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How do you help families develop an understanding of spinal cord injury?

How do you help families develop an understanding of spinal cord injury?

Sigmund Hough, PhD

Neuropsychologist/Spinal Cord Injury Service, VA Boston Healthcare System

Read Bio More Videos by Sigmund Hough
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You have to take into consideration the dynamics of the family, their ethnicity, their strengths and weaknesses, their history and what they bring to the table. Sometimes a family will consist of one person, two—I had 18 one time and they told me t... Show More

You have to take into consideration the dynamics of the family, their ethnicity, their strengths and weaknesses, their history and what they bring to the table. Sometimes a family will consist of one person, two—I had 18 one time and they told me that family is all of us. We had to get more chairs but that was about family and that taught me. A lot of times they’ll tell you that they get it and you’ll hear that they don’t. And sometimes they tell you, “I’m not ready to get it.” What comes to mind is a teenager, who had a spine injury but also a mild traumatic brain injury, and people were talking about all of the losses. And one of the things that the testing showed was that she had intelligence in the average range. So people were pleased because average range—you can function, do well, and then you can learn, and do the rehab and move on. When I spoke with the father and mother, they told me, “That’s great.” But this was a person who was high-honors, this was a person that was geared to getting a scholarship to one of the leading universities in the country, this was a person who had all the ambitions of making a difference in this world. So when you say that she’s in the average range now, we’re thankful but that’s not where we are. And at that moment, I had to understand where they were, and then to say, “Yes I understand that,” and how we work together to see how that was. The upshot of that is that she gained a lot of other skills.

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How do you help families develop an understanding of spinal cord injury?

Sigmund Hough, PhD

Neuropsychologist/Spinal Cord Injury Service, VA Boston Healthcare System

More Videos by Sigmund Hough
Transcriptadd

You have to take into consideration the dynamics of the family, their ethnicity, their strengths and weaknesses, their history and what they bring to the table. Sometimes a family will consist of one person, two—I had 18 one time and they told me that family is all of us. We had to get more chairs but that was about family and that taught me. A lot of times they’ll tell you that they get it and you’ll hear that they don’t. And sometimes they tell you, “I’m not ready to get it.” What comes to mind is a teenager, who had a spine injury but also a mild traumatic brain injury, and people were talking about all of the losses. And one of the things that the testing showed was that she had intelligence in the average range. So people were pleased because average range—you can function, do well, and then you can learn, and do the rehab and move on. When I spoke with the father and mother, they told me, “That’s great.” But this was a person who was high-honors, this was a person that was geared to getting a scholarship to one of the leading universities in the country, this was a person who had all the ambitions of making a difference in this world. So when you say that she’s in the average range now, we’re thankful but that’s not where we are. And at that moment, I had to understand where they were, and then to say, “Yes I understand that,” and how we work together to see how that was. The upshot of that is that she gained a lot of other skills.

How do you help families develop an understanding of spinal cord injury?
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