Tuyet Doneza is an occupational therapist at DynamicOT in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Tuyet works with clients that have acquired a brain injury, typically resulting from a motor vehicle accident. Clients that have suffered a brain injury from a motor vehicle accident often undergo intensive care, as these accidents can be very severe. A change from inpatient to outpatient care is the intensity and duration of therapy, which is what made Tuyet search for a digital cognitive therapy tool.
Tuyet, like most occupational therapists who want their clients to practice cognitive skills outside of clinic hours, would download books and worksheets for their clients to do on their own. This task of finding new material can be very time-consuming, especially when a therapist has a heavy caseload. When clients perform these exercises, the therapist must also score them. Using HappyNeuron Pro, therapists are able to use a wide range of exercises that progress in difficulty and automatically score results after the client has completed them. This saves therapists a large amount of time and allows them to focus more on their client’s course of treatment.
“HAPPYneuron Pro has been a lifesaver. When I started out, I wanted to give my clients homework. That was the whole purpose. I do rehab with them, but I wanted to give my clients something to follow up on when I don’t see them.” – Tuyet Doneza.
With motor vehicle accident patients, many patients want to be able to drive again. For some patients, this is attainable, but for others with more severe accidents, driving may not be possible. Driving requires a wide range of cognitive functions, including executive functioning, working memory, processing speed, visual attention, and visual-spatial skills. Brain injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident can cause someone to have difficulty in one or more of these different cognitive areas inhibiting their ability to drive. Occupational therapists working with these clients that want to get back on the road often do cognitive rehabilitation in conjunction with functional activities to prepare them to be able to learn how to drive safely.
“The typical clients that I see have mild to moderate brain injury. I see a lot of younger adults where I focus on executive function, memory, and attention work. A lot of these clients were living independently before, but now are living with a family member or caregiver. The rehab for these clients starts within the home to help them learn how to take care of themselves and then I focus on helping them get back out into the community and back to work” – Tuyet Doneza.
With HappyNeuron Pro, Tuyet chunks the areas where her clients have difficulty and assigns them exercises to complete that pertain to a particular cognitive domain. By performing these cognitive exercises in the different cognitive domains, patients are able to build the foundations of cognitive skills and grow them as the levels of the exercises progress in difficulty. HappyNeuron Pro offers 9 levels of difficulty for each exercise, starting with level 1 (basic) going to level 9 (complex). Additionally, HappyNeuron Pro offers therapists the ability to create custom variants of exercises by using the Scheduled Exercises feature. There, therapists are able to order exercises specifically and modify specific parameters for each exercise that they would like their client to do. This allows the therapist to have full control over what their clients are doing and to create a customized exercise program for each client.
Working on cognitive functions can help clients in many different areas of their lives. One area many brain injury patients struggle with is social functioning. This is because brain injuries often impact the frontal lobe, which is responsible for helping people filter what they say to other people. By working with clients on cognitive skills, therapists can also help their clients practice social skills to help them interact effectively with friends, family members, and people in their work environment.
“I have one client that I work with that would not sound so nice if you met them because they have difficulty with their filter. They say things that they should not blurt out” – Tuyet Doneza.
Cognitive rehabilitation therapy programs can help clients with brain injury be able to function more effectively in different areas of their lives. Using HappyNeuron Pro, therapists are able to assign their clients home practice for them to do outside of clinic hours. In addition to HappyNeuron Pro’s digital tool, HappyNeuron Pro provides therapists with large cognitive worksheets as well as mini-cognitive worksheets which are available on HappyNeuron Pro’s website as well as on Facebook andHappyNeuron Pro’s blog.
Something important that Tuyet noticed since adding HappyNeuron Pro to her clients’ therapy plan is consistency on her client’s part. This is in part to HappyNeuron Pro being graphically stimulating and sending reminders to clients to complete home training assignments.
“I find that I get more consistency with HappyNeuron Pro than I do with the pen and paper task that I give them”. – Tuyet Doneza.
Keeping patients engaged in their therapy is a majority of the battle. By using a digital cognitive therapy tool, therapists can keep their clients engaged in their therapy, consistent with their home practice, and challenged with new materials. HappyNeuron Pro offers the capabilities to make your therapy dynamic.
Page last updated on Oct 21,2021
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