How can I use the iPad®, the iPod®, various smartphones, etc. for individuals with TBI and what are some of the cons to using these types of devices?
I think individuals with TBI have been using alerting devices for a long time; whether it was an alarm on their watch or carrying a tape recorder to record voice messages. So if people now have iPhone®s - all those alarm features are there, the calendars are there, etc. It is really easy for memory-type tasks to use this technology.
The downside to some of these devices is that while they are really userfriendly, there is a highlevel of sequencing ability, the ability to attend to a particular piece of information and being able to screen out noise. For patients with visual and motor deficits, depending on the complexity of the device, that can be really problematic and they may need to be trained. In the Sohlberg and Turkstra text, Optimizing Cognitive Rehabilitation, (2011) there are some really great recommendations for how to take that technology and use it to improve the person's daily activity task performance and to improve their overall life participation.
Angela Hein Ciccia, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Sciences Program, Department of Psychological Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. Her research focuses on the area of social information processing, or social cognition, in the school-age and adolescent TBI population. Clinically Dr. Ciccia sees patients with a variety of neurogenic communication disorders across the lifespan.