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.

In-School Strategies Can Help with Students with Memory after TBI

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Many students with traumatic brain injury or TBI have cognitive deficits, but memory can be especially challenging. Dr. Katherine Kimes explains the importance of matching the student’s learning style with cognitive strategies to help and support the student in the classroom. She provides a detailed list of educational strategies that teachers can use to help the child or adolescent who has challenges with memory and comprehension due to a brain injury.

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Helping Students in School with Attention after Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI

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Students with traumatic and other acquired brain injuries often have such difficulty with attention that it affects their ability to pay attention in class, study effectively, do homework and succeed in school. Katherine Kimes provides educational tips and strategies that teachers can use in the classroom to help improve a student’s attention and performance. These practical suggestions for students with brain injury (TBI) can be used by all educational staff as well as parents.

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Managing Behavior in Children after Brain Injury or TBI

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Managing the behavior of students with traumatic brain injury can be challenging and frustrating for teachers, therapists and parents. Katherine Kimes explains four types of behavior management strategies that can be used in rehabilitation as well as at home and in school. By understanding how to identify changes in behaviors that are related to the brain injury or TBI and then measuring those behaviors, educators and therapists can develop and implement a plan to encourage positive adaptive behaviors and to decrease “problem” behaviors in children and adolescents.

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Getting Help for PTSD is a Step Forward for Veterans

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“Admitting that you have an issue with PTSD isn’t a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you are truly a strong person. Actively seeking a treatment plan or someone to talk with can be one of the most difficult things to do in your life, but it also can be one of the most rewarding.” These are the words of Matt Brown who knows first hand how hard it can be to ask for help.

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Behavioral Changes in Children and Adolescents with Brain Injury

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Changes in a child or adolescent’s behavior after a brain injury can be upsetting for parents and frustrating for teachers at school. A brain injury can cause behavioral, emotional and psychosocial problems, issues that were not once there for the student. Katherine Kimes describes what these changes in behavior may look like in the classroom. She discusses the complex interaction between damage to the youth’s brain, reactions by the student, and the child’s pre-existing abilities.

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I Felt a Cleaving in My Mind

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The worst experience in my personal health, one that has been ongoing is living with migraine. I had encephalitis 20 years ago, and it left me with symptoms of stroke, that took about a year to heal. But the migraines continue.

However, brain injury and the loss of those very precious memories and thoughts, one after the other, is hard. I find myself saying to Bill, “Don’t you remember, we talked about this last night?” Then I remind myself not to use that phrase because he cannot remember. His memory for many things has and continues to improve over the years. But I think the sadness of working so hard, and not seeing the results he is working toward is very difficult for him and others living with brain injury.

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Executive Function Deficits in Children and Youth with Brain Injury

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A brain injury can affect executive functions in children – but what does this mean? Katherine Kimes explains that the frontal lobes of the brain are responsible for high level cognitive functions – commonly called executive skills. These skills include planning, information processing, memory, judgment, initiation, abstraction, emotional regulation, inattentiveness, and self-awareness. When these skills are affected in youth, students can have new challenges in school, at home and with peers. It’s important for educators and parents to recognize that an earlier brain injury can have a direct impact on that child’s ability to learn and function in the classroom.

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Sense of Self after Brain Injury

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Not only did your life change after your brain injury, but your sense of self changes as well. What is this “sense of self” that everyone is talking about? It is that knowledge of what kind of person you are, how you feel and act, how you have developed over time, the roles you fill and the roles you play. Rather than seeing this change solely as a loss, your changing sense of self after a brain injury is an opportunity to design yourself all over again.

One thing that contributes to a positive sense of self is a sense of accomplishment. Whether it’s learning to tie your shoes again or to learn a new language after your brain injury, it’s a lot of work but you will get better at it over time – and that is an accomplishment!

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Understanding Your Anger after Traumatic Brain Injury

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Family and caregivers often complain of a survivor’s anger after a traumatic brain injury. They say the person is hard to get along with and that affects their relationships. Mike Strand gives his view as a person with a brain injury that anger is about more than emotions and brain trauma. It’s also about communication and cognition. He talks about how he reacts when others accuse him of being angry and describes both his thought process and emotional reactions. This blog gives insights into what’s behind the behavior that is so easily termed “anger’ by caregivers and family members.

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Irritability and Aggression after Brain Injury

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Changes in a family member’s mood, emotions, and personality after a brain injury can be frustrating and puzzling for spouses, children and parents. But increased irritability and aggression after a brain injury can disrupt marriages, jeopardize employment, and increase conflicts and stress at home. Dr. Flora Hammond at Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana is conducting research that is giving a better understanding of irritability and aggression after brain injury and is developing more effective treatment with medication.

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