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Speech Pathology Can Help TBI Victims

How can a Speech-Language Pathologist Help TBI Victims?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates[1] that 2.5 million people sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 2012 either as an isolated injury or in conjunction with other injuries. TBIs are among the most serious injuries a person can sustain and occur when a bump or blow to the head results in a disruption with normal brain function. A traumatic brain injury has the potential to alter the course of a person’s life forever and can make it significantly more difficult to engage in everyday activities. Consequently, it is extremely important for anyone who has sustained a traumatic brain injury in Florida to discuss their case with one of the experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyers of the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA as soon as possible.

Traumatic brain injuries can significantly affect a person’s ability to communicate

Communication through speech is one of the most important aspects of our lives as human beings. Most of us take the ability to verbally express our thoughts for granted, using that ability every time we go to the store or pick up the phone. Additionally, the ability to communicate via speech is essential to our livelihood and an integral part of our chosen profession.

A traumatic brain injury has the potential to significantly affect victims’ ability to communicate, both in terms of their ability to use language and their speech itself. For example, the speech of a person who has sustained a TBI may become slurred, due to a condition known as dysarthria[2]. This condition occurs due to weakness in the muscles used to produce speech. Sometimes, TBI victims may also develop aphasia, or problems understanding or producing speech correctly. In addition, a person with TBI may also have issues the part of the brain responsible for language, resulting in a situation in which the individual has difficulty finding words or using correct sentence structure. Finally, TBI victims may also develop dysphagia, a condition in which a person has difficulty swallowing, which can also affect a person’s ability to speak. With any of these conditions, a person’s ability to communicate effectively with others may be significantly impaired, resulting in challenges that did not exist before the injury.

Fortunately, there are ways that a speech-language pathologist can help people suffering from communication deficits after a TBI. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a speech-language pathologist will assess a TBI victim in a serious of formal and informal evaluations and create a rehabilitative plan based on that individual’s characteristics. The rehabilitative plan may include activities to improve attention, organization, planning and sequencing. A summary of treatment efficacy[3] written by ASHA can be found here

Additional complications associated with TBI

In addition to issues to speech, people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury may also have other complications. Generally speaking, the severity of these complications is in direct proportion to the severity of the initial injury. They may include:

  • Problems with memory
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Problems with motor control

Even in cases where these complications are mild or even non-existent, a TBI is still a very serious injury. Multiple TBIs have been shown to increase a person’s risk of issues later in life such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and early-onset dementia. As a result, anyone who has sustained a TBI should be certain to discuss their options with an attorney.

Contact a Clearwater traumatic brain injury lawyer today to schedule a free consultation

Traumatic brain injuries that are the result of someone else’s negligence can entitle victims to significant compensation. To schedule a free consultation with one of the Clearwater personal injury attorneys of the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, call our office today at 727-451-6900.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysarthria

[3] https://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/public/TESCognitiveCommunicationDisordersFromTBI.pdf