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How a traumatic brain injury affects communication

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a type of injury that can be very serious. It occurs when a person has suffered a blow to the head or when an object penetrates the skull and the brain. TBIs can happen to people after a severe accident or a deliberate act of violence such as physical assault.

Since the human brain is easily affected by this type of injury, it is very common for accident victims to develop myriad of health problems. One of those is the speech impairment, cognitive impairment, language difficulties, and even swallowing issues.

With such a devastating injury, a person’s everyday life can be dramatically altered. Here’s how TBI may affect communication.

What Can Cause a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Certain situations can cause a person to develop a TBI. The most common causes include the following:

• Car accidents

• Falls

• Getting hit by an object or running into one

• Violent assaults.

Additional causes of TBIs include contact sports, such as football and boxing, and military combat. A person who has already suffered a TBI is also more likely to develop another.

While there are varying severities of these injuries, even a TBI that is considered to be mild is serious and can be exacerbated if the individual suffers another blow to the head.

Cognitive and Communication Problems with TBI

The cognitive and communication problems a person with TBI experiences generally vary. Factors such as the severity of the injury, personality, and disabilities prior to the injury are all factors that can play a part in that.

Overall, the effects of the TBI are usually the most notable immediate after the individual sustains the injury. Following a TBI, the person’s brain usually experiences swelling and inflammation. These are usually not permanent conditions, which means that the individual may recover. However, it can be challenging to predict how long a person may have communication problems within the first few weeks after getting a TBI.

If a child suffers this type of injury, they may have a better chance at recovery than an adult. This is because children’s brains are still developing and are more flexible. With a moderate to severe TBI, there may be pressure on the brainstem, which is responsible for controlling consciousness.

The following communication problems may appear with a TBI:

Aphasia or language impairment: Individuals with TBI may have difficulty with processing language, including speaking, writing, reading, expressing or receiving. This is also known as aphasia. There may be any combination of these problems. For example, a person may still recognize individual letters but be unable to recognize written words.

Speech difficulties: Dysarthria and dyspraxia are speech difficulties people with TBI may suffer. The former occurs when the individual’s nervous system that’s responsible for controlling the muscles used in speech was severely damaged. The latter occurs when a person has difficulty saying what they want to say.

Treatment for TBI-Related Communication Problems

When communication problems from TBI are treated early on, starting from when the person is still in the hospital, it gives them the best potential outcome. Therapy can help improve attention, alertness, and speech. Different types of therapists can get involved with helping the injured person depending on the specific TBI-related communication problems.

Speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and neuropsychologists may provide therapy. Some people may require at-home therapy, while others can get it on an outpatient basis.

Regardless of the cause of your TBI, you need to take action and fight back. Also, besides medical treatment, speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney is imperative. An attorney can help you get the right traumatic brain injury compensation from the ones responsible for your injuries to cover all out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and the therapy you need, no matter how extensive.


As a journalist, Leland D. Bengtson dedicated most of his career to law reporting. He aims to draw in the public and make people more interested in the field. He is active on multiple platforms to increase his outreach to the public. Leland tirelessly covers all types of legal issues, but he has a personal preference for medical malpractice. This is mainly because he witnessed the implications of medical malpractice on a family member.

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