Treatment involves collaborating to design a personalized set of tasks, strategies, routines, and supports that reflect the person’’s unique interests, abilities, roles, and life situations. Treatment sessions are usually based in the clinic, but may take place at the person’’s home, school, community, or place of employment, depending on their circumstances and preferences. Treatment strategies are based on the individual’’s needs and stage of recovery.

For those with concussion or mild brain injury, the focus may be on planning gradual, individualized “return to learn” or “return to earn” strategies. When the person is returning to work or school, Sheila will work closely with others involved to assist with study strategies or communication strategies for work. In the early stages, the focus may be on helping to find access to communication for someone in a minimally conscious state or, if the person is in the agitated stage, Sheila may assist others in learning strategies to maximize calm, meaningful, communication. In later stages, a person may require treatments to assist with community communications or a return to successful social interactions. At each stage, Sheila works collaboratively with all involved to develop goals, procedures, and strategies to help the person and their family to improve communication in manageable steps.

Treatment may include:

  • Educating the person with the brain injury and their families about their communication strengths and weaknesses and the conditions that may help or hinder communication

  • Changing or modifying the environment (e.g. by reducing background noise, so the person can listen more effectively)

  • Providing the person with exercises to improve his/her cognitive-communication, speech, and/or swallowing skills

  • Teaching the person strategies to help compensate for or deal with their difficulties

  • Guiding the person through opportunities to practice communicating in a variety of settings or situations

  • Collaborating with other professionals, everyday communication partners, or team members (i.e. occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers, teachers, employers, rehabilitation therapists, case managers etc.)

Throughout intervention Sheila’’s focus is on providing the tools, knowledge, and confidence to empower the individual and those close to them to become the experts in their own communication.