Skip to Content
Also part of the UPMC family:

Social Skills After a Brain Injury

UPMC Content 3

Social skills also may be a focus of rehabilitation after a brain injury.

Clinicians at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute will work with you on speech, personality, and behavioral changes.

Speech Changes

After a brain injury, you may experience problems with speech, depending on which part of the brain has been affected by the injury.

A speech-language pathologist will work with you to improve your communication and cognitive abilities.


  • Affects your abilities to:
    • Understand spoken and written words and sentences
    • Recall words
    • Formulate sentences
  • Does not affect your:
    • Level of intelligence
    • Ability to think
    • Ability to hear
  • Aphasia can be very frustrating for you and your caregivers. It's like trying to learn and use a foreign language when living in a foreign country.


  • Affects the muscles you use to form words and speak.
  • You can think of what to say, but cannot speak correctly.
  • Your speech may be slurred and slow.

Prosodic Dysfunction

  • Affects intonation or inflection.
  • Problems changing the tone of your voice can influence things like:
    • Irony
    • Sarcasm
    • Emotional meaning

Behavioral Medicine

Behavioral medicine provides inpatient psychological services to you and your family at the request of your doctor.

Typical reasons for referral include:

  • Adjustment issues
  • Depression or anxiety
  • History of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Psychological and psychiatric history
  • Behavioral problems
  • Patient and family education

Inpatient psychological services can include:

  • Evaluations and assessments
  • Counseling for patients and families
  • Psychotherapy for patients and families
  • Stress management
  • Training
  • Consultation and referral services

Consultation services: Sometimes a referral is made to help the treatment team understand and better serve you and your family. The behavioral medicine specialist may interview you and your family members and provide feedback and direction to the treatment team.

Referral services: Some issues, including alcohol or drug abuse, are not treated while you're in inpatient rehabilitation. Behavioral medicine clinicians will assist in finding treatment closer to home after you leave the hospital.​