Blog Archives

Augmentative and alternative communication intervention in children with traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury

Children and youth who sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or spinal cord injury (SCI) may have temporary or permanent disabilities that affect their speech, language and communication abilities. Having a way to communicate can help reduce children’s confusion and anxiety, as well as enable them to participate more actively in the rehabilitation process and thus, recover from their injuries. In addition, effective communication with family, care staff, peers, teachers and friends is essential to long-term recovery and positive outcomes for children with TBI and SCI as they are integrated back into their communities. This article describes how rehabilitation teams can use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and assistive technologies (AT) to support the communication of children recovering from TBI and SCI over time.

<p><p>from the <a href=”Journal” _mce_href=””><em>Journal”>”><em>Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine</em></a></p>

Language Functioning and Deficits Following Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury

The purpose of this article is to provide a current review of language functioning and deficits following traumatic brain injury (TBI), specifically among the pediatric population. This paper will: (a) outline the manner in which these deficits may impede functioning across environments; (b) review methods of assessing language functioning within this population; and (c) discuss empirically supported interventions to address noted language deficits as they present in pediatric TBI.

from Applied Neuropsychology

Developing a Traumatic Brain Injury Index for Social and Vocational Communication Outcomes (SAVCO)

Objective: To describe the development of a functional communication assessment. A secondary aim is to illustrate a process for identifying functional communication outcomes in clients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The TBI Index for Social and Vocational Communication Outcomes (SAVCO) is designed to identify limitations to everyday communication activities that may present following TBI. It was constructed by anchoring communication activities derived from studies within New Zealand into an internationally recognised theoretical construct, the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Four key principles: authenticity of the items, attention to context, collaboration and transparency, underpin the assessment. Main outcomes: The article describes the process of developing a TBI measure that is authentic to an intended population. It provides a preliminary description of the SAVCO, its different constructs and the rationale for their inclusion. The SAVCO is an assessment that highlights everyday activities that are relevant targets for intervention for the individual. The client’s performance on the identified activities is explored according to the efficiency and manner of executing the activity. The scope and level of the activity are also determined. Conclusions: The development of the SAVCO illustrates a process for identifying relevant and important functional communication activity items and promotes the use of the ICF framework and rating scales. The preliminary findings suggest that the SAVCO has clinical relevance providing speech–language therapists with a functional communication assessment that leads to the identification and measurement of client-centred therapy outcomes.

from Brain Impairment