Specialties and Therapeutic Practices:
Brain Injury Breakdown:
Brain injuries are debilitating and often crippling for the patient and family.
Cognition and linguistics go hand in hand as the brain interacts with the world, and these are compromised when injured.
Executive functions and cognition help you think, organize, recall and acquire new knowledge, but this is tough after an injury too.
Aspects often affected after injury:
- inductive and deductive reasoning
- memory and processing
- sustained/alternating/selective and divided attention
- working/visual/episodic memory
These are essential to how you live!
Through specific evaluation protocols, Michelle is able to identify the processes affected and approaches cognitive-linguistics using a core cognition functional approach tailored to include the interests and strengths of her patients.
Apraxia is a disturbance in the patient's ability to speak.
Patients will often understand what's being said, but are unable to verbalize a complete thought in return.
Symptoms of apraxia:
- distorting sounds
- groping behaviors of the face/lips/tongue
- inconsistent speech errors
- errors in tone
- stress or speech rhythm
Through step by step evaluation processes, Michelle quickly identifies if there's oral apraxia, verbal apraxia, motor apraxia or a combination. Michelle treats apraxia using her knowledge, experience and successful tools while integrating lifestyle practices to reduce stress, motivate and increase self confidence.
Aphasia is a language impairment affecting comprehension and/or an individuals ability to speak. It often also involves impairment of reading and writing as well.
This problem affects quality of life:
- day to day function.
Treatment focuses on functional language recovery to optimize daily living tasks and a return to as much normalcy as possible. Some patients make a full recovery, others it's a slow process.
Michelle believes the best intervention starts early and is wonderful in a group setting where patients are able to try their communication skills in a safe environment. Practicing initiating conversations, turn taking, clarifying misunderstandings and fixing broken conversations are functional and effective ways to assist long term recovery.
Often times it's thought a book holds all the knowledge regarding the diagnosis and treatment. A patient, child or adult, can have a specific disorder and present very differently from someone else with the same diagnosis. What this means is often treatment needs to look very different for each individual!
Michelle understands that no matter the disorder, her focus is always to incorporate the patient/family in creating functional goals to achieve unstoppable success.
Adolescents, Executive Function and Brain Injury
Children between the ages of 10 and 19 are considered adolescents. Executive function disorders often go overlooked. Parent's are left feeling like their child doesn't adapt to new knowledge positively and don't know how to help. There is a significant lack of education surrounding understanding in recognizing if there is difficulty in these areas. Hallmarks of executive function disorders are:
- problems planning
- self regulating behaviors/emotions
- non-verbal working memory
- verbal working memory
The right exercises, strategies and assistance can make a positive impact on how your child interacts with the world!