Doug Concludes with Part Eight – Community Integration: http://tbivoices.com/blog/uncategorized/doug-story-concludes-community-integration/
TBI survivors are often thrown back to earlier developmental stages to re-learn important tasks that their injured brain forgot how to do. This is often seen in speech and physical therapy where a TBI survivor must, like a young child, learn how to walk and talk. Damage to the frontal lobes often results in problems with mood and executive functioning, skills which take the greatest amount of time to develop as these are skills that 20-year-olds cultivate. Just as speech and walking are important, so are the skills acquired in early adulthood.
To guarantee the best recovery from a TBI, a treatment plan must address these issues as well. However, the current approach to diagnosis and treatment seems to regard brain injury deficits as permanent; if significant change isn’t seen within a certain amount of time, then treatment is regarded as a waste of time and money. Yet, we have seen examples of plasticity, where another part of the brain takes over the functions of a localized part of the brain, traditionally believed to perform specific functions. It is, therefore, reasonable to believe that TBI survivors can re-learn some of the skills acquired in early adulthood, given the opportunity and enough time.
Doug talks about his desire to work on and find this social “connectedness”. Because of his inability to drive, he is limited to relying upon the computer and Facebook to meet his needs for social interaction and networking, not the best way to find someone you can love & share your life with. It’s hard to assess whether Doug has problems with his mood, since there was no one else who could talk about their observations of Doug. Doug admits to sometimes feeling down about being disabled and alone, though he believes he has found ways to deal with these feelings.
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