Traumatic Brain Injury

What is a TBI/ABI?

Traumatic, or Acquired Brain Injury is an injury to the head, most often caused by a car accident a fall or a direct blow to the head. TBI/ABI can also be caused by sports related injuries. Even a mild brain injury can result in speech, language, thinking, and swallowing difficulties. TBI/ABI can cause to problems at school, work, and everyday activities.

Meet our assessment team:

Erin Goldvasser
Erin Goldvasser
Founder & Clinical Director
Speech-Language Pathologist
Psychometrist (training)
Jeanninne Holt-Ulacia
Jeanninne Holt-Ulacia
Speech-Language Pathologist
Jessica Zhang
Jessica Zhang
Speech-Language Pathologist
Olivia Chiu
Olivia Chiu
Speech-Language Pathologist

Signs and Symptoms of Brain Injury:

Given that your brain controls everything that you do, a brain injury may manifest itself differently, depending on location and severity of the trauma. Some signs and symptoms may include:

  • Physical problems—fainting, seizures, headaches, dizziness and vomiting, problems with balance, and muscle weakness
  • Sensory problems—sensitivity to lights, sound, and touch; hearing loss or ringing in the ears; changes in vision or double vision
  • Behaviour changes—being more emotional or feeling anxious or angry; feeling depressed or having mood swings
  • Problems with thinking skills—difficulty paying attention, remembering, and learning new information; difficulty planning, setting goals, and problem solving
  • Speech and language problems—problems being understood because of weak speech muscles (dysarthria) or problems controlling your speech muscles (apraxia of speech in adults and childhood apraxia of speech); problems understanding what others say or what you read; problems finding the words to say what you want or need
  • Social communication issues—difficulty following conversational rules, like taking turns and not interrupting; difficulty understanding nonverbal cues, like when someone shrugs their shoulders
  • Swallowing problems—trouble chewing, or coughing and choking when you eat (swallowing disorders in adults and feeding and swallowing disorders in children)

*Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

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Assessment & Treatment

A team of professionals is typically involved in assessment and treatment of individuals with TBI/ABI.

Assessment for Brain Injury:

Speech-Language Pathologists are qualified to test and diagnose acquired cognitive communication disorders.

These may include one or any combination of the following:
Motor speech production
Fluency (neurogenic stuttering)
Oral language (understanding and expression)
Written language (reading and writing skills)
Cognitive communication (thinking skills, memory, attention, etc.)
Social communication (pragmatics)
Swallowing

Our Speech-Language Pathologists work in collaboration with other professionals on your team.

Treatment for Brain Injury:

​Following a Cognitive Communication Assessment, an treatment plan is established to work on one or more of the following:

Improving speech clarity and fluency
Expressing thoughts more effectively
Improving understanding of what you read
Improve attention during daily tasks and activities
Improve problem-solving, planning, and organization skills
Improve memory using tools like memory books, calendars, and to-do lists
Improve social skills including taking turns in conversation, reading social cues, etc.
Learn ways to swallow safely

*​Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

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