An acquired brain injury (ABI) is any trauma to the head which disrupts the function of the brain. Common causes of ABI include stroke or a head injury such as following a road traffic accident.
Following an acquired brain injury, a person may experience difficulties with many aspects of communication. These can include:
- Speech: This can due to muscle weakness (e.g. dysarthria) or aninability to control the muscles used to form words (apraxia).
- Expressing oneself through language: A person can experience difficulties with finding words (word-finding difficulties) or with putting together grammatically correct sentences
- Organising thoughts and ideas: A person may find it difficult to organise and express their ideas, thoughts and feelings.
- Social communication: A person may experience difficulties with following the rules of normal conversation
- Thinking and reasoning: A person may find it difficult to reason things through using language.
- Memory: A person may struggle with remembering new information.
- Fatigue: A person with ABI can tire quickly and communicating can require a lot of concentration and effort.
Typically a person will get rehabilitation through a multi-disciplinary team when they are in hospital, and will then transition to outpatient or community services over time. I provide services to people once they are back living in the community. Reasons that people access my services include:
- Filling a gap before they are seen in the community
- Providing speech and language therapy if this is not available through the public system
- Working alongside the public therapist in providing intensive speech and language therapy
- Providing a second opinion
Given the Covid-19 situation, I am currently providing all of my services via teletherapy. This is essentially speech therapy over the internet.