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Brain Injury Success Stories
Rehab Using Protocols Designed by Gemm Learning
Increasingly, medical professionals and parents are turning to the Fast ForWord program in brain injury cases like strokes, meningitis, brain injury from accidents and for a number of neurological conditions.
While the goal in these cases is to move the needle, to make incremental progress, Fast ForWord, because of the unique intensity it can generate, has the potential to be the difference maker in a broader treatment regime. Encouraged by success over the past 10 years Gemm Learning has been more willing to recommend Fast ForWord for brain injury cases, recognizing that individual results will vary.
“He is doing really well and still continues to make gains. I really credit the regaining of his now very strong listening skills to this program. I’m impressed at how the exercises became more difficult so quickly… he liked the challenge. I am seeing a big difference in his memory that really suffered from the accident. And more and more he is working on his own, becoming quite independent.”
“He has the maturity now to do better compared to being in school and hating every moment… there’s a drive in him now to do everything better and he has an angel on his shoulder helping him out. When I think of his state one year ago and look at him now… it’s a miracle really.”
Susan T., parent of 25 year old accident victim
Traumatic brain injury treatment
A 7 Year Old Battles Back From Chemobrain
Stephen missed all of 1st grade after receiving high dose chemotherapy for osteosarcoma, bone cancer. He has a titanium rod in his leg that requires three surgeries per year to adjust to his body growth. But don’t expect Stephen to complain about the surgeries, the medications, any of it. He just wants to be a kid with time each day to play.
After chemo, Stephen’s mom noticed what medical professionals call chemo brain — a decline in cognitive skills brought on by the toxic effects of chemo. Stephen, previously a good student, was now spending hours on homework, his confidence was down and his teachers recommended a Special Education classroom.
Stephen’s mom felt otherwise. That’s when she came to us. She wanted to know if Fast ForWord could reverse the poisonous effects of chemotherapy. Our center director, Tina Liberatore, was unsure at first. She had seen Fast ForWord work in a wide variety of cases and she was aware that it is being used with stroke patients and she was anxious to help. Stephen is a remarkable young man who had already survived so much. Her advice was to not only to try it, but given the family’s medical bills, to offer a scholarship, which we did.
Three months later, Stephen is thriving. According to his mother, Stephen is doing everything faster. His writing has picked up a lot. He has learned to love reading and his reading comprehension is much improved. His hearing teacher has noticed an amazing improvement. He is not quite as fast as his classmates, but is working five times faster than last year. His teachers have also noticed a positive shift in his confidence. By all accounts he is now singing down the hallway on his way to class.
By speeding up his auditory processing, the Gemm Learning program protocol has effectively slowed the world down for Stephen, making his day much more manageable, said Michelle Reynard, Stephen’s Program Director. We are exceedingly proud of the phenomenal progress he has made in just a few short months.
With less time needed for homework, Stephen now has more time to just play and be a seven year old.
From A Coma To College
Mayra was once a student who excelled in almost everything she did. She was at the top of her class in college and played violin for the philharmonic. Mayra was an active volunteer, dedicated to her own education and to helping others.
But then her world fell apart. Mayra earned the opportunity to study in Spain, where she contracted Pneumococcal Meningitis — an infection that often leads to severe brain damage causing the loss of use of entire regions of the body. Mayra’s case was no different. The doctors treating Mayra told her parents that she was clinically brain dead. Mayra lost all ability to see, speak and move and her parents had to reteach her how to chew food, stand and walk. Every aspect of her life needed to be relearned.
After a year in the hospital, Mayra recovered some of her normal functions but her cognitive and auditory processing was still severely impaired. Her neurosurgeon told Maya’s mother that the synaptic pathways in her brain had been severed. Basically, the information was still in Mayra’s head but she could not access it.
About this time she found Gemm Learning. Medical bills were consuming the family and so Gemm offered to provide Mayra a scholarship for Fast ForWord.
Several months later, after participating in Fast ForWord, as well as continuing her regular therapies, Mayra has made an astounding recovery. She is able to participate in conversation and has started reading again. Her mother is ecstatic about her recovery and is thrilled with how Gemm Learning and Fast ForWord has helped her daughter.
Incredibly, we are happy to report that Mayra now has a goal of returning to SUNY Binghamton to become a lawyer. It’s a stretch goal, but given her recent progress we think she will get there and we are proud to be part of her journey.
Her First A: Premature Birth, Now On a Fast Track
Anne was under 2lbs when she was born, and struggled from the start. But she wanted to like reading because her mother loved reading. They tried Sylvan and other things, but nothing got her where she needed to be. Last summer she took one last shot, and tried brain-change with Fast ForWord.
She has been rewarded. First, the school did its normal retesting for special ed classes (Anne was in all of them) and she no longer qualified. The teachers were stunned, retested, and again Anne tested in the average range. A few days later, Anne came home with her first A. Her mother called relatives all over the country and had a family party that night. Now Anne thinks she is a genius.
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