Our team is an active part of the developing field of neuropsychology to aid rehabilitation, to positively develop innovations to improve the quality of life for those with a brain injury.
Teen Online Problem-Solving (TOPS)
The TOPS intervention provides training in metacognitive strategies in social problem-solving skills, communication skills, self-monitoring and stress management to teens with brain injury and their families. TOPS has a strong evidence based approach and has been shown in randomised controlled trials in the United States to improve executive function and behaviour based on parental report and long term functional outcome.
TOPS is a computer-based training programme supported by regular coaching sessions. It is delivered over a 4-6 month period and involves self-guided on-line modules that the teen and their family complete on their own, and synchronous sessions with the coach via video-conferencing, initially weekly and then bi-weekly. There are 10 core sessions and a further six optional supplemental sessions.
As the child with brain injury develops, the prevalence of behavioural difficulties, alongside family burden as they care for their child, can increase. Executive functioning skills are associated with behavioural functioning. For this reason, we support the development of family-based standardised approaches to improve executive functioning. We plan to offer the TOPS service very soon. If you are interested in this service please get in touch.
Triple P is a well-validated structured parenting programme with demonstrable short and long-term effects for the child, parent(s) and within family relationships.
Stepping Stones Triple P (SSTP; a version of Triple P adapted specifically for parents of children with disabilities) has been delivered as a structured group intervention to support parents of children with brain injury with evidence of improvements. It is a structured programme of 10 sessions (8 group sessions and 2 telephone sessions with the psychologist) focusing on the development and practice of positive parenting strategies alongside stress management skills.
Given the high prevalence of behaviour problems following child brain injury, Recolo supports the development of standardised approaches for parents caring for children and managing behaviour following brain injury. We plan to offer SSTP as a structured intervention soon. If you are interested in this service please get in touch.
mTBI / concussion training
Management of Concussions and mTBIs have become more widely recognised and understood over the past decade. They can result in behavioural changes, cognitive impairment and sleep disturbance. Although the majority of concussive symptoms resolve in the first month, it is important to correctly manage a child after a concussion including appropriate school return.
Given the prevalence and known neuropsychological effects of mTBI in children, and the need to appropriately manage school return, Recolo’s Educational Neuropsychology service offers structured training to schools and local authorities. The training is delivered face to face in a group setting over two hours. We can also provide bespoke training to fit the individual needs of the school and staff group. Please get in touch if you are interested in this service.
Music therapy is the evidence-based use of music in clinical situations that help people achieve desired health outcomes (Levitin 2014). Since the 1990s, research bringing together music and neuroscience have begun to delineate, Music Therapy on the premise of neuroplasticity. Music therapy as a ‘treatment’ in Acquired Brain Injury is described with outcomes associated with changes in the domains of psychological and emotional functioning, communication, cognition and behaviour and physical functioning (Magee, 2009). Further information can be found here – (link to PDF).
It is our belief that the integration of music therapy and neuropsychology could be a significant additional element to neuropsychological rehabilitation outcome for some children. Recolo is developing links with music therapists who work in neurorehabilitation in the UK and seeking to work closely with our music therapy colleagues to develop and evaluate structured integrated neuropsychology and music therapy interventions, to address specific rehabilitation goals. If you are interested in introducing music therapy to a child’s neurorehabilitation programme, please get in touch.
Music is considered to be a whole brain activity (Alluri and Toiviainen, 2012) and intrinsically linked to emotion and memory (Juslin and Sloboda 2001). In this regard, the work by Deborah Budding and colleagues has outlined a ‘vertical brain’ model and contributions of subcortical structures in cognitive, behavioural, emotional and physical functioning, and the implications of interventions for neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders that recruit subcortical brain regions, which include rhythm and music-based methods (Budding & Koziol, 2010).
Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) is based on a neuroscience model of music perception and production and the influence of music on functional changes in the non-musical brain. NMT focuses on rhythmic synchronisation and temoral order in the recruitment of neurons and the strengthening and / or laying down of new connections in the brain (Thaut, 2010, Thaut 2003). NMT is an evidence-based method that applies music-based methods to improve cognitive, sensory and motor outcomes following neurological disorders. “The brain that engages in music is changed by engaging in music” (Thaut, 2005).)
We value technology highly, recognising that it emulates and extends cognitive ability. We strongly believe that technology – both commercially available and customised – should be routinely integrated into neuropsychological rehabilitation. Alarms, smartphones, tablets, cameras, computer software, GPS systems and dictaphones can all be useful additional aids to support and compensate for cognitive and overall adaptive functioning to maximise independence.
Recolo works with assistive technology consultants to routinely introduce technology into neuropsychological rehabilitation and attached to specific rehabilitation goals. If you are interested in this service please get in touch.