It’s another week and another opportunity to use functional, evidence-based treatments for cognition. That’s right, it’s launch day for the next part of Functional Treatment for Everyday Cognition Series.
Book 2: Step-by-Step Activities. I love this book! You know how watching the Food Network doesn’t really make you a great chef? Or watching Tour de France doesn’t make you a better biker? Well, the same is true for people with brain injury learning to resume everyday activities. We can’t do worksheets or games and hope that real-life skills are going to magically improve. We have to actually DO the skills they want to improve! Book 2: Step-By-Step Activities walks you through (ha, pun intended!) the ways you can apply this evidence-based framework to multiple real-life needs for adult neuro patients across settings.
Psst: In case you missed it: The Functional Treatment for Everyday Cognition Series is part of my mission to bring affordable, understandable, efficient, evidence-based, useable, functional therapy materials to other SLPs. If you have that deep-down knowledge/feeling that games and worksheets aren’t really cutting it for our neuro patients…. but aren’t sure what else to pass the time with in therapy, then this series if for you! Evidence tells us there are TONS of treatment methods we can apply to make a functional difference in our patients’ lives!
And now, on to Book 2: Step-by-Step Activities:
What is Step-By-Step Training? Step-By-Step Training is an unofficial term that refers to the process of teaching persons with moderate or severe cognitive impairments how to access information or participate in a daily activity by breaking it down into specific steps. In research, this concept is known as systematic instruction. Research has shown that breaking tasks down into manageable steps assists with reducing errors (Sohlberg, Elhardt, & Kennedy, 2005). The Step-By-Step Training is completed using Errorless Learning principles.
What is Errorless Learning? Errorless Learning is a recommended practice for training those with cognitive impairments (due to TBI, CVA, dementia, amnesia, learning disabilities, etc) on a new task. It eliminates “guessing” on the patient’s end, and instead promotes SLP modeling and cueing to help patient complete a task with success. Over time, cues may be faded as long as patient is still successful.
Why should I use Step-By-Step Instruction? Research has shown that those with brain injury have difficulty generalizing information to multiple real-life scenarios. Therefore, in order to make a real-life improvement, therapy must occur within a real-life context. Direct, clear, step-by-step instruction on what is expected and in what situation is recommended in order to teach a sequence of actions or strategies.
Who should I use Step-By-Step Instruction with? Step-By-Step instruction is supported by evidence for those with cognitive changes due to brain injury, as well as the learning-challenged population. Those with moderate or severe impairments are most likely to benefit (Sohlberg & Turkstra, 2011); evidence does not clearly define further parameters.
I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed; that was a lot of research-talk and not a lot of everyday therapy: Great news, you guys. I’m a regular SLP too. I’m not a professor or researcher; but I like to know I’m providing the best functional care I can, backed by research! I’ve taken hours to read research and boil this concept down to therapy materials that are efficient, understandable, and useable for the everyday SLP across settings.
Here’s what you can expect to find if you purchase Book 2: Step-by-Step Activities: This packet looks at increasing activity and participation by training specific daily tasks for those with cognitive impairments due to brain injury or learning disabilities. Best practices include a step-by-step instruction method and errorless learning principles, which are integrated with personally relevant needs. This 21-page download includes:
*Cheat Sheet and research summaries for systematic instruction, errorless learning, Step-By-Step training
*Functional Needs Ideas (including “by setting!”)
*Sample in-session templates (For client and SLP–everything you need to use in therapy!)
*Goal-setting and daily documentation samples
*Home program log to track success with use