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.

Is it a Brain Injury? by Cheryl Green

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Sometimes I forget a name. People without brain injury try to make me feel better with, “Oh, I do that too! Maybe I have a brain injury! Ha, ha!” That doesn’t make me feel better. Before my TBI, I forgot names sometimes. I just didn’t forget my own family members’ names and call them “Um, Excuse Me.”

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Taking The SATs With A Concussion

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On Saturday March 9, I woke up at 6:00am to take the infamous test that would decide my future…the SATs. I have been preparing weekly with a tutor for this test since January and it was a lot of hard and extra work. Going into the test, I felt very prepared and confident in my knowledge and ability. However, unlike someone without a concussion, I had to worry about more than just the test; I also had my symptoms to be concerned about. I also chose not to have extra time or accommodations for this test.

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Now School after Brain Injury

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Towards the end of the summer, I started to think about how my first day back at school would be with my brain injury aka the “invisible injury”, and how the year would go in general. Would I be able to make it through my first class? A whole school day? Do homework after school? Have a regular social life? Keep up with my schoolwork? There were so many things to consider and think about upon my return. I had missed a year of school and still had a brain injury. This was going to be a challenge.

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Healing Your Heart After a Brain Injury

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Winter can be a tough season for anyone but it can be exceptionally distressing for brain injury survivors. On top of struggling with the typical “winter blues”, brain injury survivors are struggling with a fundamental life crisis. Who am I and what is my value if I can’t do what I used to do, if my friends aren’t my friends anymore and I am a problem for my family?

Something you may not realize is that there is commonly a grieving process associated with healing from a brain injury. You have lost much of your “sense of self”. You don’t know how much you will get back and you may not know for a long time. There are often secondary losses as well – jobs, income, homes, friends, even family. These changes and losses all have a profound effect on a survivor, as well as their family and friends.

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Disinhibition and Meeting People after Brain Injury

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My disinhibition after TBI exposed me to real dangers that I was not aware of. Imagine being an adult suddenly being told by police, “Don’t give strangers your home address.” I learned that in pre-school, and here I had let an older man I hardly knew drive me home. He started emailing to ask if he could care for me and to criticize me for doing things without telling him first. (I’d just met him. I hadn’t even given him my email address.) I had friends and counselors intervene to get me to stop hanging out with people who sucked my life out of me. They guilt tripped me into hanging out and then overpowered me with manipulative stories and comments. I thought I was not being taken advantage of because I hadn’t been before. I was wrong.

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Brain Injury Pancakes

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When I do something well that used to be really hard, I am so proud. But if I get too proud, I call it “being sassy.” That’s when my logic has gone out the window. For example, if I finally finish a Sudoku, I might then decide I have no more brain injury impairments, and I will go for a run. I’m dizzy within a few blocks, and then a loud truck goes by and frightens me. I turn around and come home, head held low. Oh yeah, I think to myself. Sudoku is Sudoku. Jogging in a noisy, busy place is something very different.

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Writing Challenges Executive Functions of TBI Students in School

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As students with traumatic brain injury or TBI move to middle and high school, the executive skills of the brain’s frontal lobe face more complex challenges. These areas are often damaged in moderate or severe brain injuries. Theresa Sacchi Armstrong describes why writing assignments can be especially difficult for these students with TBI in school and how teachers can help.

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Embracing Your New Self after Brain Injury

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Amanda Nachman was an elementary schoolteacher for fifteen years prior to her mild traumatic brain injury in 2011. She is still working on her recovery, and writing to share her story to get the word out that not only athletes and soldiers are dealing with this invisible disability, but people we come across every day can be affected by the impact concussions can have on us. She is hoping she can help change the way the medical field responds to others who find themselves in a similar situation.

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Educating Students with Brain Injury (TBI): The Big Picture for Schools

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Students with traumatic brain injury or TBI are often unidentified or underserved in schools as this diagnosis is still mistakenly considered a low incidence disability under special education. Dr. Katherine Kimes looks beyond the individual needs of students with TBI and discusses the “big picture” of why schools need to address this student population more effectively. She explains why parents and teachers must jointly plan and collaborate to provide effective service coordination for a student with a TBI.

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TBI Student Survivor and School Success

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That last day of school in June felt liberating. I had the whole summer to recover and possibly a chance to go back to school full time in the fall. However, what I did not realize was that the stress was just beginning. Except for being tutored in two subjects a few days a week at school, I had not done any work at all from October-June. I had basically missed my entire sophomore year (I finished English, though) and I had to make it up somehow in one summer.

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