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Moving Past a Concussion With Cognitive Treatment

August 29, 2017

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can take time to heal. Once you’ve been diagnosed as having suffered a concussion, there are steps that can be taken to regain the life you once lived. One such treatment program – cognitive therapy – is offered at Bayhealth Outpatient Rehabilitation centers in Dover and Milford by speech language pathologists.

Cognitive therapy assists patients with cognitive linguistic skills such as memory, attention, executive functioning, language, and visuospatial skills, which deals with the spacial relationships among objects. Bayhealth Advanced Speech Pathologist Ashley Jones, MS, CCC-SLP, sees patients for cognitive treatment after they’ve been diagnosed with a concussion. When a patient first sees Jones, a thorough evaluation is completed followed by the creation of a treatment plan. “The goal is to help the patient return to their previous functional abilities they had before the traumatic brain injury. This could be class, work or everyday life,” Jones said.

Quite often, individuals who have suffered a concussion look and feel fine. It isn’t until they go back to their day-to-day activities they may experience difficulty completing the tasks they once did with ease. For example, they may have trouble concentrating during a teacher’s lecture in class; difficulty comprehending and recalling details when reading a novel; or inability in balancing their checkbook. Sometimes people feel mentally foggy, experience fatigue, or have difficulties focusing and managing their duties. Through cognitive therapy, Jones works with the patient to retrain their brain to do these activities and to provide strategies to compensate for persistent deficits.

“The goal is always to reintegrate the patients back into their functional environment,” Jones said. “There are a number of ways we can work with the patient to regain their independence in completing tasks, which are important to be successful in the classroom, workplace or as a community member.”

To receive cognitive therapy, you must receive a referral from a pediatrician, primary care physician, neurosurgeon, or neurologist. Bayhealth also offers Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT™), which measures various aspects of cognitive function in athletes. This testing is available at Bayhealth Wellness Centers located in several area high schools and Bayhealth Outpatient Rehabilitation, Kent Campus.

Visit Bayhealth.org/Outpatient-Therapy for more information on the services provided at Bayhealth. If you’re in need of a physician, find one at Bayhealth.org/Physicians or call 1-866-BAY-DOCS (3627).