Emily's Success Story:

Brain Injury & Stroke

 

Student Information

Name: Emily*

*actual name replaced to protect the identity of the student and family

Gender: Female

 

Age: 14

Diagnosis: Suffered a stroke while playing a sport at age 12

Evaluation Dates: September 2018 & April/May 2019

Initial Functional Challenges: Emily entered Jacob's Ladder exhibiting loss of all verbal language output and language comprehension. She displayed mobility and gait challenges with limited use of her right hand. She experienced a loss of all academic ability after having been an advanced placement student.

 

Emily's Individualized Plan

Based on Emily’s evaluation, we created an individualized model of care to help her develop a better-connected brain and reach the following emotional-behavioral goals.

Goal #1

 

Anxiety & Depression: Emily learns and practices the skills of self-affirmation and mindfulness-based stress reduction in order to silence the inner-critic and remain focused on personal strengths

Behaviors Measured Daily

1. Expresses emotions appropriately

2. Accepts basic truths within the day

3. Embraces and champions successes of self and others

Goal #2

 

Attention: Emily is able to focus on the present in order to maintain homeostasis

Behaviors Measured Daily

 

1. Awareness of bodily manifestations or emotionality

2. Avoids sweeping comparisons with others

3. Avoids engaging in rote dialogue

Goal #3

 

Perseveration: Emily maintains internal dialogue by appropriately expressing her initial emotions/thought processes before entering into a perseverative cycle

Behaviors Measured Daily

1. Communicates with appropriate tone and volume

2. Communicates with appropriate body language

3. Clarifies content of situation before responding

Emily’s Academic Gains Over 8 Months  

Our Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care is built around the framework that a strong neurodevelopmental foundation is necessary to excel in academics. Emily put in the hard work of developing a strong neurodevelopmental foundation and experienced terrific academic gains.

 

Emily’s Functional Gains Over 8 Months

As Emily developed the proper connections between areas in her brain, she experienced tremendous gains in her communication, physiology, and academics.

Starting at Jacob's Ladder

1. Loss of all verbal language output

 

2. Loss of language comprehension

 

3. Mobility and gait challenges with limited use of right hand

 

4. Loss of all academic ability after having been an advanced placement student

8 Months Later

1. Ability to again speak in full sentences

 

2. Ability to comprehend conversations and respond appropriately

 

3. Regained normal gait with minimal irregularity observed

 

4. “Relearned” 4-5 grade levels of academic material in 8 months

 

How Emily's Brain Changed Over 8 Months

By utilizing a QEEG brain map, we were able to identify and measure where communication flow was lacking in Emily's brain (hypo coherence) or where communication flow was locked and/or was overly-used in Emily's brain (hyper coherence).

 

We identified Emily's top 10 hypo coherent connections and top 10 hyper coherent connections. Based on the regions of the brain that were struggling to communicate, it became clear why she was experiencing communication, academic, and physiological challenges. 

 

Over 8 months, specific activities were implemented in her individualized model of care to normalize these connections. Below is an example of two connection improvements.  

 

Example #1 of Emily's Brain Improvement

Communication flow within Emily's Broca's Area located in her Inferior Frontal/Prefrontal Cortex was lacking by -7.64 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

 

Through Emily's individualized model of care, activities were implemented that improved her communication flow to -1.89 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

Inferior Frontal/Prefrontal – Part of Broca’s Area (Left)

  • Verbal language functions – Broca’s Area

  • Inhibition of actions

  • Mirror neurons and imitation of social interactions

Inferior Frontal/Prefrontal – Part of Broca’s Area (Left)

  • Verbal language functions – Broca’s Area

  • Inhibition of actions

  • Mirror neurons and imitation of social interactions

Example #2 of Emily's Brain Improvement

Communication flow between Emily's Temporal Lobe and Anterior Cingulate Gyrus was locked and/or overly-used by +7.38 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

 

Through Emily's individualized model of care, activities were implemented that improved her communication flow to +0.44 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

Temporal Lobe (Left)

  • Generation of words and sentences

  • Comparing present input with past experiences

  • Episodic memory (remembering events) and declarative memory (remembering facts)

Anterior Cingulate Gyrus​ (Left)

  • Hearing pleasant music

  • Sexual arousal

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