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Social Skills and Behaviour following Brain Injury

See our TBI Home Page for a full list of information about Brain Injury, and links to information and strategies relating to memory, attention, social skills, executive functioning, and improving communication.
Changes in a person’s social skills and behaviour following brain injury can be common. Depending on the extent of the brain injury, in some cases behaviour may become extreme with the person being violent or acting very inappropriately. The individual may have difficulty maintaining previous relationships, and people that know them well may think that their personality has changed. However, with time and rehab many people recover well, and re-learn skills to interact appropriately.


Social Norms

The brain injured individual may forget social norms and how to react appropriately in certain situations. A speech and language pathologist /  therapist (SLT) can help in some of these situations, especially if the behaviour and social skills are related to. An SLT might focus on conversational skills, self-monitoring your own speech, recognising the facial expressions of others, and knowing how to initiate and respond appropriately when in conversation. However, for more serious issues of behaviour and its impact on those close to the individual with TBI, it may be important to involve a clinical psychologist.


Although most people make a good recovery from traumatic brain injury, some are left with long term difficulties. Treatment often involves implementing strategies to overcome these difficulties. A Speech and Language Therapist can provide strategies to facilitate rehabilitation and recovery.

For more information about communication difficulties, and ideas and strategies to help communication, see our Resources, or for specific fact-sheets about TBI and information and strategies for improving communication, memory and attention skills go to the Downloads Section.


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