Traumatic brain injuries occur from an external force such as a car accident, fall or sports injury. The damage can range from minor to very severe. After sustaining a brain injury therapy may be necessary to regain normal motor function. More severe injuries require intense therapy usually in an inpatient setting such as a rehabilitation hospital. This includes multiple types of therapy, every day for several hours. Once enough progress is made therapy can continue in an outpatient setting or even at home.
The Goal Of Therapy
The intention of therapy is to get someone back to their normal functionality level, or as close as possible. This can include Physical Therapy to learn to walk and move again, Occupational Therapy to relearn fine motor skills such as feeding or tying shoelaces, and Speech Therapy for assistance with swallowing and brain training. It takes a multi-disciplinary team approach to obtain the full benefit of therapy. This can also include nurses, doctors, social workers, case managers and other professionals.
The Role Of A Speech Therapist After A Traumatic Brain Injury
Speech therapists don't only help with the physical limitations after a brain injury, but also the cognitive concerns. That is, Speech Therapists not only assist with the physical act of communicating but also the mental limitations with memory and expression. Speech therapists help by providing the following interventions:
- Teaching how to speak slower and form words
- Exercises to strengthen weakened muscles in the jaw and throat and coordination of the lips and tongue
- Utilizing communication aids such as text-to-speech or typing devices
- Strategies and exercises to improve memory, concentration, problem-solving and organization
How To Be Successful With Therapy
Therapy after a brain injury is a long-term process. It takes discipline and effort from the patient as well as any involved caregivers and family members. Therapists can provide interventions, but the skills they teach must be continued by the patient in order for their brain injury to improve. Motivation is a crucial element to success. A cohesive team of therapists collaborating together with a motivated patient is best case scenario for progress and success after a brain injury.
If you are a talented therapist we would love to work with you. Please contact us for opportunities.
And to learn more about this and related topics, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.
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