Reading Social Situations After a Brain Injury

For teens with TBI, the process going through the stages of normal development is disrupted or forever altered. Dr. Mariann Young talks about how to help teens and their parents navigate adolescence.

See more video clips with Dr. Mariann Young.

[Mariann Young] A lot of times the teens don't have the ability to generalize from one situation to another. [Mariann Young, PhD] [Clinical Psychologist – Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers, Inc.] So we can look in and say, "But you just did this. But we just talked about it." But it's a different situation, a different teacher, a different group of friends, and "A" doesn't translate to "B". Whereas other adolescents would understand— would be able to say, "Oh yeah. I did this before. Now I'll do it," and learn from that. But a kid with an injury may not be able to. A kid with an injury— typically— can't even read the social environment. They don't read an expression. So the teacher may come in and be glaring at the room because it's out of control, and gradually everyone's quiet, but the injured kid is loud and goofing around and doesn't even see and process the glare, the social cues. So, they're always behind the eightball. It's just trying to go through normal development with an injured brain. It's—it's not going to be normal. It's going to be compensated by other areas of the brain, compensated in social situations by assistance from teachers, from adults, from trusted peers. It's—they're in a tough situation.
Posted on BrainLine April 30, 2014.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Justin Rhodes, BrainLine.