Can Speech Therapy Help TBI Patients?
About 1.7 million people suffer from a TBI every year, and 80% of these people are treated at an emergency department and then released again.
Unfortunately, this first treatment may not be enough for you to recover completely. If you don’t have the right support, from professionals and family, you are likely to lose your job within the first 90 days or returning.
And one of the most common lasting effects of a TBI is impaired communication.
If you’re struggling with speech after your TBI, you may need to take some speech therapy courses.
Take a look at this guide to find out how speech therapy courses can help you.
What Is a TBI?
TBI, or traumatic brain injury, is serious and sudden damage to the brain. This isn’t an injury that just damages the head. A TBI causes serious and sometimes fatal damage to the brain.
This type of injury can happen when something stabs through the skull and hits the skull. However, an object doesn’t have to physically touch the brain to cause traumatic brain injury. You can experience TBI if you head takes a heavy blow.
Here are some of the most common injuries that cause TBI:
- Car accidents
- Being hit
- Running into something
- Military combat injuries
- Sports accidents
If you’ve had a TBI already, you are more likely to get one again. If you are hit in the head again, you may have more serious side effects than the first time you got a brain injury.
Side Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Every TBI, no matter what kind you have, causes some kind of damage to your brain right away.
This may include things like bleeding, clots, and a fractured skull. These things can create serious problems if they are left on their own, like seizures, brain swelling, or increased pressure inside your skull.
That’s why it’s so important to see a doctor right away if you suspect you have a TBI.
But there are a lot of other side effects that come with TBIs, and not all of them are physical. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately.
Lights may seem brighter to you, noises may sound louder to you, and touch may feel different.
Trouble Thinking Clearly
You will most likely remember what you knew before the TBI, but you may have trouble learning new skills.
It can also be difficult to keep your attention on one thing, solve problems, set goals, and plan ahead. Being aware of your own behavior and how you act around others can be a problem. You may not behave appropriately for the situation and not even realize it.
This condition is called dysphagia. People who suffer from this have trouble chewing and swallowing. They may choke easily and often when they eat.
Changes in Behavior
People with TBI may experience changes in their behavior. For example, a person with TBI might get angry more often than normal or get emotional or anxious.
You could feel all these emotions one after the other because mood swings are a common sign of TBI. You may also suffer from depression.
Things you used to like may make your angry, annoyed, or upset.
Because of the physical damages to your brain, you may have things like headaches, seizures, vomiting, or dizziness. In more serious cases, you may not even be able to move certain parts of your body and have trouble controlling your limbs.
Losing balance is also a common side effect of a traumatic brain injury.
You could suddenly have trouble understanding nonverbal cues. Someone shrugging their shoulders could confuse you, and you might interrupt other people when they are still talking.
The rules of conversation may be lost to you, cause you’re to say the wrong things and the wrong times.
There are at least three different speech problems you might suffer after a TBI. Let’s take a close look at each one.
Top Three Communication Impairments Resulting From TBI
The right speech therapy courses can help you recover from these different speech problems.
This occurs when the parts of the brain responsible for controlling our speech muscles are damaged. In order to speak clearly again, someone with dysarthria needs to take speech therapy courses that focus on strengthening the muscles again and improves the movement of the mouth and tongue.
In this case, the actual muscles are fine, but the brain has trouble sending the right messages to the muscles. This could make someone stumble over a word when asked to repeat it even though they can say it in a normal sentence.
Speech therapy courses will focus on saying individual sounds and placing the tongue and lips correctly.
People with anomia literally can’t remember the names of the words they’re looking for. A speech therapist will help develop strategies to remember these words and find a way to communicate what you’re trying to say without the words.
How Can Speech Therapy Courses Help?
Speech therapy can treat these communication problems. They can give someone experiencing speech troubles from a TBI ways to cope and talk to other people.
Therapy can also restore communication skills that were lost during the traumatic brain injury. It will use assistive technology to help you relearn what you’ve lost and strengthen your muscles and brain signals.
Take the Right Speech Therapy Courses
If you’re experiencing any of these speech problems because of a TBI, you need to get into speech therapy right away. During the first 6 months post TBI, the most progress can be made due to brain neuroplasticity. Ignoring these issues can cause the problems to get worse, and they will be even harder to address in the future. Schedule your free call with us by clicking the button below. Find out how online speech therapy can help.