Invisible Disabilities

by Yvonne Garris

Yesterday I was at a meeting where the speaker was talking about brain injuries and found it to be very interesting. When someone has a brain injury they can look fine, but they can be struggling and disabled.

Let’s take a moment and think about all that our brain does without us even thinking about it. First, I am going to take me typing this blog as an example. My brain has to think about the words I want to type, then it has to think about how to spell the words, then how to make a sentence, and it does all this while my fingers are moving and typing! Now I am legally blind so while I do see a little and I am looking at the screen, my brain is processing what my eyes are trying to see while all this is going on as well. Now we did not even get into all the automatic stuff like sitting, moving my head, breathing, swallowing, and anything else I may have missed. So imagine something happens to part of your brain, it could be catastrophic! But I learned yesterday that the brain does have the power to heal itself and make some new connections. This is great news However, it is a very slow process.

If you know someone with a brain injury and has become disabled please be patient with them. I learned yesterday that just because someone may look “normal” they may be really struggling inside. Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes, Some disabilities are hidden and others are very obvious, but with anyone that has become newly disabled patience is the thing that a person needs the most along with support.

Please let me know if you have had any experience with brain injuries or any comments, I look forward to reading!