Rehab for Brain Injury in Melville
Damage to the brain, whether from traumatic injury or from a lesion created by a stroke, can lead to a wide variety of impairments, depending on what areas of the brain were affected. Brain damage can impair a person’s motor coordination, ability to speak and understand language, cognition and memory, and other important functions controlled within the brain. Rehab for brain injury in Melville and elsewhere may include speech therapy, physical therapy, cognitive rehabilitation therapy, or occupational therapy, depending on the damage that occurred and the needs of the individual patient.
Speech therapy is often useful in rehab for brain injury because damage to certain areas of the brain can result in disorders of speech and language. Speech-language pathologists are experts who specialize in diagnosing and treating this type of problems. Areas of dysfunction often handled with speech therapy include:
- Cognitive aspects of verbal communication; this includes attention, memory, and executive functions that may compromise speech and language abilities
- Aspects of the physical process of speech; including phonation, articulation, and fluency
- Aspects of language comprehension and expression; including semantics, syntax, and other aspects of grammar and language structure
- Problems with the voice itself; including hoarseness, poor volume, or abnormal vocal qualities
- Sensory awareness; related to speech
Injuries to some areas of the brain often result in difficulties with motor coordination abilities. Physical therapy is often incorporated as part of treatment for these individuals. Some physical therapists specialize in treating patients with neurological disorders or diseases affecting motor functions. Neurological injury or disease can impair balance, ambulation, eye-hand coordination, muscle strength, and other physical abilities, often interfering significantly with the patient’s quality of life and ability to engage in activities of daily living. Physical therapy as part of rehab for brain injury uses structured exercises and other techniques to help retrain the person, in order to improve the functions that have been compromised as a result of the injury.
Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy
Brain injuries often result in cognitive impairment. This may affect the person’s ability to reason and plan, their attention and concentration, and other areas of cognition. Cognitive rehabilitation therapy is a form of rehab that helps patients with cognitive impairment to either restore normal functioning, or to compensate for the acquired deficits; this depends on the individual. Cognitive rehab for brain injury often uses a combination of specific skills training and “metacognitive strategies”, which help the patient increase their self-awareness of their cognitive processes, so that they can self-monitor and self-correct when necessary.
Occupational therapy is a relatively broad term, but generally involves an approach that emphasizes skills related to aspects of daily living. In occupational therapy, a patient may engage in tasks designed to retrain impaired abilities; for example, a patient whose fine motor coordination was impaired by a brain injury might engage in activities involving putting Lego blocks together, doing puzzles, and other fine motor activities. Occupational therapy often involves teaching the patient new ways to approach tasks. Occupational therapy can be immensely helpful for helping patients regain proficiency in everyday activities.