Category Description:

badge2Symptoms of brain injury can range from loss of consciousness and coma to changes in physical, cognitive, emotional, social and behavioral abilities and skills. The range and severity of symptoms are different for each person as each brain injury is unique.

These blog articles discuss the variety of symptoms from the persepctive of clinicians, survivors and families. They give readers a broader understanding of the complexity of brain injury symptoms and their consequences for a meaningful life.

Wondering: A Reflection / A Refraction

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Have you lost your self?

Why is it that our reflection of our self in the mirror is not what others

see? I see a little less color, an imperfect smile, a drabby look,

while others see me as colorful, beautiful and full of life. I hear it all the time, “You look great”!

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I’m Not “Me” Anymore (again) by Laurie Rippon

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Yup… living with brain injury’s a daily struggle. I don’t see when I make progress–I just raise the bar and work harder. Eventually I’m overwhelmed and blame myself for not using strategies I know will help. And honestly, I still measure myself by my old yardstick.

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How I Regained my Humanity after a Brain Injury by Jeff Sebell

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A brain injury brings with it a confusing barrage of physical, emotional and cognitive changes that affects the survivor deeply and personally. The simplest expression of this is when we say, “I don’t know who I am anymore.”

This is also known as a loss of humanity. It has profound implications, manifesting itself as confusion, doubt and depression, and making our “recovery” that much more difficult. In my own situation, the hardships I encountered left me thinking, a number of times, that my life wasn’t worth living.

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The Sound of Brain Injury by Mike Strand

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Mike Strand thought his speech was not affected by his brain injury. But when he listened to himself on a video and radio interview, he was shocked by how he sounded. Improving his speech became an ongoing goal, even after many years since his TBI. His experience shows the complexity of speech and communication in its various forms of answering questions, holding a conversation, and making a formal speech.

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You Look Good, You Sound Good by Amanda C. Nachman

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How many of us have heard these words over time since our brain injuries? I have realized that having a brain injury makes people uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say. Is it because they can’t see our injury? Is it because people who care about us just want everything to be okay? It could be all of the above. I don’t know.

I look good on the outside because it was my brain, an internal organ that was damaged.

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When All Seems Hopeless! Hold onto Hope by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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Hope! As a brain injury survivor, Bill Jarvis knows how difficult it can be to hold on to hope when so much has been lost in one’s life and relationships. But he offers both hope and encouragement to survivors that it is possible to sustain hope and to build a positive future.

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Regaining a Sense of Self by Hilary Zayed

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Losing her sense of self may have been the most painful invisible loss after her brain injury. Hilary Zayed explores the meaning of self and the process of “reinvention” of her new self through her artwork as she rebuilt her identity and explored her future and the meaning of survival. Her new book Regaining a Sense of Self describes the process.

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Most Basic Virtue after a TBI is Cognition by William Jarvis, EdD

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What is the most important thing to the TBI Survivor for improvement? Some would think perseverance and some would think consistency. Both are important, but there may be an even more influential virtue.

I suggest that the most influential virtue is “thought.” It is not what a person thinks, but that there is the ability to think in the first place.

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Behavior – Help for Families and Caregivers by April Groff, PhD

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Changes in behavior after a brain injury are common and particularly stressful for families and caregivers. “Why does he act that way? What can we do? She’s like a different person.” These are just a few comments repeatedly heard by clinicians when talking with families and caregivers. It’s not only the person with the brain injury who has changed. Family members now find they have to change their expectations and about the survivor’s behavior. They also learn to change how they respond to these new and often frustrating and challenging behaviors that they see at home and out in the community.

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Behavior Management in School for a Student with a Brain Injury by Katherine A. Kimes, Ed.D., CBIS

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Changes in behavior after a brain injury can result in problems in the classroom for the student, along with frustration and confusion not only for the student but for teachers and parents as well. Dr. Katherine Kimes explains the importance of person-centered approaches for effective behavior management techniques. She provides examples of the antecedent-behavior-consequence approach, commonly known as the A-B-C Model of benavior management. Her behavioral checklist will help educators and therapists develop educational and behavioral plans for students with brain injuries.

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