When thinking of cognitive problems, it is useful to remember that no human skills operate in isolation. We depend on a combination of several skills to carry out individual tasks.
For example, if we want to remember what someone is saying to us, we firstly have to be able to:
– Attend to what they are saying (concentration)
– Understand what they are saying (language/information-processing)
– Keep up with the flow of conversation (speed of thought)
Similarly, a loss of one skill can affect another skill. For example, a memory problem can actually be the result of an attention problem.
For this reason, it is important for the ABI Survivor to have a neuro-psychological assessment, which will identify more precisely the areas of difficulty.
Most people who have suffered a brain injury will experience some cognitive difficulties, to a lesser or greater extent, particularly in the early stages of recovery. However, while there may be marked improvements in cognitive skills over time, some degree of permanent disability is common for people who have suffered a severe brain injury.
The most common complaints, for which strategies have been listed here, are concentration, speed of processing information and memory.