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Communication among survivors of brain injury, families, and caregivers can be confusing, misleading and frustrating. It is about much more than speech and language as communication involves emotions, expectations, judgments and expectations. These blog articles discuss the impact of TBI on communication from various perspectives.

The Myth of “Sticks and Stones…”

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“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Remember this saying that our parents taught us to use when kids at school were taunting or belittling us? Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I am sorry to be the one to tell you… it’s a big lie! Here is my take on it, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your hurtful words will forever scar me.”

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PTSD and Your Children on the News

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As troops are returning home from deployments in Iraq, a regular feature on the evening news has become reunions with spouses, parents, and children. Because I live inNorth Carolinawhere there are multiple bases, I see this at least once a week – finally, some joy on the evening news in between the latest disaster, political campaign, or financial report. Especially touching are the reunions when a parent – still in camouflage uniforms – appears at school to surprise a child who has not seen mom or dad for many, many months or more than a year. It is impossible not to smile, and I admit to tearing up occasionally, at the incredible joy of this “parent and child reunion” to borrow a phrase from a Paul Simon song.

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Being Accountable after Brain Injury

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We have all been in situations where we did something that was careless or thoughtless and caused distress for others. An example would be bumping into a table and knocking off a treasured ornament, smashing it into a gazillion pieces. We feel foolish and may even say, “Oh my goodness, look what I’ve done. I am so sorry. That was completely my fault. Please let me replace it for you.” Don’t confuse this with self-blame – this is being accountable for one’s action and making amends or rectifying the situation.

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Relationship Perspectives

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To gain a perspective is to gain another point of view. In a relationship, it is important that we try to understand where the other person is coming from or where they are at in their life. Seeking to understand first before being understood is a challenge for most people, but if you can approach a situation from this angle, I guarantee you will gain a new perspective.

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Managing Anger and Agitation at Home

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Last week we talked about how to figure out what causes or triggers an angry response. Now let’s get into how to set up and use a behavior plan. I’ve also included important points to keep the survivor and family safe.

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Emotional Mis-communication Changes Relationships after Brain Injury

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Why do many persons with brain injury have trouble developing and maintaining relationships? It may be due to changes in their ability to read and express emotions. This is essential for communicating and connecting with other people and for sustaining close relationships. Research into the expression and interpretation of emotions by survivors is examining new areas for brain injury treatment and recovery.

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