Post Brain Injury

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Causes of Brain Injury

Brain injury, or brain damage as it is often referred to, is the damage of brain cells. Brain injury can occur due to a wide range of internal and external factors, including:

  • Road accidents
  • Strokes
  • Neurological disease
  • Respiratory failure
  • Assault
     

Effects of Brain Injury

The brain is involved in almost everything we do, therefore damage to it can have wide ranging effects.  The effects vary from person to person, depending on the exact nature and severity of the brain injury. This can include:

  • Physical effects, e.g. on movement, vision, touch or taste;
  • Cognitive effects, e.g. on thinking processes, such as memory and concentration;
  • Behavioural effects, e.g. self-control and motivation.

In most cases, individuals have to re-learn the skills they have lost as a result of their injury.
 

Types of Brain Injury

There is a wide variety of brain injury and it would not be possible to list all of them here. However, the following will give you an idea of how injury to the brain can impact upon a person:

Acquired Dyslexia (Alexia)
Alexia is acquired dyslexia. It refers to the loss of one or more areas of literacy (i.e. reading, writing, spelling) in an individual whose literacy skills were previously in tact. This condition may occur when an individual has suffered some damage to the left hemisphere of the brain, as a result of a head injury, a stroke, or a neurological impairment. However, it may occur even though it may not be possible to link it to a specific injury or abnormality in brain structure.

Acquired Dyspraxia (Apraxia)
Acquired Dyspraxia is the partial loss of the ability to co-ordinate and perform certain purposeful movements and gestures, in the absence of motor or sensory impairments.  It occurs in individuals who have developed motor co-ordination skills in line with normal parameters and expectations.  The integrity of primary motor function is maintained, but people are unable to perform certain action sequences under particular conditions.  It may occur as the result of brain damage suffered from a stroke, head injury, or a neurological condition.  For more information refer to the section on Dyspraxia.

Plus other memory-related conditions.

How is the Cognitive Impact of Brain Injury Assessed?

A suitably qualified and experienced assessor will conduct a range of services in order to inform the underlying effects cause by brain damage.  In particular, attention will be paid to the individual's comprehension abilities, visual and motor co-ordination, and memory.  The assessment is made up of the following:

  • Pre-assessment Questionnaire and Interview - to gain a detailed understanding of an individual's difficulties, and their medical and educational history;
  • Cognitive Functioning Assessment - to gain an overview of an individual's abilities such as phonology, memory, reasoning, and perception;
  • Reading, Writing and Spelling Analysis - to assess the impact on an individual's literacy attainment and to identify specific problem areas;
  • Visual Perception & Motor Co-ordination Assessment - to assess the extent to which an individual can integrate their visual and motor abilities. 

If you are in employment, the following service could be offered in addition:

Workplace Needs Assessment - to determine how an individual's brain injury affects them at work and to recommend strategies to address these issues.

Solutions and Resources:

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