SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A free course is helping people with brain injuries rebuild their sense of self.
Offered at San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE), the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) class is a noncredit/non-fee course. It supports people recovering from ABIs like brain trauma, stroke/aneurysm, brain tumor, brain infection, and anoxia.
SDCE's ABI curriculum equips students with the tools needed to achieve daily tasks and long-term goals to support their transition back into career and education. Classes emphasize rebuilding a sense of self through cognitive retraining, personal development, communication, academic skills, vocational exploration, coping strategies, creativity development, and advocacy awareness.
For traumatic brain injury survivors like Marine Corps veteran Mario Sanders, the program has been lifechanging.
"No one is ever prepared for life with a brain injury, this program definitely gave me the strategies, the techniques; it made me able to cope with it, it made me able to live with it," said Sanders.
The Camp Pendleton Marine was in a severe car accident in 2016. He was hospitalized for six months and had to re-learn how to walk again.
"One minute I'm being a Marine, the next I'm in the hospital confused and dazed, I couldn't walk, I had no idea what happened," said Sanders.
Today he suffers from memory problems and weakness on his left side, but Sanders is far more accepting of his injury.
"Life with a brain injury is hard, but it's not impossible."
Sanders is dually enrolled at San Diego Miramar College and will complete an Associate in Arts in Kinesiology for Transfer Degree.
SDCE's ABI classes are open-entry/open-exit; students can enroll at any time.
Classes take place at Educational Cultural Complex in Mountain View and CE-Mesa in Clairmont.