How a Traumatic Brain Injury can Affect Learning Abilities
The Social Security Administration reports that a severe traumatic brain injury can take away your ability to communicate, concentrate, and retain memories, which may drastically affect your ability to work, adapt to new environments, and learn new skills. Losing these abilities will impact almost anyone’s education and profession. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries are actually the leading cause of death, physical disabilities, and learning disabilities in children, and many of these injuries are the result of a car accident. Because the brain is a complex organ and children’s brains are still developing, no traumatic brain injuries are the same and it can be difficult to determine how a traumatic brain injury will affect your ability to learn.
Traumatic Brain Injury Defined
A “Traumatic Brain Injury” is defined as an injury to the brain that “occurs when an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction.” There are generally two types of traumatic brain injuries: mild and severe. While a mild traumatic brain injury can cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells and result in dizziness, headaches, and loss of consciousness, patients generally experience a full recovery from mild traumatic brain injuries. However, a severe traumatic brain injury can cause serious physical damage, such as internal bleeding, bruising, and torn brain tissues, which may cause long-term cognitive dysfunction, especially in children. Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries generally fall into three categories: physical, sensory, and cognitive. These symptoms can include the following:
- General loss of coordination.
- Extreme confusion;
- Unusual or aggressive behavior;
- Slurred speech; or
When a traumatic brain injury affects your ability to learn, it is generally due to cognitive dysfunction, which includes how you process and understand information, your memory, planning and organizational abilities, problem-solving, reasoning, and patience. Because persons with cognitive traumatic brain injury can be restless and easily distracted, it becomes difficult to learn in a traditional educational environment that requires intense concentration for long stretches of time. It can further affect educational performance even if you retained the ability to store new information, as timed test taking can be difficult for those with TBI.
Traumatic Brain Injuries and Children
As children’s brains are often softer and even a minor accident can result in brain injury, call your doctor if you notice any of the following persistent symptoms in your child:
- Change in eating or nursing habits;
- Inability to be consoled;
- Inability to pay attention;
- Loss of interest in favorite activities; or
- Drastic changes in sleeping habits.
When a child develops an inability to concentrate during his or her vital educational years, many parents and medical professionals may assume that the child is suffering from attention deficit disorder. However, before accepting such a diagnosis, it is important to ask yourself if a traumatic event, such as sports, a trip and fall or car accident, may have resulted in a brain injury. You should talk to child’s teachers, friends, and your family after an accident in order to see if they believe your child is suffering from cognitive dysfunction.
If this is the case, you may be entitled to have special adaptations made to your child’s learning environment, such as decreased distraction in “quiet rooms,” single task assignments, additional break time, and one-on-one attention skills training. Your child is entitled to compensation for any special educational needs he or she develops as a result of a traumatic brain injury, and the availability of such compensation should not be ignored. It is essential that children experiencing learning difficulties as the result of TBI be given special attention and skills training as early as possible to assist them in rebuilding their attention span and preparing them to be successful in their careers. Be sure to discuss the options available to your child with your Florida brain injury attorney.
Even if you have completed your traditional education, the world is an ever-changing place and continued learning and adaptation to new technology is essential in most work environments. Accordingly, if you are suffering the effects of a severe traumatic brain injury as the result of a car or work accident, it may be difficult to retain new information necessary for your job. This may result in a necessary career change, especially if you are expected to work in an environment that requires intense concentration and continued training.
You may also take a longer time to grasp what others are saying, reading and understanding information, and may have difficulty understanding and following directions. Overall, this will not bode well in most work environments, and even if you are in cognitive therapy and making progress towards recovery, you may never be able to return to work in the same capacity as before. A Florida personal injury attorney can help you determine if you are likely to suffer from lost earning potential as a result of a traumatic brain injury and can help to ensure you are compensated for any future career difficulties.
If you or a loved one, such as your child, is suffering from the effects of a traumatic brain injury, it is important to take cognitive therapeutic steps immediately. Healing and rebuilding your ability to concentrate, communicate, and learn is essential to a successful life, and recovery should be your top priority no matter what your age or education level. The party who is responsible for causing your injury should compensate you both for your child’s special educational needs and any future reduction in earning ability, whether temporary or otherwise, caused by your inability to learn and adapt to changing environments.
You are entitled to more than simply direct compensation for your medical bills and lost wages; you are entitled to the compensation you need in order to rebuild your career and live comfortably while doing so. The Dolman Law Group is your premier traumatic brain injury firm in the greater Tampa Bay area, and their attorneys are here to ensure you get the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your recovery. Contact them today at (727) 451-6900 for a free, no-risk consultation.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765