Tampa Bay Traumatic Brain Injury And Speech Deficiencies

Tampa Bay TBI Statistics

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders [1] and Stroke describes Traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a form of acquired brain injury that occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. The Centers for Disease Control[2] and Prevention provides that among all age groups, motor vehicle crashes were the third overall leading cause of TBI (14%).   When looking at just TBI-related deaths, motor vehicle crashes were the second leading cause of TBI-related deaths (26%) for 2006–2010.

Deficits Caused by Pinellas County TBI

The consequences of a traumatic brain injury may include physical, sensory, cognitive-communication, swallowing and behavioral issues. These problems significantly impair the affected person’s ability to live independently. The problems vary depending on how widespread the brain damage[3] is and the location of the injury.

  • Physical problems: Including loss of consciousness, seizures, headaches, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, reduced muscle strength (paresis/paralysis), and impairments in movement, balance, and/or coordination, including dyspraxia/apraxia.
  • Sensory deficits: Problems can involve all sensory systems depending on the areas of the brain that are involved.
  • Behavioral changes: Changes in experiencing or expressing emotions, agitation and/or combativeness, anxiety or stress disorder, and depression. An individual with TBI can also experience mood swings, impulsivity, irritability, and reduced frustration tolerance.
  • Cognitive deficits: May involve changes in awareness of one’s surroundings, attention to tasks, reasoning, problem-solving, and executive functioning (e.g., goal setting, planning, initiating, self-awareness, self-monitoring, and evaluation). The person may have trouble starting tasks and setting goals to complete them. Planning and organizing a task is an effort and it is difficult to self-evaluate work.
  • Communication deficits: Often characterized by difficulty in understanding or producing speech correctly, slurred speech consequent to weak muscles, and/or difficulty in programming oral muscles for speech production. It may be an effort for individuals with TBI to understand both written and spoken messages; they may behave as if they are trying to comprehend a foreign language. They may also have difficulty with spelling, writing, and reading. Some individuals may also have difficulty in social communication, such as difficulty taking turns in conversation and problems maintaining a topic of conversation. Most frustrating to families and friends, individuals with TBI may have little or no awareness of just how inappropriate their behaviors are.

Language and Communication Problems After a Tampa Bay TBI

Communication problems[4] can cause persons with TBI to have difficulty understanding and expressing information in some of the following ways:

  • Difficulty thinking of the right word.
  • Trouble starting or following conversations or understanding what others say.
  • Rambling or getting off topic easily.
  • Difficulty with more complex language skills, such as expressing thoughts in an organized manner.
  • Trouble communicating thoughts and feelings using facial expressions, tone of voice and body language (non-verbal communication).
  • Having problems reading others’ emotions and not responding appropriately to another person’s feelings or to the social situation.
  • Misunderstanding jokes or sarcasm.

Speech Pathologist After TBI in Pinellas County

Depending on the severity of the speech deficits after a TBI, it may be necessary for the victim to see a speech-language pathologist who can assist with their speech related problems.  Speech-language pathologists[5] direct, diagnose, and conduct programs to improve communicative skills related to speech and language problems.  After evaluation, a speech pathologist can help a TBI victim with difficulty swallowing, speaking, writing, as well as assisting with overall communication skills.

Contact a Tampa Bay Brain Injury Lawyer

If you have suffered a brain injury that has caused speech deficits, it is important to speak to an experienced Tampa Bay brain injury attorney as soon as possible.  At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, our team of highly skilled brain injury lawyers have helped many victims obtain the recovery they deserve for their injuries and related losses including lost wages, medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900



[1] http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tbi/tbi.htm
[2] http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html
[3]  http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/TBI/
[4] http://www.brainline.org/landing_pages/categories/speech.html
[5] http://www.msktc.org/tbi/factsheets/Cognitive-Problems-After-Traumatic-Brain-Injury

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