Strategies that Promote Moving Forward after TBI

Many survivors of ABI experience breakdowns in communication, social isolation and a wide range of physical and psychological changes that significantly affect quality of life and healthy well being. Our interest in this area of research was prompted by our clinical perception that some survivors had developed amazing, fulfilling lives post-injury. Although many individuals are missing domains that affect quality of life such as independence, a vocation and significant relationships, they have been able to find meaning and purpose in their communities. Our findings show that there is general agreement between professionals and survivors about key components that lead to healthy well being and successful reintegration after ABI. In my practise, we are currently using these research findings to develop functional, meaningful rehabilitation programs for survivors and their families.

Words of Wisdom

From survivors:
- Blame the injury, not the person
- One day at a time
- Embrace change
- Be persistent
- Focus on things you can control
- Embrace the future, not the past
- Use technology
- Get involved in the community
- Accept the loss of youth and move forward

Keys to Success

- Survivors have good insight
- Positive attitude, persistence and resiliency
- Strong support system is critical
- Need to link peers with survivors
- Find volunteer opportunities - need a way to give back and feel valued
- Although families may feel unappreciated, their support is critical 
- Passionate commitment to an activity (ex. Arts)
From professionals:
- Do not compare yourself with others
- It is a day to day journey
- Remain flexible
- Never give up
- Find strategies for weaknesses
- Accept where you are and move forward
- Find a good rehabilitation team
- Join support groups
- Embrace survival of the human spirit