Head injuries are common in car accidents. A TBI can impact what you know and how you think. According to MSKTC, a TBI can wreak havoc on your ability to pay attention, process information, remember important details and communicate with others.
There are ways that you can improve cognition after an accident.
Practice communication with friends and loved ones
After a TBI, you may have difficulty following conversations or thinking of the right words while talking to others. Even if you have thoughts on something, the words may come out jumped or you have difficulty expressing yourself verbally or through body language and tone of voice. Even if you understood sarcasm and jokes before the injury, you might find it more difficult following it.
To help with communication, try talking in small groups. Limit the distractions within the group and surround yourself with people you trust and who understand your limitations. When people speak too fast, ask them to slow down or to tell you one thing at a time.
Decrease distractions when focusing
You might find multitasking hard after a TBI. If you have to focus on a task, try to do so in a quiet room. Break your tasks into several small tasks and focus on only one at a time. Try to start with more manageable tasks and progress to more complex ones. For example, read short stories before you attempt to read difficult or complex novels. You can begin to work in noisier environments slowly to introduce distractions.
For some patients, cognitive therapy improves their thinking skills. They may see speech therapists, occupational therapists and neuropsychologists.