Brain Injuries

  • Brain injuries are considered a “silent epidemic”, and are the leading cause of death and disability in both children and young adults.  (“Harris Poll Shows Low Public Awareness of Brain Injury,” Making Headway, no. 3, 2001, 5)  
  • Brain injuries occur more frequently than breast cancer, AIDS, MS, and spinal cord injury.  
  • Brain injuries are life altering, causing serious physical impairments and a variety of cognitive, behavioral, and emotional complications.  Encourage retraining, and focus on what they can learn to do now.  Businesses can also hire individuals with brain injuries to do meaningful jobs during the gradual states of regeneration.  
What You Can Do
  • Volunteer your expertise or simply your desire to help those with disabilities and special needs.  
  • Be friendly, acknowledge disabled individuals by name, and engage them in conversation.
  • Volunteer to befriend a person with a disability who has no support system.  Let them talk, take them for walks, invite them out for ice cream, or give them a present.
  • Include the disabled person in all kinds of activities.  Participation enlarges abilities and social skills. 
  • Accept and expect extreme reactions to sadness or disappointment (tearful outburst, hiding face, leaving abruptly).  Supply extra reassurance during times of stress.  Changes may require more time for adjustment.
  • Local businesses are urged to consider hiring developmentally disabled persons.   Disabled people can find fulfillment when others find boredom, especially when it comes to repetitive tasks.  They are often highly productive and rarely call in sick.  Every business has its simpler tasks that can be broken out from the more complex task.  Employers can increase their productivity by finding jobs that fit for developmentally disabled workers, freeing other laborers for more complex tasks.  Don’t underestimate their capacities.  Invite them to help you.  They can learn a wide range of job skills and be excellent workers.  One suggestion would be to survey your current employees and ask what parts of their jobs they find repetitive.
  • Construct wheelchair ramps according to legal and physical specifications.  Most anyone who can use a drill and a saw can put together a ramp.
  • Do light housework/cooking in homes of adults with disabilities.  
  • Assess and design home modifications for people with disabilities.
  • Volunteer to care for a mentally disabled child while his/her parents have a night out.
Local Organizations
Additional Resources

Rehab Without Walls
(North Spokane, near Deer Park)
509-710-9825
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/oct/20/harnessed-health/
Comprehensive interdisciplinary rehab following traumatic events for children and adults.  Solutions for people with neurorehabilitation of traumatic brain injury (TBI), acquired brain injury (ABI), spinal cord injury (SCI), and stroke (CVA).  Hippotherapy offers tremendous motivation for traumatic spinal cord injury, including brain-injured soldiers. This unique therapy pairs specially trained horses with patients, to increase hip and pelvic range of motion, strengthen the trunk, and provide valuable, effective sensory integration, among other benefits.offers a program for children with disabilities to utilize a treatment where equine movement improves neuromuscular function.