Cognitive Rehabilitation Fredericksburg & Woodbridge, VA

Cognitive Rehabilitation

Injury to the brain from various causes can result in short and long term cognitive deficits
which may be temporary or permanent. Contusions, concussions, focal damage may
result in short and/or long-term permanent difficulties.

Cognition is the act of knowing or thinking. It includes the ability to choose, understand, remember and use information. Cognition includes:

  • Attention and concentration
  • Processing and understanding information
  • Memory
  • Communication
  • Planning, organizing, and assembling
  • Reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, and judgment
  • Controlling impulses and desires and being patient
  • Learning

Improvements can occur once swelling subsides or as other areas of the brain learn to
take over the function of the damaged areas. Children’s brains are much more capable of
this flexibility than adult brains. For this reason, children who suffer brain trauma might
progress better than adults with similar damage.

Assessment of Cognitive Problems in TBI

  • The assessment of cognitive is a continual, ongoing process that involves a
    number of professionals: neurologist, occupational therapist, speech language
    speech therapist, and neuropsychologist.

Cognitive outcome/recovery and rehabilitation

There are many factors that can affect how someone will improve cognitively, it is very difficult to predict how much someone will recover. With practice, cognitive problems usually improve to some degree.

Cognitive rehabilitation is therapy to improve cognitive skills and has two main approaches, remediation and compensation:

  • Remediation focuses on improving skills that have been lost or impaired.
  • Compensation helps you learn to use different ways to achieve a goal

The cognitive problems of traumatic brain injury are best treated early, often
beginning while the individual is still in the hospital. This early therapy will frequently focus on increasing skills of alertness and attention. They will focus on improving orientation to person, place, time, and situation, and stimulating speech understanding.

The physical therapist will provide oral-motor exercises in cases where the individual has
speech and swallowing problems. Longer term rehabilitation with traumatic brain injury includes intensive therapy by speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.

The Goal of Rehabilitation

The goal of rehabilitation is to help the individual progress to the most independent level of functioning possible. For some, ability to express needs verbally in simple terms may be a goal. For others, the goal may be to express needs by pointing to pictures. For still others, the goal of therapy may be to improve the ability to define words or describe consequences of actions or events.

Therapy also focuses on regaining lost skills as well as learning ways to compensate for abilities that have been permanently changed because of the brain injury. Most individuals respond best to programs tailored to their backgrounds and interests. The most effective therapy programs involve family members who can best provide this information. Computer-assisted programs have been successful with some individuals.

Discuss your concerns with your physician or treatment provider. You should discuss any questions or concerns you have with a physiatrist (rehabilitation specialist) or the rehabilitation team. It is important to mention new problems as they develop. New problems could be the result of medication or require further evaluation. For more information, Contact us at Fredericksburg & Woodbridge, VA centers.