Hobby Night for TBI Survivor Support by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

Support a TBI Survivor

Stamp collecting uses visual and cognitive skills.

Stamp collecting uses visual and cognitive skills.

A very good activity for any TBI Support Group is to have a Hobby Night for a monthly meeting. Everyone brings something to show their hobby and talks for five minutes about it. This is excellent for building confidence, improving cognition, and improving language expression for a TBI Survivor.


No one knows a hobby as well as the person doing it. This gives a TBI survivor an opportunity talk about something that he or she loves. In making a formal presentation you build confidence in your abilities.  TBI Survivors are often self-aware of limitations and need social situations to excel and feel good. This is the perfect activity to accomplish that. It would even be helpful for a TBI survivor to share a hobby and talk about it to one or two people if a large group situation is not possible. The result is the same –  a TBI survivor may greatly enhance  self-esteem while developing skills in communication for daily living.


Hand work involves visual and tactile skills.

Hand work involves visual and tactile skills.

Any thinking activity is helpful for a TBI Survivor to create a “clear mind” and practice thinking.  There is a lot of thought that goes into this opportunity. A TBI survivor has to plan what to say and how to say it. Then, the process of actually presenting the hobby is invaluable.

The most valuable aspect of this activity is the emphasis on creative thought in working out every detail of a presentation. The thinking involved in this process will benefit a TBI survivor in many ways throughout the rest of life.

Often, TBI survivors have cognitive difficulties, from memory to language expression on thought. One way to work on this is to become constantly involved in activities, conversations, spoken word situations (like teaching) that use brain activity. Clearly, everyone is different and will progress differently, but the truth is that doing it is necessary to make any improvement at all. A child who never interacts with life will never develop to his full potential.

Language Expression

words on page.jpg

Reading is a complex cognitive process involving attention, memory, information processing, visual scanning, and more.

We communicate by language. This is connected to cognition abilities; that is knowing, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating.  Expression is putting our thoughts into words. The more it is done, the better a person gets at using language. This is true for the TBI survivor as well. Education helps  improvement by increasing vocabulary and  understanding correct sentence structure.

Making an effort to share a hobby in this way or on a smaller scale can help the TBI survivor in many ways. Make a goal today of doing this activity this month. Take time to plan it, think about it, and then do it! You will see positive results in general improvement as well as rediscovery a joy in living!!


I believe that the best way for a TBI survivor to improve is by actually participating in activities to reinforce new learning. This hobby presentation is just the activity to reinforce improved language expression, cognition, and at the same time develop motivating confidence.

One response to “Hobby Night for TBI Survivor Support by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.”

  1. Audrey says:

    This is great. With all my problems and all I have lost, I can always come back to my crochet. That part of me wasn’t damaged out of my brain. May not be as good as I used to be but it is the one thing that I never forget how to do. It gives me the lift I need when I think I have lost the ability to do anything successfully.

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