Concussion Myths: Debunked – Part 1

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With all the buzz lately around concussion in the media, there is a ton of information floating around regarding concussion symptoms and education.

You may think you’ve heard all there is to hear and that you know all there is to know about concussion, but that might not necessarily be true. In this two part blog series, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths about concussion symptoms and give you the knowledge you need to keep your head safe.

Myth #1

Myth: You need to have several of symptoms in order to be diagnosed with a concussion

Fact: You only need ONE symptom to be diagnosed with a concussion after receiving a blow to the head or body. This symptom could be headache, dizziness, nausea, or even just a general “fogginess” (Click here for the CDC’s list of concussion symptoms)

Myth #2

Myth: Men are more susceptible to concussions than women, since they are involved in more risky activities.

Fact: Women are more susceptible to concussions due to having less neck strength than men. This makes them more sensitive to the effects of whiplash that cause the “brain jiggle” responsible for concussion.

Myth #3

Myth: You only get concussions from playing sports or other physical activities.

Fact: Playing sports is only one of many leading causes of concussions seen in Emergency Rooms. Concussions are also regularly caused by slips and falls, car accidents, assaults, falls on the playground, and workplace accidents. Concussions can happen across many ages and environments.

Myth #4

Myth: Doctors know the part of the brain where concussion happens.

Fact: Doctors do not know the exact location of damage in the brain resulting from concussion. As concussions are caused by “brain jiggle” multiple areas may be affected by the forces.

Myth #5

Myth: You have to lose consciousness to have a concussion.

Fact: You DO NOT have to lose consciousness to have a concussion. Many people who have a concussion never pass out; however, they may “see” white, black, or stars. People can have concussions and not even realize it.

MelissaKiley-220Melissa Kiley is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist with a special interest in concussion/acquired brain injury as well as literacy skills development. She has been working with clients for over 10 years and is highly skilled in developing functional and innovative treatments. Melissa enjoys educating clients, families/caregivers, and other team members and has been able to take this to new levels through her role as Community Manager at S. L. Hunter SpeechWorks.

Remembrance Day Focus: Services for Veterans

With Remembrance Day upon us, Canada’s Veterans are never closer to our hearts than they are right now. We want to take this time to highlight the services made available to Veterans by our clinic.

How We Can Help

Members of the Armed Forces are at risk for communication disorders as a result of acquired brain injury, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, sudden onset hearing loss from noise exposure, and other disorders that can inflict adults in the general population (e.g. stroke, dementia, head and neck cancers). There medical conditions can result in significant communication difficulties, which can interfere with the quality of ones’ life.

Some of the communication problems that Veterans can experience include:

  • Trouble speaking clearly to make oneself understood;
  • Trouble formulating thoughts into words;
  • Trouble understanding spoken language;
  • Trouble reading and/or writing skills;
  • Difficulty with cognitively-based communication skills (e.g. memory, organization, problem solving); and
  • Reduced communication confidence.
  • Trouble hearing/following conversations, especially in noisy environments

What some people do not know, is that the services of a Speech-Language Pathologist can help with these difficulties.

For payment of our privately funded services, VAC Health Identification Cards are accepted.

We are extremely mindful of the sacrifices given in the wars fought overseas as well as the recent sacrifices on our soil. Every day Canadian Armed Forces members put their lives at risk, often leaving their families and homes behind to courageously defend our country’s values and contribute to international peace and security. We take this time to reflect on the sacrifices of our Canadian Armed Forces. Thank-you for all you have done for your country.

5 ways to help develop your child’s reading skills

Children can begin developing the skills to prepare them for reading long before they are actually ready to learn how to read.

How Parents Can Help

Parents can ignite this course of development at home. One of the first steps in this process is to promote early language development and vocabulary, by naming objects and talking to your child about what he or she is doing. Another pre-reading activity is to point out pictures and words of interest in the environment (e.g. posters in play centres; stop signs).

It’s Never Too Early to Start!

Books can be introduced at any age! The focus does not have to be on reading. Simply turning the pages, looking at pictures, and hearing your vocal expressions and reactions will help evoke your child’s interest in reading material.

Taking it To the Next Level

Once you do begin reading stories, take time to pause the story and talk about the pictures as you go. Anticipate and predict what might be under the flap or on the next page. Finally, let your child take the lead in selecting books and expressing his or her interests. Beware…this may require reading the same book again and again, for what feels like an eternity. Just remember, you are doing it all to support your little one’s future reading skills.