CEMM Virtual Library

The Caregiver's Journey

Communication Effects Overview

A TBI can cause changes in a person’s communication skills. These changes vary from person to person. How severe the injury is and its location affect these changes.

Factors that play a role in communication problems include:

  • Behavior
  • Memory, attention, and other thinking skills
  • Judgment
  • Social skills
  • Self-awareness

Communication skills are very important in everyday life. Your family member may not be able to use words to express him or herself well. This can be very frustrating. Many people with TBI do well speaking in non-stressful situations. But your service member/veteran may not be able to use these speaking skills during a stressful situation at school, work, home, or in the community.

Language problems can lead to miscommunication and confusion. This may make it harder than it used to be to make new friends and maintain old relationships. A positive note: Most people with a TBI do, in fact, speak again. Most make notable progress in the other areas of communication over time.

A speech language pathologist (SLP) is the team member who treats communication problems. Your service member/veteran may be able to speak, but may need training to:

  • Understand and remember what is being said
  • Express needs, wants, and ideas clearly to others

The SLP treats problems with speech, voice, and memory.

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