How Do People With Brain Injury Want to be Treated?

“…unsegregated… appreciated… as a recognized person… reliable… sociable… to be accepted… to be recognized (positively)… to be respected… to be trustworthy…”

“…as an equal, trusted!”

“The only loss I have is the job I was in to. My job was maintenance man for an elderly high-rise apartments.”

“…as an adult… my parents, and children at times forget I’m an adult… a recovering brain-injured adult… to treat me as a child does nothing to boost my self-confidence. I should be allowed to state my opinions, my thoughts, my insights, and to be received as an adult opinion, worthy of being shared.”

“I would like to be treated as an equal! Not to be looked down upon, but looked at for who I am!”

“I think all people with a brain injury are different from each other, they should not be lumped together but treated as their own person.”

“Before my injury, I had a photographic memory; I could see a page in a textbook, and write the material down, word for word, comma for comma. I lost the capacity to dream. I lost and then regained my faith which had brought me so far. Now I feel invisible. I’m handicapped. Others feel like I’m less than normal. I want to be treated as a child of the King. That makes me a princess. As long as I cling to this idea, I am rich. Because of this, I am a beautiful person.”

“…I was in a hospital and it was eventually explained that I would be disabled for the rest of my life… do mental exercises every single day and include study, reading… use of your intuition; think about the future.

(from the participants of CenterPOINT in Louisville, Kentucky)
For What Are You Grateful?

“…for those things that I am able to accomplish. I enjoy driving. I work as a teacher’s assistant. I work with kindergartners and Pre-K children, and special education kids. I love my job because it’s not monotonous; I go to different schools and work with different people. I am grateful that I have my parents and my friends. I am most grateful for independence and being able to do for myself and others.”

“…for life, my family and brothers.”

“… for I came out of a coma unable to read or write; at an infant stage, mentally, and I thank God for restoring my ability to read. And I am thankful for my writing ability.”

“… for the physical capabilities and assets to go to help people like I do, I enjoy helping the people that I do. and I like the people that I help. I enjoy my volunteer job. I repaint artwork that patients have started on but don’t complete. I am grateful for my artistic abilities.”

“… the chance to show my self worth and working. I love work. It has given me so much more to add to my attitude.”

“… that our daughter came back to us the way she did. She may not be the same but she is still a lovely, lovely person. We love her attitude, her determination and she strives everyday for her independence. And we are grateful that we’ve had a very supportive group of friends and family.”

“… I’m grateful that I have a family that loves and supports me and I have friends that love and support me and I’m happy in life.”

“… for my physical well being. Except for some minor problems, I am in better shape than I was before.”

“… for being here, and enjoying life. Having family and friends who love and take care of me for the rest of my life.”

“… to be able to participate in programs with my friends.”

“… for walking and talking.”

“… for this lady right here… she didn’t know me before I was hurt but because she accepts me and knowing my condition, I feel like she is an answer from God, I really do.”

(excerpts from the Brain Injury Association of Kentucky’s Fall, 1995 newsletter)

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