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

vision therapy program

Recognizing the need to address vision limitations after brain injury, Special Tree screens for vision problems with every patient.

After three separate eye surgeries to repair detached retinas, resulting in 75 days total spent face-down to recover fully, Special Tree CEO Joseph Richert knows first-hand how powerful vision can be in everyday functioning.

That’s one reason he is passionate about evaluating all patients with brain injury for vision challenges when they first come to Special Tree. Another is simply the good sense it makes to screen patients for impaired vision at the outset; something that is often overlooked and which can have a tremendous impact on rehabilitation and recovery.

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.” 

Did You Hear? Special Tree Earns Another Three-Year CARF Accreditation

Special Tree has earned another accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the highest level accreditation given to rehabilitation facilities.

CARF is an independent, non-profit accrediting organization, which works to ensure that high standards of care and quality are met by its accredited rehabilitation providers.  Special Tree voluntarily pursues CARF accreditation for its programs and services every three years.  To earn this internationally recognized accreditation, a team of CARF surveyors visited Special Tree to evaluate our programs, services, staff, policies, and procedures to make sure they met CARF standards. 

IN THE NEWS: Robot Tool Gives Patients a Lift to Recovery

Check out this article in The Detroit News to learn how Special Tree's new ZeroG system is having a tremendous impact on the recovery of patients like Sloan H. 

 

Special Tree Launches “ZeroG,” Robotic Body-Weight Rehab Support System

zerog therapy rehabilitation

 

ZeroG Gait and Balance System provides dynamic, body-weight support, mimicking falls to provide real-time biofeedback.

Special Tree is thrilled to announce the launch of a new, cutting-edge rehab support system to help patients relearn walking after traumatic injury. The system was installed at the NeuroCare Center in early June. Following extensive training, therapists began using the system almost immediately and it has been in steady use ever since. 

"We are already seeing an impact on our patients," shared Nicole LeBaron, Physical Therapy Assistant. "Without Zero G, it could take several therapists to help a person stand up and walk. With this new system, they are able to build the confidence needed to regain independence.." 

New In-House Lab Generating Better Patient Outcomes

lab services blood

Special Tree is proud to announce another step in improving the delivery of care for our patients.  Fully accredited lab services are now available at our NeuroCare campus in Romulus.   The new lab offers many common diagnostic tests and screenings including CBC’s, Electrolyte panels, BMP, CMP’s, Liver function Panels, and Lipid Panels for patients in our sub-acute and residential programs.  The lab is accredited by the CLIA, a regulatory division of the FDA.

“Having access to on-site lab services is very beneficial for our patients,” said Lela Hickonbottom, Chief Nursing Officer.  “The quicker we get results, the quicker we can diagnosis and implement treatment which results in better outcomes for our patients.”  Added benefits include the coordination of medical data all in one place and a decrease in the duplication of services.  All this improves control and management of client care for our consulting physicians and treatment team and reduces costs for insurers.  

Special Tree SLPs help clients “See the Swallow”

Special Tree’s Speech Language Pathologists are using a new high-tech therapy to drastically improve how clients relearn to swallow following a brain injury. The Synchrony Dysphasia Solution is a revolutionary biofeedback device that enables clients to “see” their swallows through the use of virtual reality-enhanced images. Watch as Sarah Kapelczak, SLP, demos the new technology and explains how Synchrony is helping to improve outcomes and quality of life for individuals with Dysphasia.

A Team Approach to Vision Rehabilitation

vision therapy

Vision is more than 20/20.  It’s also our brain’s ability to gather information with our eyes and to process the information we see.  Our brain and eyes work together to help us think, move, and make sense of the world around us.   Because of the close relationship between the brain and vision, many people experience significant vision problems after a brain injury. These visual deficits can interfere with recovery which is why vision therapy is an important part of our clients' overall rehabilitation. We asked OT Patricia Laws to explain more about the benefits of vision therapy and how Special Tree's team-approach helps to maximize visual function. 

Introducing Synchrony: Break Through Technology for Speech and Swallowing

 

After a brain injury, a person may have to learn to do many things all over again, including eating, drinking, and talking. At Special Tree we’re excited to announce our use of a revolutionary new device called Synchrony, which helps with speech and swallowing.Guided by Special Tree's experienced Speech Language Pathologists specially trained to use Synchrony, the device uses evidence-based protocols, a revolutionary new sEMG Biofeedback system, and ACP’s proven “PENS” e-stim technology to help clients with dysphagia. Common after brain injury, dysphagia is difficulty or discomfort when swalling; when it takes a person more time or effort to move food or liquid from the mouth to the stomach. Swallowing is critical to eating and drinking as well as talking. While we may not be conscious of it, we frequently swallow as a routine part of speaking.

ReWalk Opens Whole New World of Mobility for Client

Justin had been in a wheelchair almost five years from a spinal cord injury he sustained in a car accident when he came across an article that would change his life.  The article was about the ReWalk Exoskeleton, a robotic suit with motorized legs that’s helping people who are paralyzed to stand up-right and walk again.   Justin, the father of two young sons, never lost hope that he would walk again, but the discovery of the ReWalk turned hope into a fiery determination to get back on his feet.