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Changes After a Brain Injury

Changes in Judgement and Problem-Solving

Problem-solving and judgment may be impaired after a brain injury. He may have trouble judging a situation and figuring out what the right response should be. He may act on his first impulse.

His thinking style may not be flexible—once he’s made up his mind, it can be hard to change it. Once he has an idea or plan, it may be hard for him to think of alternatives. Because of poor judgment he may not make decisions that are in his best interest.

Helping with judgment and problem-solving

  • Involve him in making decisions whenever possible.
  • Encourage him to plan and reason out loud so you can help with his decisions and gently correct errors in his thinking.
  • Point out important things to think about when making a decision. Encourage him to write these down.
  • Give him choices, instead of asking for a suggestion or opinion. For instance, ask if he wants to go for a walk, practice his exercises, or watch TV, instead of asking him what he wants to do.
  • Give him feedback about his behaviour; on both what was a correct response and what wasn’t. Tell him if his behaviour or ideas are appropriate or realistic. You can ask your psychologist, occupational, or speech therapist for ideas on how to do this.
  • Help him remember similar problems or situations from the past. Reduce distractions and demands, and give him extra time to problem-solve.

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