together as a team we work on supporting a person to reach these goals.
This may be to develop their eating and drinking skills, to using supports and strategies to communicate more effectively, to working on strength and endurance of speech musculature to help the intelligibility of speech.
I work with people who may be many years post injury and I continue to see positive measurable changes in people at different stages of their recovery.
There are a number of excellent organisations who provide further information about Brain Injury and who can support people and their families:
As a speech and language therapist I work with people who have:
- Cognitive communication difficulties
I work closely with Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Psychologists, Case managers, Solicitors , Families, Friends and Support Staff to ensure that the person who has suffered the brain injury gets a comprehensive plan for their rehabilitation.
My approach to rehabilitation is a goal based functional approach, meaning that I work on speech therapy activities within the context of the individuals life and interests where ever possible.
Lucy* ( not her real name) had suffered a traumatic brain injury in a road traffic accident. Her cognitive communication difficulties were not a priority to her and not noticeable to most people she was in contact with at the early stages of her recovery. As time went on she became increasingly aware of difficulties processing language, problems watching the TV, helping her children with homework and reading for pleasure. The more she tried to hide these problems the lower her confidence became and the less she went out and communicated with people.
Along with her existing team of Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Support Workers and Case Manager I targeted specific language difficulties using day to day tasks, and building confidence and skills by identifying difficulties and strategies to over come them. The use of an iPad was invaluable to reintroduce Lucy to reading again by utilising the features of a kindle to highlight and define words, create notes and summaries and access a range of “Quick Reads” Books that were written by famous familiar authors but which were short and had a limited range of characters and quick moving plots and action.
Armed with more skills and confidence in her language Lucy continues to pursue her interests.
I treat people across Birmingham, Warwickshire, and the West Midlands. I also work with people in Northampton.
People who are pursuing a claim for damages as a consequence of their traumatic brain injury will be seen by a number of expert witnesses to determine the nature and extent of their problems.
I can also provide a speech and language therapy expert witness report for people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury leading to swallowing and or communication difficulties please see our Medico Legal page.