The Importance of Community Events

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1 Newsletter for Individuals Living with Brain Injury In the Bay Area Issue 43 July Sept The Importance of Community Events Benjamin Page, Psy.D., Rosa Mora, Ph.D., and members of SBI s brain injury support group On May 11th, staff from Services for Brain Injury (SBI) and Head Injury and Recreation Leisure Network (HIRLN) co-sponsored a dance at Mayfair Community Center for the local brain injury community. Approximately 50 people overcame numerous barriers and made it to the event, where they had fun talking, laughing, eating, dancing, and being together. After being invited by Jerry Wright from the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center s Rehabilitation Research Center to reflect on the importance of community events like that dance, here is what the members of the brain injury support group at SBI had to say. The dance provided us with a way to meet other people from other [support] groups. People had their smiles on. They were energized. It was fun. It was a different atmosphere [from our regular meetings] which gave us a way to be more open and relaxed. Community events get us out there, give people a chance to notice us [our community]. Community events get us out, let us have fun, let us do something with other groups, and bring us together. Community events let me be myself. I lost myself [some of my inhibitions] while dancing. Being together in a different atmosphere places different ideas in my mind. The atmosphere [at the dance] was more friendly, less structured. At events, we see each other in different environments [and in different ways]. We re not just couch potatoes! A community that plays together stays happy. Events solidify the reason we re together. Relationship is a repeat of elation. Events build stronger friendships and give more chances to talk one-on-one. They give us a chance to get to know each other better. Events strengthen the bond of the group and deepen friendships. One of our goals as psychologists, in organizing the dance for the community, was to provide the members with an opportunity to experience and connect with each other, and with themselves, in new ways. New contact with others, and with ourselves, generates excitement and can lead to changed perspectives on ourselves, our community, and our future. Based on our goal, on the members comments, and on all the smiles we saw that night, the dance was a success! Community events are an investment in our future. They create opportunities that can foster excitement and vitality in individual members as well as in the community as a whole. We invite you to come out and join your community at the next one! NOT THE DANCE, BUT STILL FUN! While we don't have pictures of the Brain Injury Community Dance, we do have pictures from another community event, the Brain Injury Global Picnic (June 30 at Camden Community Center). Community events are a great way to get out, meet new friends, and show support for your community! Thanks to Sandy Gabrielli and Rich Levinson (bottom) from Attention Control Systems, Inc. for providing drinks and dessert! 1 Talking Heads Newsletter

2 Bay Area Brain Injury Taskforce (BABIT) What is BABIT? The Bay Area Brain Injury Taskforce (BABIT) is a collaboration of government, healthcare, law enforcement, legislative, higher education, for-profit and non-profit organizations that are focused on increasing awareness about resources available to people with brain injuries. Through mutual collaboration and community education BABIT strives to be a central catalyst in policy development at the local and state levels through education and networking with family members, communities, and elected officials. What are BABIT activities? BABIT is responsible for the content and production of Talking Heads! Educational opportunities include the Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference, TBI Matters (a community educational series), Disability Awareness Days, and others! For More Information For more information, or to find out how to get your organization involved, please contact Jerry Wright at How to contact your BABIT agencies: Brain Injury Association of California Bakersfield (661) CA State Department of Rehabilitation (408) Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center Palo Alto (650) x Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff (888) Rehab Without Walls (866) walls.com Police Department (408) State University (408) Santa Clara County Crisis Intervention Program (408) (408) Santa Clara County Sheriff's Dept. (408) Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Rehabilitation Research Center (408) Services for Brain Injury (408) Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (408) TTY: (866) Video Phone: (408) Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System Palo Alto (650) Via Services Santa Clara (408) Show Your Pride! The 3rd Annual Disability Pride Parade and Festival! The Silicon Valley Independent Living Center and Co-organizer the Office of Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese invites you to the 3rd Annual West Coast Disability Pride Parade & Festival on Saturday, July 21, 2012 THEME: "Building a CommUNITY of Social Justice!" MISSION: To change the way people think about and define "disability"; to breakdown and end the internalized shame among people with disabilities; and to promote the belief in society that disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity in which people living with disabilities can take pride. WHO: You! Bring your CommUNITY pride and cheer us on or register to walk-n-roll with us! ALL registered participants will be entered in a drawing to win great prizes! WHEN: Saturday, July 21, 2012 Parade check-in and line-up at 10 a.m. Parade starts at 11:00 a.m. Festival runs 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. WHERE: Downtown Mountain View, CA. Parade starts at Centennial Plaza near MTA Light Rail then we ll walk-nroll down Castro St. to City Hall Plaza. Visit our website for updates on the parade! Volunteering, sponsorship and vendor opportunities available! (408) (voice); (866) (TTY). Talking Heads Newsletter 2

