I recieved a nice email from Michelle Wild this week. Michelle is a professor at Coastline Community College in California. For the last 22 years she has been a professor at Coastline’s Acquired Brain Injury Program and was recently nominated for the U.S. Professor of the year because of her work at CCC.
Michelle was kind enough to fill me in on a new program at Coastal involving the use of smartphones and PDA’s to assist the brain injured as memory or cognitive prosthetic devices. The proper use of these tech devices help the survivor make the cognitive connection to overcome acquired deficits in:
Professor Wild reports that:
Unlike a typical memory workbook or PDA manual, which many users find frustrating and technical, our training material is much more than a reference source; it is consciously structured to be a learning tool for adults with ABI.
This program of study provides a broad range of benefits. It benefits those living with a brain injury by presenting information in easy to follow steps, by offering training videos that can be watched, paused and reviewed whenever necessary, by focusing on day-to-day activities where you would use your smartphone/PDA to compensate for memory deficiencies, by integrating review and reference of cognitive skills throughout the learning process and by basing the program design on feedback from individuals living with brain injuries.
The program benefits Professionals by providing them with a structured curriculum that can be used during therapy sessions, by complimenting exisiting cognitive therapy, by integrating cognitive remediation strategies while teaching how to use a PDA/Smartphone, and by providing structured homework assignments which include training videos.
For caregivers, the benfits are invaluable. The program will teach them about cognitive skills impacted by the injury and will explain how a memory prosthetic device can help. In turn, the use of the PDA/Smartphone by the injured party will free up the caregiver’s time as it promotes autonomy, follow through on appointments and tasks, and increases the self-esteem of the injured person.
Some quotes from attendees to this program:
"My husband has a brain injury and he has both short-term and long-term memory problems. The Pharos device has helped him immensely with reminders of appointments. I also have the Pharos device and it has become very helpful in my keeping appointment schedules."
"First off, WOW! Tons of good stuff here by way of the level of detail, organization, comprehensiveness of the skills training across both the workbook and video clips."
"Improving my life organization and decreasing piles and piles of paper was my goal. I found my solution with this hands-on, easy-to-follow PDA training."
"The Pocket PC has been a transformative tool in my life. It has strengthened my ability to be independent, efficient, and productive. It has given me hope and a concrete vehicle with which to create a new fulfilling and fruitful future for myself."
My review of the course leads me to believe this is a great tool for individuals with brain injuries, doctors and therapists who treat these folks and their familial caregivers that are helping them 24/7.