Camp to provide strategies and technologies for adjusting to life following traumatic brain injury

Published: June 18, 2021

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From June 29-July 1, 15 Alabama residents will meet with Auburn University faculty and students to discover new methods, ideas, strategies and technologies for adjusting to life following a traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

This camp is a unique initiative, focusing on TBI survivors who are three plus years removed from their injury. The camp is being held as an opportunity for improved adjustments for both the survivor and their caregiver. This multi-disciplinary approach includes teams from speech and hearing, audiology, social work, nursing, and kinesiology, who will work with the participants individually and collectively.

Each unit will conduct brief assessments on each person attending the camp and then share their recommendations. As part of the camp, each participant will receive an Amazon Fire tablet and each unit will make recommendations and load apps onto to those tablets that correspond with areas identified during the assessments. For example, if there are exercises or tools on a particular app to help with memory, cognition, problem solving or speech and hearing loss, those apps will be put on the individual's tablet to take home and work on.

"Each person will have different needs," said Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Clinical Professor Laura Willis. "Having a camp like this allows each person to meet with multiple units in a shorter time span at no cost and receive recommendations to improve the ability to function and participate in daily life. Each camper is assigned one student and faculty member from each discipline who will be observing and communicating with each other throughout the process."

The students involved in this camp will gain first-hand perspectives on how other units make recommendations and communicate with participants. The students will incorporate an interdisciplinary approach working with speech therapy, physical therapy, social work, occupational therapy, kinesiology and dietary/nutrition. Willis said that this will be a valuable resource for the campers, as well as providing an interprofessional experience for the Auburn students. Students from all these disciplines will work together in their careers and this will allow an opportunity for them to learn from each other during their training.

The camp will be co-directed with Scott Powell, the executive director of the Alabama Head Injury Foundation, or AHIF.

Submitted by: Victoria Santos