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How To Explain A Brain Injury Disability

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Processing And Understanding Information

3. Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury, its Causes, Effects and Classifications – Brain Injury 101

After a TBI, a persons ability to process and understand information often slows down and can become more challenging. This can result in some of the following problems:

  • Having trouble understanding what others are saying or needing more time to understand what others are saying.
  • Taking more time to understand and follow directions.
  • Having trouble following storylines in television shows and movies.
  • Taking longer to read and understand written information, including books, newspapers, or magazines.
  • Reacting slowly to changes or warning signs in the surroundings. Slow reactions make certain activities, such as driving, unsafe. For example, not reacting quickly enough to stop signs, traffic lights, and other warning signs.
  • Taking longer to carry out physical tasks, including routine activities, such as getting dressed or cooking.

What Is Acquired Brain Injury

The term Acquired Brain Injury is used to describe all types of brain injury that occur after birth. The brain can be injured as a result of:

  • traumatic brain injury
  • near drowning or other anoxic episodes
  • alcohol and drug abuse

Changes as a result of an acquired brain injury can include:

  • Medical difficulties
  • Altered sensory abilities
  • Impaired physical abilities
  • Impaired ability to think and learn
  • Altered behaviour and personality
  • Impaired ability to communicate;;

Recovery after brain injury differs from person to person. It can depend on the type of brain injury, where the brain is injured and the extent of the brain injury. Impairments can be either temporary or permanent, and can cause either specific or more widespread disability. Individuals may also find that the nature of their problems changes over time.

In the longer term most people with ABI report changes in thinking and behaviour while only 25% of people with a severe ABI will experience ongoing physical disabilities. Changes in thinking and behaviour are hard for other people to recognise. People who do not understand the hidden difficulties from an acquired brain injury may believe the person is being lazy or difficult.

Any changes, from mild to severe, require a period of adjustment, both physically and emotionally. Adjustment to these changes will not only affect the person who has had the brain injury but also the family, friends and carers who are supporting the person

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Can I Qualify For Long Term Disability Due To A Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury is a serious and life-changing injury caused by a sudden blow to the head that damages the brain. Suffering a TBI can lead to physical and/or cognitive difficulties requiring intense rehabilitative care.; Even with intensive treatment, a traumatic brain injury may cause residual symptoms severe enough to cause a permanent or long term disability.

If youve suffered a TBI, you may find it impossible to continue working due to your condition. In that case, you may consider filing a long term disability insurance claim. Its important to know beforehand what steps you should take to ensure your best chances of disability claim approval.

Here are the key tips you need to know before filing your traumatic brain injury long term disability insurance claim.

Hidden Disability Symbol May Be The Key To Raising Brain Injury Awareness

Invisible Disability  Brain Injury Awareness Week 2020

Andrea Gordontimer

People who come across Laura Brydges walking her standard poodle or stopping by the grocery store wouldnt immediately see evidence of the daily struggles she faces.

Ten years ago, a car accident left Brydges with a traumatic brain injury. As a result, she has trouble concentrating for more than a few minutes at a time and is easily overwhelmed by noise, lights and commotion. She didnt return to her job as a dietitian working in public health and no longer drives or takes public transit. Being stuck in the middle of a crowd or a hectic situation for more than a few minutes can fill her with panic and bring her to tears.

Thats a lot to explain to strangers though. Which is why Brydges dreams of the day she can get the message across with one simple visual tool a universal symbol indicating she has an invisible disability.

Shes already designed and started using her proposed hidden disability symbol, a blue and white figure inside a circle, on wallet cards. And shes been seeking online feedback.

Like the international symbol of accessibility for those with physical disabilities, Brydges is calling for a counterpart that could be used by people with such conditions as autism, mental illness, epilepsy and ADHD.

When she goes out, Brydges carries wallet-sized cards with the symbol on one side and tips on how strangers can help her cope if shes having a difficult moment on the other.

These are tough, tough issues, he says.

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    How Do I Prove My Tbi As A Disability

    As serious as traumatic brain injuries are, your insurance company will require proof of your diagnosis, disabling symptoms, and appropriate treatment before approving your long term disability claim. Never assume your insurance company will understand how your condition impairs your ability to work without supportive documentation.

    How Can Families Know Whats Going To Happen

    The truth is that nobody has all the answers. The sheer complexity of the brain means even the experts may not know what the outcome will be.76 This uncertainty may hang over a family after their child has returned home, and parents are looking for signs of recovery.