3 Bay Area Peer Support Groups and Agencies Alameda County East Bay Brain Injury Support Group Support group for survivors of TBI Rockridge Library 5366 College Ave., Oakland, CA Schedule is posted on Call for times and further information. Dr. Pamela Paradowski: (510) Life Skills Group and Caregiver Support Group Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Herrick Campus 2001 Dwight Way Berkeley, CA Life Skills: 2nd & 4th Thursdays at 6:30-8:00pm, by invitation. There is also an Advanced Life Skills Group. Caregiver Support: At 6:30-8:00pm, please call for dates. Drop ins are welcome. Please contact Dr. Sheri Scarborough: (510) for more information. Stroke Support Group Support group for individuals with Stroke Next to Washington Hospital at 2500 Mowry Ave., Suite #224 Fremont, CA Meets the 4th Tuesday of every month from 1:00-2:30pm For more information call Doug: (510) Contra Costa County Brain Tumor Group Meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30pm, Drop ins are welcome. The San Francisco/East Bay Wellness Community 3276 McNutt Avenue Walnut Creek, CA Please contact Judy Blazin for more information: (925) Contra Costa County (cont.) Head Injury Support Group Support group for both survivors and caregivers San Ramon Regional Center 6001 Norris Canyon, Blackhawk Room San Ramon, CA Meets every 4th Wednesday (except November and December) from 7:30-9:00pm, caregivers welcome. Please call JoAnn Swift in advance: (925) Fresno County Brain Injury Support Group for Survivors & Families Meets the 4th Tuesday of every month at 6:00-8:00pm Community Regional Medical Center 6-West Dayroom 2823 Fresno St. Fresno, CA Contact Jeff DiMarco: (559) Stroke Support Group Meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:00-7:30pm Community Regional Medical Center 6-West Dayroom 2823 Fresno St. Fresno, CA Contact Sheila: (559) If your group isn t listed here, and you would like it to be, please Jerry Wright at with your group s information (meeting place, times, etc.) Marin County Support Group Class Open to survivors, caregivers, and family members Meets every Wednesday at 5:30pm Marin Center for Independent Living 710 Fourth St/ San Rafael, CA Contact Larry for more information: (415) , ext 10 Monterey County Brain Injury Peer Support Group Meets the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month from 3:30-5:00pm Harden Foundation 1636 Ercia St., Salinas, CA Please contact Irene Garcia for more information: (831) ext 12 Marin Brain Injury Network (MBIN) Education Class: Every Tuesday, 3:00-4:30pm Please sign up, $10 ABI Survivor Support Group: Every Tuesday, 5:00-6:30pm Please sign up, Free. Caregiver Support Group: 3rd Saturday of every month, 10:30am-12:00pm, No RSVP, Free. All MBIN groups are facilitated by Dr. Moran, a neuropsychologist specializing in ABI. Marin Brain Injury Network 1132 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur, CA Please call (415) or Sacramento County Minimal Brain Injury Support Group Meets the 1st Thursday at 6:30-8:30pm Please call first. Easter Seals Society 3205 Hurley Way Sacramento, CA Contact: (916) <Continued on the next page> 3 Talking Heads Newsletter

