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Traumatic Brain Injury - Beyond the Medicine

Robert Karns

Initially victims of traumatic brain injury are diagnosed, and as part of the medical treatment are placed in rehabilitation including speech and cognitive therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. The physicians that treat the traumatic brain injury victim also prescribe medication. Once this medical treatment is being done it is important for the traumatic brain injury victim to look beyond the medical treatment to other resources. Some of these resources are:

  • Career consultant and vocational experts - These are specialists in academic and vocational integration who help with choices regarding any career that is possible for the traumatic brain injury victim to participate in. The consultant can plan for future vocational treatment and work including education and on the job training.
  • Special educators - If the victim of the traumatic brain injury is a student then this specialist is necessary to be the bridge between the injured victim and the education process. A specialist can devise an IEP (Individualized Education Program) that instructs the school on what is necessary to enable the victim to succeed in school. All public schools participate in this at no cost. Many colleges participate in this and any college would certainly follow the instructions of the special educator.
  • Brain Injury Associations - Each state has its own brain injury association under the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA). By going to the Brain Injury Association of America website the state association can be found. These associations work with brain injury victims at no charge to help them.
  • Support groups - Each state brain injury association has support groups that meet monthly and sometimes more often to help the traumatic brain injury victim. There are discussions with other brain injury victims along with guest speakers. These support groups are free.
  • Family - It is important to involve family in the recovery of the traumatic brain injury victim. Family members can meet with all of the above listed resources including support groups to help the traumatic brain injury victim. Family members can also undergo training with all of the above resources to help them better understand the plight the traumatic brain injury victim is going through.
  • Friends - Friends are an important resource for the traumatic brain injury victim. They can consist of old friends that knew the traumatic brain injury victim before the injury and how they are after. They can also consist of new friends that the traumatic brain injury victim can meet at support groups and through various treatments.
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