A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur after a bump, hit or blow to the head and disrupt normal brain functioning. TBIs range from mild to severe. Mild TBIs result in a brief change in mental status or consciousness, while severe ones can lead to permanent brain damage and memory loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), TBIs are a major cause of death and disability in the U.S. In 2013 alone, there were about 2.8 million TBI-related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. The CDC states that the most common causes of TBIs are falls, being hit by an object, motor vehicle accidents or combat. 

Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury:

  • A headache that gets worse or does not go away
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs
  • Dilated eye pupils
How does a Speech-Language Pathologist work with TBI patients?
Those who suffer from TBIs may require care by a number of physicians or specialists, including speech-language pathologists (SLPs). SLPs work to address deficiencies in language, swallowing and speech. Those with a TBI may have difficulty expressing what they would like to say, organizing their thoughts, speaking fluently and have lapses in memory. After conducting a series of evaluations a SLP will set goals, create a customized therapy plan, and schedule follow-up appointments for each individual client. 

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