4 Bay Area Peer Support Groups and Agencies (cont.) Sacramento County (cont) TBI Survivors (Moderate-Severe) Meets every Thursday at 6:30-8:30pm 3205 Hurley Way Sacramento, CA Contact: (916) TBI Caregivers Meets every Thursday at 6:30-8:30pm 3205 Hurley Way Sacramento, CA Contact: (916) San Francisco County Survivor Socialization Group 207 Skyline Blvd. San Francisco, CA Monday 10:00am-4:00pm (lunch included) Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:00-4:00pm Please contact Terry Twitchell for information on program fees: (415) ext 558 Family Member Support Group (Parents and Caregivers) Janet Pomeroy Center 207 Skyline Boulevard San Francisco, CA Contact Terry Twitchell for date, time, and location: (415) ext 558 Head Injury Support Group TBI survivors/peer run Meets every Wednesday at 1:00-2:30pm Independent Living Resource Center 649 Mission Street, Third Floor San Francisco, CA, Please contact Maria Richardson in advance: (415) San Francisco County (cont) San Francisco General Hospital BASIC Support Group Group for survivors and caregivers SF General Hospital, Building 30, Medical Library 1001 Potrero Ave., San Francisco, CA Meets the first Thursday of every month from 4:00-5:00pm Please contact Tara Croane for more information: (415) San Francisco TBI Network Support All TBI survivors Meets the 3rd Thursday of each month at 3:00-4:30pm St. Mary's Medical Center 450 Stanyan St. Room #3 East (Conference Room) San Francisco, CA Please contact Kate McIlhenny at: (415) ext 336 San Mateo County Peer Support Group Meets every Monday & Friday from 1:30-3:00pm Center for Independence for the Disabled 1515 S. El Camino Real, 4th Floor, San Mateo, CA Please contact Kim or Jacob: (650) Santa Clara County Head Injury Recreation and Leisure Network (H.I.R.L.N.) Monthly social events for adults with disabilities and head injuries Mayfair Community Center 2039 Krammerer Ave., CA Please contact Liz Best for dates and times: (408) or Santa Clara County (cont) Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Support Group Camden Community Center 3369 Union Ave.,, CA Meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month from 6:30-8:00pm Drop ins are welcome. Please call Robert Medel for more information: (408) or contact robert Peer Support Group Silicon Valley Independent Living Center 2202 North First St., CA Peer support group every Monday: 12:30-2:30pm Thursday: 1:00-2:30pm Friday: 11:00am-1:00pm. Need to register as a client of SVILC. Contact Chau Mai for more information: (408) Stroke Support Group Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Rehab Conference Room (1st floor) 751 S. Bascom Ave.,, CA Meets the 2nd Wenesday of every month from 6:30-8:00pm Drop ins are welcome. Please call Robert Medel for more information: (408) or contact robert Support Group TBI clients-full spectrum, family members, caregivers and interested public members concerning TBI awareness. Open to the public at no cost. 60 Daggett Dr.,, CA Meets every Wednesday from 5:30-7:30pm Contact Ben Page or Rosa Mora with any questions: (408) Please see the article on Support Group on Page 12! Talking Heads Newsletter 4

5 Bay Area Peer Support Groups and Agencies (cont.) Santa Cruz County Brain Injury Peer Support Group Support group for survivors of TBI. Meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 3:00-4:30pm. Morning group meets the 4th Wednesday of each month at 10:00-11:30am. Simpkins Swim Center th Ave. Santa Cruz, CA Please call Scott Winslow (831) Caregiver Resource Centers Bay Area Caregiver Resource Center/ Family Caregiver Alliance 180 Montogomery St., Suite 900 San Francisco, CA Phone: (415) or (800) Del Mar Caregiver Resource Center 344 Salinas St., Suite 105 RoomE Salinas, CA Phone: (831) Santa Cruz Office: 1537 Pacific Ave., Suite 300 Santa Cruz, CA Phone (831) Valley Caregiver Resource Center 3485 N. Clark, Suite 201 Fresno, CA Phone: (559) or (800) Additional Online Resources Brain Injury Association of America Brain Injury Association of California Brain Injury Connection braininjuryconnection.org Brain Injury Network braininjurynetwork.org BrainLine TBI: The Journey Home traumaticbraininjuryatoz.org Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Traumatic Brain Injury Interventions Resource Options for Back on Track (ROBOT) Please note: This newsletter is intended to be a resource for those interested in brain injuries. It does not represent an endorsement of the organizations listed nor an affirmation of the information contained therein. So there. Online Forums Please note that online forums are often not monitored by professionals. Please consult a physician regarding any medical concerns or recommendations. American Veterans with Brain Injuries Forum and live chat: Veterans only on Thursdays Brain Injury Chat Room Brain Injury Forum braininjuryforum.com Brain Talk Forum twitter.com/braintalk2010 Family Caregiver Alliance Online support group for caregivers TBI Message Board Talking Heads Thanks YOU, Gail! Special thanks to the Rehabilitation Research Center (and especially superstar Gail Cuevas) for checking support group and agency information. 5 Talking Heads Newsletter

