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People who have experienced an acquired brain injury or stroke frequently encounter changes in their thinking skills, ability to use and understand language, and ability to speak. They may have difficulty with the following:

Communication

  • finding the right words when speaking
  • being concise and clear when speaking
  • staying on topic in conversation
  • understanding what others are saying
  • understanding and remembering what is read
  • writing
  • observing appropriate social interactions
  • displaying a range of emotions/facial expressions

 

Cognitive (Thinking) Skills

  • paying attention/concentrating
  • quickly process information (how fast a person thinks)
  • learning and remembering new information
  • organizing thoughts
  • thinking abstractly, flexibly, creatively
  • making decisions, initiating and completing projects
  • controlling impulses
  • being aware and having insight to nature, extent and impact of injury
  • tiring easily with mental exertion

Changes such as those listed above can have a major impact on a person’s life including the ability to be competitively employed, manage personal affairs, maintain social connections and assume pre-injury roles.

What are adult speech-language pathology services?

Progressive Rehabilitation Associates’ Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center offers adult speech-language pathology services which include the evaluation and treatment of the deficits and difficulties noted above. Services are provided by or under the supervision of a Certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). SLP services provided by PRA are covered by Medicare and most other insurers.

Evaluation

The speech-language pathology evaluation is typically two-hours in length and utilizes formal and informal evaluation methods. Input from the client, family members, significant others is also included to provide a fuller picture of how the client is currently functioning.

The evaluating team members meet soon after the evaluation to compare and discuss findings. The team develops a summary list of Strengths and Limitations and, if treatment is warranted, treatment recommendations. This information is shared with the client and family members usually within the same week as the evaluation.

Treatment

Four broad treatment goals are Education, Training, Practice and Generalization of new skills. Treatment occurs both in the clinic and the community. Each client presents with a unique set of issues and treatment plans are individually tailored to each person’s needs.

Treatment targets specific cognitive and communication skills with services delivered primarily in a one-on-one format. Our approach is designed to build core skills and teach compensatory strategies, concurrently. Client and family education is a integral part of this process.

Examples of treatment include:

  • Attention/concentration and speed of information processing skill building: Clients may participate in drill exercises, functional activities, and training in environmental and/or task modifications.
  • Awareness building: Often clients are asked to predict their performance prior to initiating a task and then compare actual performance. Disparities in perceived and actual performance may be an effective awareness builder.
  • Memory skill building: A combination of improving foundation skills of attention/concentration and speed of processing skills while concurrently teaching compensatory strategy skills is an effective approach.
  • Speech and language skill building: The use of direct stimulation training and self-monitoring/self-regulation awareness building are typical treatment activities.