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badge2Living with brain injury, whether it is caused by a traumatic injury, stroke, tumor, infection, or illness, is a lifelong journey for survivors, families, and caregivers. The Brain Injury Blog is about more than the care, treatment and rehabilitation of those who survive brain injury. It is about the journey of brain injury from the perspectives of those who live with it as well as those who provide care, treatment and support. Survival is just the first step in living with brain injury. Please join us in the journey of hope after brain injury.

Why Are So Many Veterans Homeless? by Shad Meshad

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The VA estimates more than 300,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Shad Meshad explores why “homelessness is the last stop on this PTSD/TBI train ride, not the first.” Since the symptoms of PTSD and TBI are similar and often overlap, PTSD can be the initial incorrect or incomplete diagnosis where TBI is present. Both these conditions can manifest as depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability, aggression, and increasing social isolation. But TBI can also include memory loss, migraines, seizures, problems with language, and trouble making what might seem like simple decisions. Vets with brain injury need different treatment.

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Old Experiences Help Cognitive Improvement after Brain Injury by William C. Jarvis, EdD

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When William jarvis sustained a serious brain injury, he was uncertain whether he could return to his position as a college professor, a job requiring complex cognitive skills, He reflects on how he used his past academic and artistic experiences, as well as prior learning, to build his cognitive improvement. Now retired, he admits that though his difficulties never go away, he has been able to achieve success in other aspects of life. His message to other survivors of brain injury is to never give up trying.

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Flowers and Brain Injury – Ruth Ann Bartels Finds Hope and Beauty Again

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Honey I Smell the Flowers were the last words Ruth Ann Bartels spoke to her husband as they were traveling to warmer climates for their winter vacation. That was just before she got the phone call that her daughter Michelle had been badly injured in a car crash and was in an ambulance. The book title chosen by Bartels reflects the journey of this mother – and so many other families – to find hope and beauty again after witnessing the devastation that brain trauma can cause.

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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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Runaway Spending after Brain Injury by Thomas Henson Jr. and Carol Svec

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Impulsive spending, poor judgement and cognitive impairments mean that brain injury finances can spiral out of control leading to financial disaster for TBI survivors. Thomas Henson and Carol Svec share legal advice and steps that families can take to protect survivors from financial ruin.

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The Journey of Grief after Brain Injury by Janelle Breese Biagioni

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Grief after brain injury is a journey for families, survivors and caregivers. It involves loss, bereavement, grieving and mourning and life can feel suspended during the early stages of shock and grief. Janelle Breese Biagioni explains various types of grief and mourning, including ambiguous grief and extraordinary mourning. By understanding the grief process, families can regain a sense of hope.

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I Found my Brain on the Radio by Kim Jefferson Justus

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Now an advocate for brain injury survivors after her misdiagnosis when she had an aneurysm, Kim Justus is now an author and radio host featuring interviews with survivors, families, caregivers, and clinicians. She interviews survivors and provides educational information on “life after brain injury” and issues related to caregiving. She discusses the problems she and other survivors face as well as the solutions they have found.

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Ambiguous Loss Wounds Veterans and Family by Marilyn Lash, MSW

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Ambiguous loss can not be seen but it is real and felt by combat veterans, their families and caregivers who struggle with the invisible wounds of war. The story of a World War 2 veteran Louis Zamperini illustrates how even the most strong willed and courageous combat veteran found another war at home with chronic PTSD that almost destroyed him. How much has changed with our returning veterans today?

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

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William Jarvis shows how having a hobby night at a TBI Survivor Support Group can help build confidence, cognition and language expression. As a long-time survivor of a truamatic brain injury, Bill Jarvis has found innovative methods and practices to continue his cognitive rehabilitation and retraining over the years.

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Take the Danger Out of TBI Caregiver Anger by Janet Cromer

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The anger of the TBI caregiver is too often ignored by family, friends and even professionals. While clinicians focus on helping the person with a brain injury whose ability to control anger has been affected, who helps the TBI caregiver whose anger is often not even acknowledged. Janet Cromer explores why it is important to recognize that this anger is real and gives strategies for TBI caregivers to manage that anger. By recognizing what trigger TBI caregiver anger, she helps caregivers respond with positive strategies.

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