6 July 2012 Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday HIRLN 4th of July BBQ Sacramento Minimal BI SFGH BASIC Mild TBI Stroke Walnut Creek Brain Tumor TBI Matters Berkeley Caregiver Berkely Life Skills Salinas Brain Injury Fresno Stroke SF TBI Network Disability Awareness Night SVILC Movie Night MBIN Caregiver Disability Pride Parade Fremont Stroke Fresno Brain Injury Mild TBI San Ramon Head Injury Santa Cruz Brain Injury Walnut Creek Brain Tumor Berkeley Caregiver Berkely Life Skills Salinas Brain Injury HIRLN Social Talking Heads Newsletter 6

7 August 2012 Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sacramento Minimal BI SFGH BASIC HIRLN Bowling Stroke Walnut Creek Brain Tumor Berkeley Caregiver Berkely Life Skills Salinas Brain Injury MBIN Caregiver 18 Mild TBI SF TBI Network SVILC Movie Night Fresno Stroke San Ramon Head Injury Santa Cruz Brain Injury Walnut Creek Brain Tumor Berkeley Caregiver Berkely Life Skills Salinas Brain Injury Fremont Stroke Fresno Brain Injury Mild TBI HIRLN Social 7 Talking Heads Newsletter

8 September 2012 Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sacramento Minimal BI SFGH Basic MBIN Caregiver 15 Mild TBI Stroke Walnut Creek Brain Tumor Berkeley Caregiver Berkely Life Skills Salinas Brain Injury SBI Bocce Event Fresno Stroke SF TBI Network SVILC Movie Night Fremont Stroke Fresno Brain Injury Mild TBI HIRLN Social San Ramon Head Injury Santa Cruz Brain Injury Walnut Creek Brain Tumor Berkeley Caregiver Berkely Life Skills Salinas Brain Injury 30 Talking Heads Newsletter 8

9 Event Minder: Don't Miss Events! Services for Brain Injury 9th Annual Bocce Event Services for Brain Injury's (SBI) Ninth Annual Bocce event will take place on Sunday, September 16, SBI has exclusively reserved Campo di Bocce in Los Gatos from 9:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. for this event -- and lunch is included! Bring friends and family to form a team for friendly, competitive play! Mark your calendar now for a truly fun time and a great opportunity to support the important work of SBI! Campo di Bocce is located at 565 University Ave., Los Gatos. For more information Christine Camara at TBI Matters: Adaptive Equipment & Technology The next TBI Matters features three exciting presentations on adaptive devices and technology. Debra Burdsall will present on the Technology Access Program. Rich Levinson will present on the PEAT application (intelligent assistant). Don Scheiman will present on adaptive devices. This free presentation will take place Wednesday, July 11, from 5:30-8:00pm at Services for Brain Injury. 60 Daggett Dr.,. For more information please contact Gail Cuevas at (408) or A flyer is also available at Disability Awareness Night with the Giants! Various community based organizations serving individuals with disabilities are partnering together to organize Disability Awareness Night, where individuals with disabilities, their families, care providers, and the community at large get to enjoy a free baseball game! Friday, July 20, Gates open at 5:30 pm - Game starts at 7:00 pm. To obtain FREE TICKETS go to or or call SVILC Movie Nights The Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC) has had great films at past movie nights including Mercury Rising, Adam, and Soul Surfer! Movie nights are 5:30-8:30 pm on July 21, August 20, and September 17 at the community room at the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center: 2202 N. 1st St.,, CA Please contact Frances Merrill, I&R Specialist, at ext. 219 for more information. HIRLN Activities for July to September Recreation is the main focus of Head Injury Recreation & Leisure Network. This provides an avenue for people to gain self-confidence, decrease isolation, increase physical activity, create friendships, and increase quality of life. Good stuff! HIRLN Monthly Socials. July 31, August 28, September 25, 6:30-8:00pm Mayfair Community Center. $7. HIRLN HIRLN Fourth of July BBQ. July 3, 6:00-7:30pm. Mayfair Community Center. $7. Hamburgers, hot dogs and more! HIRLN Bowling. August 7, 6:30-8:00pm. We will meet at Cambrian bowl for a bowling party. Cost is $20 and includes bowling, pizza, and soft drinks. Please register in advance at Contact Liz Best for more information: (408) or Legal Perspectives Brain Injury and Football Contributed by Eric Ratinoff of Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP Football is America's most popular sport. However, a growing body of evidence has shown that concussions, especially repeat concussions that may occur in high impact sports like football, can lead to devastating brain injuries. This has been shown to be true not only in professional athletes, but in children as well. In contrast to years past, we no longer have to look very hard to find the discussion about the relationship between sports and brain injury. Not too long ago, getting your "bell rung" was viewed as "just part of the game." That mindset, however, is losing its general acceptance in our communities and schools. Perhaps not quickly enough, but it is happening. The peer reviewed literature is demonstrating that there is mounting evidence of the connection between sports related concussions and lasting brain injury. And now the popular media is catching on. A wonderful new documentary explores the issue through a series of interviews. Head Games, directed and co-produced by Steve James (who also created the popular film, Hoop Dreams), explores the consequences of sports related brain injury. The film shines a spotlight on the dangers of head injury in youth sports, including football, hockey, and soccer. Chris Nowinski, the author of the book that inspired the film, commented that the question it poses to community leaders, coaches, parents, and teachers is: "Are we doing enough to protect our children?" A rhetorical question that needs to be driven home in every community in the United States. The film is timely, as is evidenced by a recently published study that was carried out by researchers at the University of North Carolina and Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts. The study, titled Annual Survey of Catastrophic Football Injuries ( ), studies two trends and finds that while fatalities in football are down, the incidence of traumatic brain injury is increasing. The author of the study, Frederick Mueller, MD, opined that the <Continued on Page 12> 9 Talking Heads Newsletter

