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Special Tree Adds Visagraph to Vision Therapy Program for Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Special Tree OT Patricia Laws explains how the Visagraph is helping patients who are struggling with reading and comprehension after a brain injury.

1.            What is a Visagraph and why is this technology a good addition to our Vision Therapy program?

The Visagraph is an eye-movement recording device that uses infrared sensory goggles that tells us what the patient’s eyes are doing during reading as well as what they’re comprehending so we can more accurately target vision therapy to address deficits.   

2.            What do eye-movements tell you about a person’s reading efficiency?

It tells us if there are underlying visual issues and whether ocular motor including fixations, vergence skills are impaired as well as the comprehension por...

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Making "Small Talk" With Mark S. Lee

Recently, Special Tree’s own Kate McClain, Director of Workforce Engagement, and Michelle Kruz, Behavioral Program Technician, were guests on “Small Talk with Mark S. Lee,” which airs on CBS Detroit, AM 1270 at 8:00 am every Sunday morning.   They discussed the different ways that Special Tree helps employees to manage stress and work-life balance through their innovative training program.   

Listen to Kate and Michelle’s interview on the link below.  You’ll hear their conversation with Mark and learn more about the importance of self-care for people who work in healthcare and how Special Tree integrates self-care into their training classes to prevent burnout.

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Clients Celebrate a Successful Season at the Big House

Special Tree’s InPro Enterprises wrapped up another season of running the condiment stations at U of M’s Big House during the 2018 football season.   With support from Special Tree’s job coaches, clients were responsible for filling and cleaning all condiment stations at the 100,000 seat stadium for six home games.

“Our vocational clients received glowing reviews from the health inspectors on the excellent cleanliness of the condiment stations,” said Rene Dell, Associate Director of Vocational Services.   

InPro Enterprises began managing the condiment stations at the Big House in 2016 to help clients gain valuable work experience in the community.  Clients work on developing important job skills for competitive employment like following directions, working under stress, focusing on tasks, and...

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Special Tree Shines at Re:Con 2018

Special Tree was well represented at re:con 2018, the premiere event for vocational professionals in Michigan.   The annual two-day conference in Traverses City features professional workshops, panel discussions, and merchandising opportunities for micro-businesses like InPro Enterprises that employ individuals with disabilities.

Among the workshop presenters was Special Tree’s Rene Dell, Assoc. Director of Vocational Services, whose presentation “Effective Vocational Counseling as a Path to Long Term Vocational Success” attracted a crowd and was well-received.   Rene was joined by Vocational team members Tara Forster, Blair Harrison, Kelly Hott and Heidi Nadobny who attended the conference for professional development as well as inspiration.  “It’s a wonderful conference and we always bring back new ideas for voca...

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Stop the Presses! Special Tree Earns 9th Top Workplace Award from the Freep

Special Tree is honored to be named a Top Workplace once again by the Detroit Free Press!  This 2018 recognition marks our 9th consecutive year to earn the award and we're thrilled to move up our ranking to #11 out of 35 in the large company category.

"We couldn't feel more proud of this award, particularly as the judges were our employees," said Kate McClain, Director of Workforce Engagement.  "They make Special Tree a great place to be every day."

To make the list, our employee's took an independent survey to rate Special Tree's performance on qualities that make a workplace great including direction, execution, career, conditions, leadership, and pay & benefits.  Special Tree's overall employee satisfactio...

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Massage Therapists Now Trained in Lymphatic Drainage Massage

By Melissa Tapp, MT, CBIS

What is Lymphatic Drainage Therapy ?
Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is a gentle manual therapy that addresses the body’s fluids.  When our lymphatic system is working correctly it helps the body to circulate stagnate fluids, filter out toxins and foreign substances, and maintain a healthy immune system. Techniques are used to help fluid recirculate through the natural lymphatic pathways.  When a person exhibits fluid retention or edema, this treatment can be used in an attempt to decrease this swelling.

What training is involved in becoming a Certified Lymphedema Therapist?
Special Tree has massage therapists in Wayne county and Oakland who have completed the Lymphatic Drainage Therapy training, which consisted of four 30-hour classes and a...

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CBIS: Special Tree Team Members Committed to Best Practices

Congratulations to the eight Special Tree team members who recently passed the exam to become Certified Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS).  They join 120 Special Tree team members who have earned the voluntary certification since 2004.  It requires class time, extensive preparation, and passing a national exam administered by the American Academy for the Certification of Brain Injury Specialists (AACBIS).  Initiated by the BIAA the AACBIS program was established in 1996 to improve the quality of care given to individuals with brain injuries through the continuing education of those who work in the field.  Special Tree team members are strongly committed to learning about best practices and to applying this knowledge to client care and rehabilitation.   The CBIS certification is voluntary and is available to all levels of pr...

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Highlights from the SCI Mobility + Recreation Expo

People from all over metro Detroit gathered at the NeuroCare Campus seeking inspiration and greater independence at Special Tree’s 5th annual SCI Mobility + Recreation Expo.   The Expo brought together 30 vendors who provide products, services, and recreational activities to help benefit and enrich the lives of people living with spinal cord injury and other disabilities.

Attendees enjoyed beautiful weather as they explored all the Expo had to offer.  They learned about mobility options including wheelchair accessible vehicles and all terrain wheelchairs.   They networked with vendors that provide home modifications and driving rehabilitation.  They tried out hand-cycle bikes and adaptive tennis equipment.  They watched hard-hitting, fast-paced games of wheelchair rugby and basketball.   Some got their wheelchairs...

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IN THE NEWS: SCI Mobility Expo on Fox 2 News

Thank you FOX 2 Detroit for stopping by our SCI Mobility & Recreation Expo! Here's a recap from the 5:00 news broadcast.

 

New Program Helps Patients Drive Toward Success

Driving is a skill that many patients want to regain after their injury.  Special Tree’s new Pre-Driving Program helps individuals take the first step toward driving again by making sure they’re safe and ready to get behind the wheel for on-the-road training. 

“We all spend so much time behind the wheel that we take for granted the underlying skills involved,” said OT Bev Zimmerman, who helped develop the program with a multi-disciplinary team at Special Tree.  “A TBI can alter many off-the-road skills needed to be a safe and successful driver such as concentration, memory, physical stamina, visual perception, problem-solving, and more.” 

The Pre-Driving Program helps rev-up those essential off-the-road skills through a six-week program that includes a clinical assessment with an OT, speech pathologist, and/...

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