Back to the Basics Conference Stresses Neurobehavioral Rehabilitation

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Recently, I participated in the 13th Annual Conference for Acquired Brain Injury sponsored by the Hamilton Health Sciences Center in Hamilton, Ontario. This year’s theme was “Back to Basics: The Management of Challenging Behavior in ABI”. The conference theme prevailed in most of the presentations–most of which centered on the rehabilitation of individuals with neurobehavioral problems.

Terry Page, Ph.D. offered practical, direct presentations on both days of the conference. Dr. Page’s approach to Applied Behavior Analysis is empowering for the staff and highly respectful of client rights and the need to maximize independence.

Brian Levine, Ph.D. spoke about the latest research in neuroimaging to predict recovery potential. Dr. Levine’s talk underscored a concern that many of us share in neurorehabilitation; that being to allow individuals a chance to make progress through aggressive rehabilitation and not restrict opportunities by establishing profiles for resource allocation.

The issue of developing behavioral standards was the focus of a panel discussion involving Cheryl Hartridge, Ph.D., Bruce Linder, Ph.D., Michael Mosher, Ph.D. (Cand),Stella Bester and John Davis, Ph.D. The panel represented behavioral rehabilitation accross a variety of settings in addition to their years as professionals working with a neurobehavioral population. The topic of protecting rights and promoting independence must remain central to our work.

The conference was effectively geared to professionals, front line staff, community care workers, administrators and consumers through an excellent array of concurrent sessions on both days. As representatives of NRIO, Phil Ieluzzi and I presented “Suicide in ABI: Risk Identification and Management in the Community Setting.” We enjoyed a standing room only presentation and excellent questions from the attendees.

It’s always rewarding to spend quality time in a learning environment. The Hamilton conference continues to represent the professional forum which neurobehavioral rehabilitation needs.

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