10 Personal Stories: Robert Fox Who am I? I'm just focused on my future for not only myself, but for my girls. My accident happened in October of Y2K. At the time of my automobile accident I was the founder, President, and CEO of my own Silicon Valley high-tech garage start-up that grew into a multi-acre 65,000 sq. ft. facility. At the time my organization was employing 165 employees, consummating business globally with tech manufacturers such as SUN MICROSYSTEMS, CISCO, FUJITSU, and SILICON GRAPHICS, along with numerous others. My start up had been ranked "2" years in a row by INC. magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in America, and ranked 3 times by the Business Journal for the same reason. I received numerous awards for my work with the disabled through HOPE rehabilitation, the Bay Area "WRAP" award, which is for waste reduction practices since I was a high-tech recycler, and I also received recognition from "IAER" International Association of Electronics Recyclers for the tonnage of material we were recycling quarterly. In mid 1988 the big buzz in the high-tech industry was the coming of Y2K, and computer problems associated with software not being able to easily get through this specific date so I was mandated by certain organizations to "re-invent" my wheel for this event. I did so, and on top of TOTALLY upgrading all of our hardware/software, expanded my facility/capital equipment at an out of pocket expense of 3/4 million dollars! As stated "I was mandated on my software / hardware upgrades", but my expansion of facilities / capital equipment was just due to the fact we were growing like a California wildfire on a 105 degree day. It was a great time for me. Well Y2K came & went. We passed through it with absolutely no problems, and my company was growing faster than you can run with a 60 MPH wind at your back! After all of the work, and expenditures to complete this upgrade, and with passing it without needing any breath, I made the executive decision that I deserved something for myself so I bought a new XJ jaguar, and had it delivered to my company. My memory is still a little sketchy on timelines with this due to brain injury, but I remember the car from photos only. In any case I had the car delivered to my company location on King Rd. in, and we'd just completed a "Y2K compliancy celebration" when I proceeded to drive home. Nobody wanted me to drive this beast of a car as I'd had a few drinks at our celebration, but I at that point in my life was one you could not talk out of anything! The next thing I remember was waking up in Santa Clara Valley Medical with my brother moving my legs back and forth, and my wife with 3 girls by my side saying "daddy", The first words I remember saying were to my brother asking Robert Fox him to "change the music" as he was playing the same song over and over to wake me from my coma. Then I recognized my wife, and said to her "Rebekka who's girls are these?" She thought I was joking as that is my nature, but the attending told her "I was not." That's when my 3 girls started crying. A sad day for this kid! That is what happened in a BIG nutshell. In regards to emotional changes I rode the wave so to speak. I am no longer depressed, and not due to medication as I do not take anti-depressants. I'm just focused on my future for not only myself, but my girls. They've grown up without a father as they were 4, 9, and 11 years old respectfully at the time of accident. Regarding physical changes, my brain injury was to the right side of my head so I have absolutely no use of my left arm & hand. I wore an A. F. O. "artificial orthopedic brace" for a number of years due to my left ankle rolling under, but no longer wear. I keep in my closet for show & tell, and to remind me of... Having no use of left hand/arm used to be very agitating as I'd love to tie a necktie again, pick up a cup of coffee/ glass of water or scratch my right arm if it itches, but I'm right handed so I look at how bad it could have been. I'm a lucky man. Used to type close to 200 WPM with both hands, but now I type in my self timing trials about 65 which is due to the fact that I memorize the keyboard thanks to doctor Victor Tse, and his skilled touch with my brain surgery. Regarding Cognitive changes, this my interpretation: I comprehend or understand well, but in regards to learning "new" things, I find this difficult. I utilized a contact management software in my organization/company for all of my employees, but after my accident/rehabilitation my brother who was in charge due to my absence migrated to a new software database, and it really threw me, because I remembered how our old database/software worked, and could not learn quickly <Continued on the next page> Talking Heads Newsletter 10

