Posted on October 31, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 14 of 20 in the series Steven

Assessment of Severe Brain Injury Deficits: Steven Part Fourteen

In part fourteen we discussed the problems Steven had while he never really had an assessment of severe brain injury deficits.

You said you  finally had a neuropsychological evaluation done for the assessment of severe brain injury deficits, that you paid for out of your own pocket?

Yes, sir.

Tell me about the assessment of severe brain injury deficits and that you had to pay for it out of your own pocket.

I had to go to my primary care physician and ask him for a – first, I asked him about what he knew about TBI, and he gave me, like, the generic, just rundown description of what a TBI is that you would to anybody that just didn’t know.  And then he’s like well, why do you ask, and I had been seeing him for close to a year at that point.

I told him, I was like, well, I am a TBI survivor.

And he’s like well, who said that?  Who diagnosed you with that?  And I told him, you know, about everything I’d been through, and I had a stack of medical papers like that that would back up what I was telling him.  And then I asked him if he could get me a referral to see either a neuropsychologist, neuropsychiatrist – I mix those up all the time – to get a neuropsychological evaluation (anassessment of severe brain injury deficits) .

And because during my research for a speech I found out about it, and, because I was having real problems with the accommodations that were given to me at the school I was attending.  And then he referred me to the neurologist( for the assessment of severe brain injury deficits) .

You went to see the neurologist for the assessment of severe brain injury deficits ?

Right and then she referred me to the, I guess neuropsychiatrist or whatever it is.

Neuropsychologist probably.

I had to come back down to Memphis and be there at 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning and then I went through this, like a battery of tests about three or four hours with the shapes and the blocks and everything.  Then I got a break in the middle of the day at which time I was already kind of, my anxiety levels were way high and everything because of the fluorescent lights.

There was just a lot of triggers that were setting me off during the testing and I got like a break to go get food.  My anxiety level even got higher and by the time I came back I was probably a little more frazzled for lack of a better term than I was during the first half of it. The second half was like more the temperament where they ask, there was like 500 questions.


Right and then I just had to sit there and they were giving me all these questions that you couldn’t really answer but you had to answer one way or another so it was real … it didn’t really specifically point to any one thing it just, you gave an answer and then they made a determination by your answer.

How do you feel about the MMPI-2?

I don’t know, I really think that it was probably too much.  It didn’t get a true assessment of what’s going on with the person because it’s too vague in the answers that the person would give to be able to make good educated guesses to what they’re really thinking or feeling.

Was there a fundamental flaw in giving it in the middle of a long day for a assessment of severe brain injury deficits to a brain injured person?

Yes sir.  And I think the evaluation should also be a little more prepared with the environment that the test is given in for a person with TBI.

Let’s take that apart.  First why do you think it’s too much to give to someone during a neuropsychological evaluation for an assessment of severe brain injury deficits?

They should probably in most every instance be broken up into a few like sessions, a couple sessions because it’s already really hard to process smaller amounts of information correctly and then when you dump a ton of information even a regular person it’s going to be kind of hard.  Then if you have any kind of cognitive deficits it’s going to be a million times worse.

Next in Part Fifteen – Understanding the Toll that the Environment Can Take on a Severe Brain Injury Survivor

By Attorney Gordon Johnson


About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447