The Caregiver's Journey

Impulsivity/Self-Control

Many individuals with TBI react before thinking. “Stop and think” is a good way to help a person make up for various cognitive problems. It allows the person to stop, slow down, pause, and take the needed time to think about something before doing it. This allows time to develop a reasonable plan or response.

What you might see:

  • Saying whatever comes to mind without thinking about how it might affect the person, him/herself or someone else
  • Acting without thinking about potential consequences (e.g., crossing the street without checking traffic)
  • Inappropriate comments to or about others

How you can help:

  • Use redirection (e.g., suggest a different activity or topic of conversation).
  • Develop a special “stop and think” signal that you can use to alert your family member when he/she is doing or saying something inappropriate (e.g., raising your finger, saying a special word).
  • Suggest that your family member stop and think, slow down, and consider options.
  • Praise and reward desired behaviors; discuss consequences in private, after the fact.
  • Avoid comparing past and present behaviors.