May 10, 2024


2:15 pm

5:30 pm

“Support Me, Believe Me”: Youth Experiences Navigating Communication Changes Following Concussion and Implications for Speech-Language Pathologists

Experiencing communication changes following a concussion can leave a young person feeling confused, isolated and alone. With knowledge and expertise in communication, cognition, and client-centred care, speech-language pathologists play a pivotal but often overlooked role in concussion care. Despite the high rates of concussion and brain injury reported among youth, they are underrepresented in the literature. Youth have social and cultural needs, roles and responsibilities distinct from adults and children. Researchers have yet to explore how young people respond to communication changes during concussion recovery, constituting a critical barrier to current concussion management practices. This session will review the current literature and highlight critical gaps in research and practice for youth after mild traumatic brain injury or concussion.

Findings from our recent study that employed novel arts-based research methods to learn directly from youth aged 16-25 years about their experiences of navigating communication changes in daily life will be presented, and clinical implications will be discussed. Case examples and arts-based creative contributions center youths’ voices and perspectives in the presented research findings. With a better understanding of youths’ unique experiences, clinicians can tailor their services to facilitate communication in the context of daily routines and meaningful activities to support youths’ wellbeing.