We should consult a doctor or approach some emergency unit post any head injury. Doctor can order tests such as MRI or CT Scan to observe our brain. An SLP or speech language pathologist can test our speech, language & ability to think. SLPs can test our social skills & observe how well we can chew & swallow.
After testing, an SLP may work with us for improving our skills. What we do in treatment could depend on problems we have.
In an early phase post a TBI, the treatment would focus on:-
- Getting us to respond to some sound, smell, or touch. This could happen if we are not alert or in coma.
When we get more aware, the treatment can focus on:-
- Being capable of paying attention to every activities
- Helping us be less confused
- Helping us comprehend what happened, where we are and what day it is
Later on, the treatment shall focus on:-
- Identifying the ways of improvement of our memory. We may begin to use the memory books to help us recall
- Lear new ways of solving problems, stay organized and make sense of an event or idea
- Help us monitor & change our own behavior
- Working on the social skills in small groups
After some while, the treatment can include:-
- Reaching out to the community for planning , organizing and taking trips. We may use memory logs, checklists, organizers, etc
- Working with some vocational counselor to assist us get bak to our work or school
Some individuals are unable to speak clearly post a TBI, for a long period. Our SP can suggest that we use some other ways of talking, such as computers or picture boards. This is augmentative or alternative communication AAC. Treatment shall emphasize on helping us improve our AAC device.
SLP can recommend that we try different foods if we have problems chewing or even swallowing. We can try different head positions or the different ways of swallowing so that we do not cough or choke. The objective is to ensure we eat & drink safely.