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Using Tech Devices for Individuals with TBI

Angela Hein Ciccia, PhD, CCC-SLP

September 3, 2012



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.

angela hein ciccia

Angela Hein Ciccia, PhD, CCC-SLP

 Angela Hein Ciccia, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences. Dr. Ciccia's research focuses on factors that impact children's ability to recover/develop in the presence of a diagnosis of an acquired (i.e., new onset) and/or developmental neurogenic communication disorder. Dr. Ciccia is also interested in the use of novel service delivery models (including telemedicine) to enhance access to rehabilitation/support services for these children. She is the current Co-Chair of the Pediatric Networking Group of ACRM and a member of the Pediatric/Adolescent TBI Task Force of ACRM. 

Related Courses

20Q: Addressing the Needs of Children and Teens with Traumatic Brain Injury
Presented by Angela Hein Ciccia, PhD, CCC-SLP


Angela Hein Ciccia, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #9302Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'This course was excellent because the information was completely new to me'   Read Reviews
This course will focus on the prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussion in children and teens, the communication issues that can occur as a result, and recovery patterns. Current treatment guidelines - including return-to-learn protocols - and the role of the speech-language pathologist in the rehabilitation process will also be discussed.

Adverse Childhood Experiences: Effects on brain, behavior and clinical practice
Presented by Angela Hein Ciccia, PhD, CCC-SLP


Angela Hein Ciccia, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #8929Level: Advanced1 Hour
This is Part 1 of the five-part series, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE): The Effects of Childhood Trauma on Communication. This course will provide a brief review of conventional and expanded adverse childhood experiences and discuss their implications. Specifically, the impact of ACEs on brain and behavior and the importance of this information to clinical practice for speech-language pathologists will be described. This course is presented in partnership with the American Board of Child Language and Language Disorders (ABCLLD). (Part 2: Course 8981, Part 3: Course 8984, Part 4: Course 8986, Part 5: Course 8992)

Behavioral Frameworks for Dementia Management
Presented by Mary Beth Mason, PhD, CCC-SLP, Robert W. Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP


Mary Beth Mason, PhD, CCC-SLPRobert W. Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP
Course: #9473Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'The instructors organized their presentation and presented it in an easy to comprehend manner'   Read Reviews
This course will focus on cognitive-communication intervention strategies for various dementia presentations and will provide a review of evidence-based treatment. Behavioral frameworks along with their rationales will be introduced and applied across several dementia types and mild, moderate and severe levels of impairment.

Dysphagia in Neurodegenerative Disease
Presented by Debra M. Suiter, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S


Debra M. Suiter, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S
Course: #9732Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Excellent content and organization of material! However, WAY WAY WAY too much for a one-hour presentation! MANY slides, and Dr Suiter gave a lot of info about each slide in addition to the text, which I valiantly attempted to capture in my notes, until toward the end, when she was barely able to even read what was on each! Parkinson's got short shrift, as she mentioned'   Read Reviews
Dysphagia is common in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s disease. This course discusses the underlying pathophysiology and appropriate treatment programs for each disease, as well as use of alternate methods of nutrition/hydration.

Research Watch Report: Evidence-Based Treatment Approaches for Acquired Apraxia of Speech
Presented by April Garrity, PhD, CCC-SLP


April Garrity, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #9226Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'The information was conveyed well'   Read Reviews
This Research Watch Report focuses on some of the most current research in the area of acquired apraxia of speech (AOS). Three research articles are summarized and potential clinical applications of the evidence are discussed.