Adults with Brain Injury: Myths and Stereotypes about Work and Life

Adults with Brain Injury: Myths and Stereotypes about Work and Life

Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, Ph.D., ABPP and Stephanie Kolakowsky-Hayner, M.A.
This tip card for adults with brain injury examines common stereotypes about people with disabilities. It also addresses many myths about the abilities of persons with brain injury to work and life a full life and confronts negative attitudes about hiring and employment.
Item: WABI
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Full Description

Many false beliefs about the recovery of adults from traumatic and acquired brain injuries are corrected with factual information. This tip card discusses how survivors and families can confront negative attitudes about the effects of brain trauma among relatives, friends and coworkers. It includes quick questionnaires on beliefs about people who work and attitudes about adults with brain injury. This is an excellent tool for support groups, in-service programs, and counseling programs.

Details
Item WABI
Pages 8
Year 2001

Authors

Stephanie Kolakowsky-Hayner, Ph.D.

She is the Director of Rehabilitation Research at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, CA and the Project Co-Director of the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) funded Northern California Traumatic Brain Injury Model System of Care. Dr. Kolakowsky-Hayner is also the Project Co-Director of a NIDRR Field Initiated Grant entitled, A New Measure of Subjective Fatigue in Persons with TBI.

Her main interests include ethnicity and cultural issues, return to work, family and caregiver needs, and substance use after injury. She continues as a reviewer for NeuroRehabilitation and Brain Injury, and is an Associate Editor on the Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology.

Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, Ph.D., ABPP (RP)

He is a Professor with appointments in the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical College of Virginia Campus in Richmond. Board certified in rehabilitation psychology, he has more than two decades of clinical experience as a brain injury rehabilitation specialist. Since 1987, Dr. Kreutzer has served as the Director of Virginia’s federally-designated Traumatic Brain Injury Model System. Dr. Kreutzer has co-authored more than 130 publications, most in the area of traumatic brain injury and rehabilitation.

Contents

This tip card helps people learn...

  • how stereotypes develop
  • to examine their beliefs about people with disabilities
  • how to avoid negative stereotypes

Common Stereotypes

Myths about Brain Injury

Do Not Be a Victim of Stereotypes... including your own

People Who Do Not Work Questionnaire

People With Brain Injury Questionnaire

Conclusion

Acknowledgements

Excerpts

Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

Myths about Brain Injury

The general public is rarely given factual information about brain injury and its consequences. Most people form ideas about brain injury from television, magazines, and newspapers. The press tends to focus on positive stories, for example, describing people who’ve had miraculous recoveries or accomplished miraculous feats.

Surveys show the negative impact of misinformation and reveal that many people falsely believe...

  • Most people recover from coma or brain injury with no lasting memory or thinking problems.
  • Complete recovery from a severe head injury is not possible no matter how motivated the injured person is.
  • Everyone can recover if they are motivated enough.
  • Recovery is complete once the person with the injury feels “back to normal”.

Do Not Be a Victim of Stereotypes... including your own

Try to educate people who have stereotypes about persons with brain injury, including beliefs about why they are unemployed or underemployed. Encourage others to be understanding and learn the truth.

Give up stereotypes. Instead, believe in the individual. Recognize abilities as well as difficulties. Most survivors...

  • Are trying hard to get better and be productive.
  • Want to be independent.
  • Have at least a few great skills, though other people (sometimes you) may not recognize them.

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