11 Personal Stories (continued): that the "F8" key preformed a different function. It took a little time to finally figure this out, but it was not like I did not have the time to sit down to learn. I just needed to exude more patience which I did. My learning curve is short or long depending on how you look at it. Also my short term memory is pretty much non existent so I've become very diligent & thorough with note-taking for my memory. Long term memory is intact, and pretty much un-touchable in comparison to others. Like I stated "short term memory is my issue." I'll actually send this to you later today, and tonight when I'm thinking about my day be able to remember I wrote this, but not the contents of my text/verbiage. I do though have the most current of technology with TERABYTES of notes in my database so I can come back to my desk to read if I'm concerned of what I wrote. I HAVE to make notes in my database EVERY day, because short term to me is basically a few months. I remember that I watched the SHARKS beat the Columbus BLUEJACKETS last night, but had to look on the Internet this Wednesday morning to see what the score was to call my brother in Hayward to chat about it. Plus I'm corresponding with friends/past business associates all over the globe, and I need to look at what I or they wrote months ago for the reason of not wanting to be redundant, and keeping up with current situations. My way takes more time, and patience, but I no longer become frustrated like I did, as I've accepted this is how my life is going to be. Now regarding how I see my future. You do not know enough about my loooooooooooong past to know what I came from to become "self made", but due to what I've survived, and thanks to superb work by Victor Tse, and the therapy staff at Valley I'm not only looking forward, but finding I have to slow myself down so as not to RACE around the hurdles. I lost more than most people can imagine, but my life to this point was royally good. Now I live for my 3 girls who I've helped my EX successfully raise in my absence of a decade. I am truly in my "2ndlife", and I'll only be 12 years old this year. Slow, meticulous, and thorough, that's what I am, but my mind is on top of its game! Sampson was great with her teaching me about talking in therapy, but this documentary really opened my eyes to my problem with my verbalization. Seriously, I get compliments on my speaking when I slow down, and people can tell when I'm either hurrying or multi-tasking in my mind. I did not ask specific individuals about addressing my issues. I slowed down, paid attention, and learned the techniques myself. Your "how about" section My brain injury was October of Y2K. Quite a few "worst" stories, but I'll say that believing that I'd be a dependant for the rest of my life at the age of 40 was the worst as it scared the heck out of me! Now I can not do certain things I'd like such as drive to grocery for a gallon or "2" of milk, but heck for an additional $10.00-$20.00 I can take a cab. I'm so independent that some people are blown away, but I refuse to be cared for. I live alone, clean my home, laundry, and maintain a very stringent fitness program. I got skinny as a rail in California, but I was still living with depression always thinking about what I'd lost not what I have to live for. I got down to 130 lbs in California, and now I'm hovering at 180 along with trying to add weight! I was totally bound to a wheel-chair for quite sometime, but now I walk at least 3-5 blocks a day in the summer, and for at least an hour in my garage during the winter. Have no car since I do not drive so I make very good use of my space. In regards to what helped during my rehab, hands down "aquatic therapy" was the best thing for me. I could practice speech, and occupational therapy on my own, and even though I lived at Silver Creek Country Club which had an Olympic pool, I could not walk down to it. With the aquatic therapy, and my body being so buoyant in water I was off to the races. Speech therapy was also very important, and helpful, but my teaching myself to slow down was what made this puzzle piece fit in place. In regards to what helped after my rehab, the answer can ONLY, and I repeat ONLY be attributed to my tenacity, drive, patience, and ambition to work for my girls. The patience had to be learned, but the other attributes are part of my make-up so they just started up again. What has been your biggest problem/challenge/obstacle? I cannot say what has been the biggest, but my patience is major due to having to re-learn stuff I did daily, and knowing I did this before. It was a struggle, but my speech was a problematic hurdle also, but I just had to learn to slow myself down. My mind knew exactly what it would want to say, but my mouth could not enunciate. I really had to read, and learn about expressive aphasia. The term was never told tp me. I believe in speech therapy at hospital even though I was taught all of the proper technique with Katy, but I had to see a special on ABC's nightline about congresswoman Kelly in Arizona to figure out myself. My speech pathologist Megan Do you have a personal story about brain injury that you want to share? If so, please Jerry Wright at We would love to feature your story. 11 Talking Heads Newsletter