    But in all the uncertainty there is also great possibility. The experts may not be able to guarantee the level of recovery, but neither can they rule out the dramatic improvements many families have witnessed.31, 16

    As we said above, research has suggested a supportive and positive family environment can help children in their recovery. All friends and family can help in this.;

    It was really important that we were prepared for the fact he wasnt going to be quite the same lad he was before. To our friends and relatives, Michael was home from hospital and everything was all okay. But it was tough to see him settle back into his life behaving differently.” Parent’s experience

    My wife and I found it hard to get used to the fact that there wasnt going to be a simple, definite conclusion to all of this. It had all started very suddenly, but we were told Michaels recovery was going to be a more gradual, long-term thing. “Parent’s experience

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    Learning And Remembering New Information

    People with TBI may have trouble learning and remembering new information and events. People with TBI may also have problems remembering entire events or conversations. When this happens, the mind will sometimes try to fill in the gaps of missing information with things that did not really happen. These false memories are not lies. False memories are the brains attempt to use the best information it has to make up for what is missing.

    What Are The Regulations I Need To Know About

    How to Win Social Security Disability for a Traumatic Brain Injury

    The Ministry of Education has developed regulations that must be followed by school boards/schools in supporting students with exceptionalities. For a list of all the Regulations see Special Education in Ontario, Kindergarten to Grade 12 above. One of the most significant regulations for parents to be aware of is Regulation 181/98.

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    What Happens During The Acute Hospital Stay

    Each TBI is unique. Most people with a TBI need a combination of intensive medical treatments. These may include neurological, surgical, and rehabilitative treatment. In the acute care setting, doctors and other healthcare professionals first address life-threatening injuries. Next, they address and treat other injuries and medical problems that arise. Finally, doctors make sure the injured person is medically stable. Many other health care providers and specialists may be involved too. This can be overwhelming. The following is an overview of the health care team members who will likely be involved. Aside from providing care, the members of this team are an important source of information and support to family members and friends during this difficult time:

  • Pharmacists: In a hospital setting, these specialists work closely with the doctors to monitor a persons medications. They help with medication dosing and prepare medications. They may also provide education to the medical team and sometimes directly to families. They can explain the purpose of the medications being given and provide information on medication side effects.
  • Physiatrists : These doctors help diagnose and treat medical conditionsincluding pain, muscle, joint, and nerve problemsduring the rehabilitation process. They also direct and oversee a team of brain injury rehab specialists, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, and/or speech therapists.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury / Concussion

    A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an injury that affects how the brain works. TBI is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. Anyone can experience a TBI, but data suggest that some groups are at greater risk for getting a TBI or having worse health outcomes after the injury.

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    Roles And Responsibilities Of The Slp

    Speech-language pathologists play a central role in the screening, assessment, and treatment of persons with TBI. The professional roles and activities in speech-language pathology include clinical services , prevention, and advocacy, as well as education, administration, and research. See ASHA’s Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology .

    Appropriate roles for SLPs include the following:

    As indicated in the Code of Ethics , SLPs who serve this population should be specifically educated and appropriately trained to do so.

    Timing Of A Social Security Decision On Tbi

    Traumatic Brain Injury Power Point

    TBIs are different than most other illnesses or diseases in that it can be difficult to make a long-term prognosis about an individual’s prospects. Social Security has taken into account the high variability associated with TBIs. With many other disabilities, applicants cannot receive disability benefits until they have been disabled for over twelve months. However, with TBIs, an individual who sustains profound neurological impairment may be found disabled within three months post injury. If a finding of disability is not possible three months post injury, the applicant can be reassessed when evidence of neurological or mental impairments is received by Social Security. If there is still not finding of disability, an individual may be reassessed again at least six months post injury, if Social Security receives new medical evidence about your TBI.

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    Summary Of Key Points About Severe Tbi

    • Severe TBIs always involve a period of unconsciousness. When this period lasts for an extended amount of time, the term disorder of consciousness is used. Disorders of consciousness include coma, vegetative state, and minimally conscious state. Each disorder of consciousness is marked by different levels of awareness and ability to interact with surroundings in a purposeful way.
    • Many people with a severe TBI regain consciousness; however, recovery is a long process and it involves several stages.
    • People with disorders of consciousness that last several months after a severe TBI can still have meaningful recoveries. They often benefit from rehab in programs that specialize in treating people with severe TBI.
    • An accurate diagnosis of level of consciousness is essential. It can help predict short- and long-term outcomes. It can also help in treatment planning and informing important decisions early in recovery.
    • Early predictions of long-term recovery are often inaccurate. It may take time to make an accurate prognosis. Such a prognosis is based on your loved ones changing condition, especially as the medical condition improves and care is simplified.
    • The health care team should have expertise in managing severe TBI. These professionals are best prepared to handle the many complex issues that may come up during your loved ones recovery.

    Meet Your Expert Personal Injury Lawyer: Mateen Pourgol

    Pourgol Law has been providing years of help to personal injury victims and our lawyers have years of experience since 2001. Our team offers a free consultation, and you pay nothing unless you recover. We provide services for vehicle accidents, long-term disability benefits, brain injuries, chronic pain, and many more types of cases. When any of these tragic situations occur, it is best to have an experienced personal injury lawyer at your side in the GTA and Toronto area.

    Personal injury cases are our expertise, backed by years of successful cases. Mateen Pourgols focus ensures the best service in the Toronto area. She focuses on personal injury litigation on behalf of injured plaintiffs, including pursuing personal injury claims for long-term & short-term disability benefits, CPP disability benefits, and Statutory Accident Benefits.

    • Personal injury, car accident, and brain injury litigation
    • Toronto and the surrounding GTA area focused
    • Pursue long-term & short-term disability benefits including personal injury claims for CPP disability;benefits, and statutory accident benefits

    You Pay Nothing Unless You Recover Compensation

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    What Are My Childs Rights

    The Ontario Human Rights Commission has dominance over The Education Act and has a policy on educating children with disabilities called the Policy on Accessible Education for Students with; Disabilities, March 2018.

    For the full policy, please see:

    • Compulsive reactions
    • Inability to learn which is not related to other health factors

    At this time, there is no category that formally identifies Acquired Brain Injury as an exceptionality requiring specific interventions under The Education Act and its related regulations. Depending on how your childs brain injury has impacted them, your child may qualify for special education services under The Education Act and its related Regulations and Policy/Program Memoranda.

    For detailed information please see Special Education in Ontario, Kindergarten to Grade 12 at

    Treating And Living With Tbi

    The Little Bird Who Forgot How To Fly: Caring For A Child With Traumatic Brain Injury

    An injured brain also has a tendency to swell, so if there is no room in the skull to expand, the swollen brain may start pushing against the eye sockets. The optic nerve eventually gets pinched, and eyesight is affected. A surgeon might drill holes into a skull to test cranial pressure. If the swelling is too extreme, the only option is to create an escape hatch by sawing away a portion of the skull.

    The neurosurgeon is in charge of protecting the brain through medical procedures, but the survivor has to manage life with the effects of the TBI. Everyone reacts differently, depending in part on the severity of the injury, the quality of their care, and the strength of the social network around them. Many survivors feel pulled in different directions, feeling at times that the injury has made them less than what they were, and at other times that they can integrate TBI into their lives in a positive way. People with TBI are forced to confront a whole series of personal questions: How does my injury really affect me? Can I regain the things Ive lost? What am I other than my brain? How can I make the most of my life?

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    What Can People With Tbi Do To Improve Communication

    • Practice communicating one on one or in small groups and in environments with few distractions.
    • If someone is speaking too fast, ask them to speak slowly so you can better understand them.
    • If people are trying to tell you too much at once, ask them to tell you one thing at a time or ask one question at a time.
    • If people ask too many questions at once, ask for one question at a time.
    • If you didnt understand something someone said to you, ask him or her to repeat it or say it in a different way.
    • To make sure you understand what someone says, offer to summarize what you heard.
    • Before you start a conversation, think about the main point that you want to communicate. Plan what you need to say and consider what, if any, background information the person may need to better understand your message.
    • When you write emails and post to social media, make sure to proofread, and read the text aloud before sending or posting it.

    Appendix C: A Primer On Medications And Testing Accommodations For Test Takers With Traumatic Brain Injuries

    Various types of medications may be prescribed to individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Since injuries vary widely in character and severity, the use of medications is very specific to the individual circumstances. Medications may address physical symptoms and/or cognitive issues. Such agents include:

    • analgesics for pain relief and pain management
    • anti-convulsants to prevent seizures
    • muscle relaxants to reduce muscle spasms or spasticity
    • sedative-hypnotic agents to induce sleep or reduce activation of the central nervous system
    • psychotropic medications such as: anxiolytics (i.e., anti-anxiety agents, to address feelings of
    • nervousness or fear), anti-depressants , anti-psychotics , mood stabilizers , and stimulants

    Most medications have a generic name as well as a trade name. For example, a generic drug such as Zolpidem is also marketed under the trade name Ambien. This does not mean that all such agents are equivalent, since there may be differences in how they are formulated. In addition, some drugs may be used to treat more than one condition. Cyclobenzaprine, the generic name for Flexeril, may be prescribed as a muscle relaxant or to treat insomnia.

    The list of available medications is lengthy and ever-changing. Information about duration of drug effects, side effects, and discontinuation effects is available from expert sources. ETS recommends consulting a range of trusted sources, such as:


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