Speech Difficulties and Traumatic Brain Injuries

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Speech Difficulties and Traumatic Brain Injuries

With rare exceptions, almost all of the processes performed by our bodies are determined by our brains. The brain might be a single organ, but it is responsible for many important parts of daily life that we often take for granted. Given the valuable role our brain plays, head injuries almost always have devastating results. In addition to sometimes proving fatal, these injuries often end up influencing how we perform basic functions like speech. Many people with traumatic brain injuries from accidents end up discovering that they now have a stutter or even slur words.

Speech-Related Side Effects of Brain Damage

Brain injuries can occur in various ways ranging from multiple-vehicle car crashes to falls on wet surfaces. There are similarly just as many side-effects of these injuries. Speech patterns are one of the most obvious signs following a collision. You might have had excellent speaking abilities before a motorcycle crash, but after a collision, you might discover that you now have a stutter. While some issues go away as your brain recovers, other issues end up following people for the rest of their life.

Unfortunately, there are often no outward signs of harm to the body suggesting an issue. Even a closed-head injury can result in substantial trauma below the victim’s skull. The brain is a complex organ and its various structures are each tasked with performing unique functions. One of these functions is the capacity to convert thoughts to language through the use of our vocal cords in combination with our tongue.

While speech impediments sometimes occur due to damage to the vocal cords, tongue, or how we learn a language, a great deal of ability to speak is due to functions performed by the brain. If our brains are damaged, we can end up facing various impediments to our speech. Some of the most common types of impediments people encounter include:

  • Slurred speech. Slurred speech, which is sometimes called dysarthria, involves the inability of a person to adequately produce either sounds or words. You might discover that it is easy to address a question off the top of your head, but that more nuanced sentences and thoughts lead to the slurring of words because your brain encounters difficulties instructing your muscles on how to perform.
  • Stutters. Stutters can form after a traumatic brain injury if the impairment is the result of either apraxia or aphasia. Aphasia involves the inability to either formulate or comprehend language due to damage to certain parts of the brain. Aphasia makes it challenging for a person to process language appropriately and determine what is the correct word to say. Apraxia is a disorder of a person’s motor skills due to damage to the brain and can lead to difficulty with motor planning and the performance of certain tasks. Apraxia can make it difficult for a person to produce the appropriate sound.
  • Recollection. Following a traumatic brain injury, many people find that they are not able to recall words, phrases, or expressions as quickly and reliably as they once did. Some people even discover that these words end up swapped or that a substantial amount of time is required to remember specific although commonplace things.
  • Sounding breathless. Unfortunately, if a person’s breathing is harmed during an accident, this can end up influencing how that person speaks. Breathing is directly related to the way our mouths produce sound. When this ability is disrupted, a person can end up sounding out of breath.
  • Understanding language. While the skill is indirectly associated with speaking difficulties, some people with traumatic brain injuries encounter difficulty keeping track of both dialects and conversations. This can occur because a person’s capacity to process language is damaged and it becomes difficult for the person to appreciate what another individual is saying and adequately respond.

Traumatic Brain Injuries: Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney

If your traumatic brain injury was caused by another person’s negligent actions, you might be able to pursue compensation for the various damages including the cost of your treatment. A skilled lawyer can fight to make sure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. Contact House Law LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation and begin taking the necessary steps to obtain the results you deserve.

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