12 Support Group Contributed by Matt Winfrey Talking Heads is adding a new feature that takes a personal look at different support groups. So often we see a listing with just a few words. Hopefully this feature will give you more information. I am Matt Winfrey and I have been going to the support group called since its beginning many years ago. support group meets every Wednesday at Services For Brain Injury in from 5:30-7:30pm. Going there has helped me because I do not feel like an outsider there. Everybody there is dealing with different types of problems from head injury - memory, cognition, work and having friends. In 1975 when I was eleven years old, I was in a car accident that left me unconscious in a coma for over two months. It changed my life completely. While continuing my life I had to make many difficult adjustments. I went from using a wheelchair to a Canadian crutch to riding a three-wheel granny bike to high school. I finished high school and attended De Anza and Foothill colleges, working along the way. As I continued my life I found head injury support groups where I met other survivors who had been in similar situations to be of great benefit. I found I was not alone. I can discuss how to deal with problems as well as how to make new friends. I still enjoy attending support groups and sharing my experiences with others. At, everybody knows my name. Legal Perspectives (continued): findings are likely the result of children getting better, life saving, medical care on the field, resulting in their survival. But survival with brain injury. The study's findings highlight the need for parents, teachers, coaches, school administrators, and health care providers to make sure schools have a plan in place to train coaches on the signs and symptoms of brain injury, and to have an emergency plan in place to deal with brain injury at the earliest opportunity. As I reported in the last issue of Talking Heads, this plan is already in motion here in Sacramento, via the Sacramento Valley Concussion Care Consortium. This consortium of health care providers, insurance providers and athletic administrators is working to make ImPACT concussion testing software and concussion care specialists more accessible to youth sports programs in our region. In representing brain injured clients as a personal injury attorney, I understand the critical need for brain injury education and funding across the board. But I am pleased to see the increased attention now being focused on traumatic brain injury, thanks to America s favorite sport. I'm a regular! Talking Heads is Going Green! Wouldn t it be great if Talking Heads was in full color? And you got it seconds after it became available? It is totally possible! Just contact us and tell us that you would rather receive Talking Heads by . Send your delivery request to: Don t forget, we are always looking for your stories, comments, criticisms, events or good jokes. Please send your submissions to: Talking Heads Issue 43 In a Flash 1 Importance of Community Events 2 Bay Area Brain Injury Taskforce 2 3rd Annual Disability Pride Parade 3 Support Group Information 6 Calendars 9 Event Minder 9 Legal Perspectives 10 Personal Story: Robert Fox 12 Support Group Available online at: This QR code links to an electronic copy. Thanks! Talking Heads Newsletter 12

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