Communication Matters

Brain Injury Awareness and Recovery

Alicia Verhovitz, M.A., CCC-SLP | Posted on February 27, 2022

Man reading-1In 2022,  Brain Injury Awareness Month highlights #MoreThanMyBrainInjury by bringing awareness to some brain injury facts and statistics from the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).


BIAA defines an acquired brain injury (ABI) as damage occurring to the brain that is not congenital (present at birth), hereditary (passed from parents), degenerative (progressive loss of function), or induced by birth trauma. Acquired brain injuries fall into one of two categories: traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries.  


Traumatic Brain Injuries are considered a change in the function of your brain caused by an external force. Examples of traumatic brain injury include motor vehicle accidents, trips or falls, sports injuries, and assaults.  


Non-Traumatic Brain Injuries are considered a change in the function of your brain caused by internal factors. Examples of a non-traumatic brain injury include stroke, aneurysm, tumors, infectious diseases affecting the brain, and lack of oxygen to the brain.  


Did you know? 

  • More than 3.6 million people are diagnosed with acquired brain injuries each year with 2.8 million people suffering from traumatic brain injuries.  
  • Every 9 seconds someone in the United States sustains a brain injury.  
  • Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. Older adults are at an increased risk for sustaining a traumatic brain injury.  
  • Sports-related injuries, such as concussions, are also considered to be traumatic brain injuries.
  • Concussions may be difficult to detect as they present in many different forms, such as headaches, nausea, anxiety, sleep irregularities, dizziness, depression, and ringing in the ears

Acquired brain injuries often affect areas of the brain that are associated with speech production, language use and understanding, motor and movement control, reading, and writing. This may result in loss of ability to formulate and use words, difficulty with understanding conversations, slurred speech, and loss of the ability to speak. Diagnoses may include but are not limited to, aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, dysphagia, alexia, and agraphia.


Those recovering from brain injury have the best outcomes from therapy - including speech and language therapy - immediately following the injury. When hospital therapy has ended, CHSC offers the NEO-ACT program to continue to build on progress.



Tags: Speech, Language, Communication, Brain Injury, talking, Communication Access, Speech therapy, Stroke recovery



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