July 22, 2006
This week Russ finished his 2nd cycle at Rusk Institute. It is a fabulous program. Cognitive problems are hard to pin down and slow to improve. Cognitive therapy works on problems dealing with the following areas: short and long term memory, concentration, attention, unawareness, adynamia (inability to engage with surrounding events), impulsivity, neuro-fatigue, planning, convergent reasoning, and divergent reasoning. Like all people with brain injury Russ has his own blend of these problems, each one to a different level of severity. When Russ was evaluated at Rusk prior to his first cycle he was given a battery of about 45 tests. The test result scores include severely impaired, moderately impaired, slightly impaired and normal. In this preadmission testing Russ scored severely impaired on 9 of the tests, normal on 4 or 5 tests, and the rest of the test results were distributed between moderately and slightly impaired. At about the mid point of this cycle Russ got a bit overconfident and began to feel like he didn’t need Rusk anymore. At this point he requested to be tested again. Over several days the staff performed the tests again and we were very pleased to see that he no longer had any scores of “severely impaired”. The tests still showed many areas where Russ is still impaired so there is still work to do but it is very encouraging to see his progress.
Russ is finally making progress with speech. It is very slow and hard but he is making it happen. On many occasions during the day Russ will try to speak with us instead of using his keyboard. Since George-Anne and I hear him practice and go with him to speech therapy we have a better chance of understanding him. His voice is still soft and there are still sounds he can’t make but there is definitely improvement.
Thank you for following Russ in his rehabilitation.