Supporting Communication

A brain injury can effect a person’s ability to communicate by compromising speech, hearing and cognitive processing. Some challenges include receiving and understanding language or forming words and sentences clearly. Communication problems can vary depending on the individual, their personality, their abilities prior to their injury and the seriousness and location of their injury.

Issues that may occur:

  • Problems finding the right words.
  • Difficulty understanding others.
  • Slow or slurred speech.
  • Difficulty swallowing.

People who have had a brain injury may experience a wide variety of communication difficulties. Brain injuries can cause conditions like aphasia, which affects a person’s ability to express and understand written and spoken language.

Aphasia: the Disorder that Makes you Loose Your Words:

Assistive Technology to Help With Communication

Speech Generating Device:

A speech-generating device is “a portable unit that contains one or more panels or switches that when depressed will activate pre-recorded digitized or synthesized speech output.” These may be a standalone device, usually very small and light, or it can be software that is installed in a tablet or phone.

Recording Device:

Recording devices can be useful for people with a brain injury in situations such as classes or work. A recording device can allow a person with a brain injury to go over recorded moments with less pressure and more control.

Writing Assistance:

Traumatic/acquired brain injuries can affect a person’s fine motor skills and also their ability to understand and communicate. Programs like Grammerly can help survivors with vocabulary, grammar and spelling while writing

Personal stories highlighting the importance of communication supports: