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Traumatic Brain Injury

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Copyright © 1998 Brain Injury Resource Center
As Others See You...
More than just a bump on the head!  Though not always visible and sometimes seemingly minor, brain injury is complex. It can cause physical, cognitive, social, and vocational changes. In 
From The Ashes:
A Brain Injury Survivor's Guide
 many cases recovery becomes a lifelong process of adjustments and accommodations for the individual and the family.

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     Depending on the extent and location of the injury, impairments caused by a head injury can vary widely. The irony of mild head injuries is that often, such injuries do not even require a hospital stay, yet they result in changes so profound that lives are forever changed. 

     Some common impairments include difficulties with memory, mood, and concentration. Others include significant deficits in organizational and reasoning skills, learning, cognitive, and executive functions.

     Recovery from a head injury can be inconsistent. In many cases gains may be closely followed by setbacks and plateaus. A "plateau" is not evidence that functional improvement has ended. Frequently, plateaus are followed by gains.

     Changes in memory, social and organizational skills after a brain injury makes it difficult to function in complex environments. Only individuals and families who live with brain injury can truly understand the experience. You and your family have lived the experience and by necessity learned about brain injury and its consequences. Others will not fully understand because they lack knowledge and understanding of brain injury. 

       The needs of those living with brain injuries are complex and change over time. As you seek services you will meet others who do not fully understand brain injury.  Educating others about brain injury is an important role for you to play. While brain injury has many common features, each individual and family bring their own unique needs and perspective to the experience. No one will be able to speak about your needs and experiences as well as you can.  The education of others will be a continuing process as your needs change.

       Education is part of the advocacy process by which you can build awareness and acceptance.  It can also help match services and programs with your strengths and needs, develop partnerships with professionals, and even work toward changing the system. 

     Your life today is probably very different than it was before brain injury.  Looking back, you might be surprised to see that you have grown through this experience.  As you look toward the future, know that you are not alone. Organizations, agencies and services listed on the pages of this site can help you. (Scroll down to links to support groups.)

       Reach out to them and build a network of support for yourself and your family.  With the support and help of others, you and your family will be able to set out in a new, rewarding direction.

   Instructions:  Regular evaluation of YOU by others in your personal support network can provide important feedback. This form was designed to evaluate individual performance of key management and leadership practices important to the success of your rehab goals. Fair and accurate evaluations will help you to recognize, analyze and correct problems. Answer all questions and feel free to add your own comments and concerns.

Use the form below


Leadership Skills Inventory
Always Usually Never
1. Demonstrates awareness and sensitivity toward needs of support network.      
2. Explain tasks and expectations so that support network clearly understand their roles.      
3. Listen to others and show understanding of what they are saying.      
4. Encourage open communication and input.      
5. Show respect and support for support network.      
6. Formally recognize and praise support network for commitment and assistance.      
7. Provide positive feedback in a manner that reinforces desirable behavior.      
8. Provide negative feedback in a constructive manner.      
9. Demonstrate sensitivity to learning styles and learning needs of team.      
10. Actively participate in skill building and identification of deficits needs.      
11. Accept criticism and learn from mistakes.      
12. Suggests ways to improve process or structure in a non-pushy way.      
13. Generate and/or recognize imaginative or creative solutions to project goals.      
14. Set challenging but realistic deadlines.      
15. Maintained sense of humor and flexibility.      
16. Anticipate obstacles to achieving goals and identified means to overcome them.      
17. Revise positions when new information suggests a change is needed.      
18. Managed time efficiently.      
19. Works to resolve differences to mutual satisfaction.      
Totals each column...      

Assessment Key: You should have been rated Always and Usually on all or almost all of the questions. If you were rated Never on 6 or more questions, the relationship is probably not very productive nor personally satisfying. Consider leadership training. 

If you want to make changes then add the following tools to your tool kit:
Essential Skills
Goal Setting Skills
Assertiveness Quiz

 
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Copyright © 1998 Brain Injury Resource Center