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

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.” 

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 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.." 

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 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. 

Role of Respiratory Therapists is a Matter of Life and Breath

It's Respiratory Care Week and a great time to shine a spotlight on our Respiratory Therapists (RTs) and the life-saving care they provide to clients throughout their rehabilitation and recovery.  

PT Month Spotlight: Why I Love Being a Physical Therapist

By Jackie Cunningham, PT, CBIS -- As the temperature cools, the autumn leaves change colors, and the calendar flips to October, so begins National Physical Therapy Month.  PT Month is established to increase awareness to the profession. As a physical therapist for over 25 years, I often get asked the questions: are you happy with the profession you chose, and what do you like about being a physical therapist? Let us begin with who physical therapists are; PT’s are highly educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility (APTA.org). I learned this explanation when I was researching careers at the library way back, I mean way back… in high school. It intrigued me to continue my interest and exposure to this awesome field.

Celebrating Occupational Therapy Month

April is Occupational Therapy Month and at Special Tree we’re celebrating the many ways our Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA) help our clients to become as independent as possible in their daily life.

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.