How do you differentiate between recovery and compensation during therapy?
I am not sure that we need to differentiate between recovery and compensation. The bottom line is functional outcome, regardless of whether it is actually recovery or compensation. If you look at the neuroscience literature, there will be more talk about compensation and adaptation as opposed to recovery. Sometimes there is a disconnect across the literature between the disciplines because of the terminology. As a clinician, I am not really sure that it is an important factor if it is seen as recovery or compensation, as long as the functional outcome is positive.
Recovery is related to the reversal of diaschisis. We finally see what skills have remained in that area after injury as opposed to being completely lost. Compensation is taking those residual skills and maximizing them by using additional brain resources.
Dr. Irene Barrow obtained her B.S. and M.A in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Central Michigan University in 1982 and 1983 respectively and received her doctoral degree from East Carolina University in 2001. Her research interests are in neurolinguistics with a special interest in mild traumatic brain injury. Currently, she teaches a variety of online courses for several universities.