Better Hearing and Speech Month is a great time to recognize Speech and Language Pathologists like Beth Brookens who make a big difference in the lives of our patients recovering from brain and spinal cord injury. Here's what one former patient had to say about how Beth changed her life.
" I suffered a mild brain injury in an automobile accident. My vision, speech, and memory were affected. My physician recommended speech and vision therapy, I put it off as long as possible. I had done a pretty good job hiding my deficits for almost a year. Going to therapy to me was admitting I still had issues. It sounds silly now, but I had a difficult time accepting that I had a brain injury. Before my accident, I worked a professional job as a nurse manager, managed my family, maintained a home, and was very involved in my children’s extra-curricular activities. I was a wife, mother, daughter, boss, coach, sister etc. One morning my life completely changed. I was in an automobile accident in the way to work. I was transferred by ambulance and spent some time in the hospital. I was diagnosed with whip lash and concussion. They said I would be better in a week. Then it went to a month, three months, 6 months, then a year. I was hiding my disabilities from anyone I could, and the ones that I care about the most were suffering because of this. I shut the door on family and friends. I wanted nothing more than my life back. Therefore, admitting I was having issues in my mind...was also saying goodbye to my old life. I reluctantly, finally agreed to speech therapy. My first day I came in with a huge chip on my shoulder. I felt belittled, embarrassed, and thought it was a huge waste of time. Speech therapy is where I met Beth. It took me about a month of therapy (with a huge chip on my shoulder) to realize that this was really helping!! She understood my background and created a curriculum that was custom to my education level and background. She provided me with the education and tools I needed to help with my memory and speech. Most importantly, she didn’t judge me. She was optimistic and gave me the courage and faith I needed to face my disabilities head on and admit that I had issues to myself and my family. She rearranged her schedule to accommodate mine, plugged me into other resources that I could benefit from, and gave me the confidence and assertiveness to tell people that I had a head injury. Most importantly, Beth was a friend when I needed one most. I had pushed most of mine away and was lonely inside. I found myself looking forward to our sessions. I opened my mind and took in everything she said. I started noticing improvement in my life and relationships. I had hope again and was slowly getting the confidence I once had back. Beth puts her heart and soul in her work. She is knowledgeable, kind, spirited, and empathetic. It is much more than just a job for her and it shows each and every day. She has made an impact much more than she will ever know. While my therapy has ended, I will always have a little piece of Beth in my heart. I am beyond grateful for her and getting back to my old self one day at a time. I am forever grateful for the services I received at Special Tree. Thank you." -- Former Patient