I believe that one of the most important things we can share is communication; proper communication. That by sharing we learn what understanding really is, and only then can we establish true Equality and Inclusion.
That is easier said than done; because what happens when there are difficulties with Communicating? Difficulties that are not easily in our control. OBIA (Ontario Brain Injury Association) says that 80 to 100 percent of brain injury survivors have trouble in this respect.
I know of many people who have acquired this disability, including myself, who have challenges when it comes to conveying feelings or expressing their opinions and thoughts properly. Cognitively, I often find my mind searching for words and being unable to make my point. Some Survivors, again with me being included, don’t like communicating with large groups and prefer the one on one discussion because of difficulties keeping up with multiple people.
Most of these issues I mention can be solved with slowing things down a few notches and by eliminating any pressure and the need to rush. Unfortunately, most people living outside of the disability world seem to find this difficult to do. And remember, I said this would help “most of” these issues, not all.
One of the biggest challenges someone with brain injury can be inflicted with, as far as communication goes, is a disorder called Aphasia.
Aphasia: a disturbance of the comprehension and formulation of language caused by dysfunction in specific brain regions
It is not known how long Aphasia can last in someone’s life (perhaps, to some degree, forever) but it is hard to live with. Aphasia not only affects the ability to talk, but also to understand, read and write. It can stop speech altogether, slur or slow speech to the equivalent of a snails crawl. The words may be there, but no matter how hard one may try, it comes out wrong; something that that person may have never intended to say. But then again, Aphasia varies and affects people differently.
My mom has Aphasia, brought about from her brain injury sustained in 2001. She has come quite far since then, but we still have our hardships with communication.
With patience and understanding and learning new communicative tools, aside from the verbal, (like writing, drawing, hand gestures, images, etc….) the communication goes on.
Patience, it has a lot to do with proper communication, and we need to remember that communication is not only speaking and/or writing, but listening. People have to acknowledge and take into consideration what others say and where what is being said is coming from. In the case of brain injury it is a reoccurring issue, people rushing through and/or assume because “if it is not seen, it is not believed.”
So have some patience, try to listen, consider, understand, and communicate effectively.