Kick-off Summer with Brain Injury Awareness

OTTAWA, June 20, 2011 /CNW/ - As warmer temperatures and longer days greet the official start of summer, the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA) reminds you June is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada. During the coming months, people of all ages will participate in various activities that expose them to the threat of traumatic brain injuries. While enjoying summer activities, experts recommend wearing appropriate headgear during sporting activities, avoiding high-risk activities and behaviour and wearing your seatbelt, to help prevent brain injuries.

CASLPA represents more than 5,800 speech and hearing professionals, who have an important role to play in helping individuals recovering from and/or coping with brain injuries. It is estimated that 80 to 100 per cent of individuals with a brain injury will have some form of communication disorder. Treatment by these professionals is essential, as they "strive to help individuals with brain injury make sense of large, complex ideas to become more concrete, clear, and accessible," says CASLPA member Luella Jonk, a speech-language pathologist working in Winnipeg, MB.

"Each individual has a story. There is what was once their life, what it is now, and what they think it will become. This occurs as they try to reconstruct their identity. It is a journey," adds Jonk. "This journey becomes somewhat convoluted and strained by cognitive impairments (such as memory loss)."

Approaches to treatment and rehabilitation of brain injuries are diverse, as each individual will experience different challenges in speaking, swallowing, reading, listening or hearing. "Therapy helps clients to develop a new relationship with themselves and redefine their identity to form a realistic self-representation that includes the impact of the injury as a significant event in their life," adds Jonk.

If you or someone you know has a communication problem or limitation, CASLPA recommends contacting a speech-language pathologist or audiologist. For more information about the role these professionals play in the management of communication disorders or to find a speech-language pathologist or audiologist in your area, visit CASLPA's website at www.speechandhearing.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA)

For further information:

Angie D'Aoust, CASLPA Director of Communications
1-800-259-8519, or by e-mail pubs@caslpa.ca

www.speechandhearing.cawww.caslpa.catinyurl.com/caslpaonfacebooktwitter.com/CASLPA

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Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA)

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