Sunday, December 13, 2009


Logic and common sense were the two distinct ribbons which weaved their way through the entire lecture series. Each night after class, we would go grab something to eat and talk about how we felt about the days topics. We were surprised by how everything was incredibly logical and applicable. Everything seemed to make perfect sense.

Their teaching style was often times through stories and examples. This made it much easier to see how their principles could be applied. To make a long story short, these are some of the most important themes of the Institutes program:

A brain injury is in the brain (sounds simple ha?)

The brain grows and heals by use.

The brain is the cause of all problems (inability to walk, talk, etc). You must treat the cause rather than the symptoms.


When we work Aviana's arms due to tightness, we are treating a symptom of the injury rather than the cause. Her arm is tight because her brain is injured, there is nothing wrong with her arm. When you begin to heal the brain, the arm will follow suit.

All brain pathways can be divided into two broad categories. These are (1) sensory (afferent) pathways that bring information into the brain and (2) motor (efferent) pathways through which the brain reacts by commanding motor responses to the information received. There are 5 sensory pathways which make their way into the brain (taste, smell, tactile, auditory, visual) The Institute concentrates mostly on the last three. By stimulating these three pathways, we are able to send messages to the brain.

Function determines structure.

First there must be a need, then there will be facility.


If we transfered her from one device to another (like a wheelchair to a bed, etc.) She will never have the opportunity or need to move on her own.

Having a brain injury is like having an invisible barrier. With frequency, intensity and duration we are best able to get through the barrier. If the message is not strong enough, it will not be heard!

There are so many more details, but these are some of the basic principles.

1 comment:

  1. yes yes makes perfect sense. I love the arm analogy cause there is certainly nothing wrong with that beautiful arm of hers. You sound very eloquent my dear and you and Dave are perfect for this job!!!! And like before I am intrigued and can not wait to hear more. I am so happy that this blog brought you to the very place you needed to go. Three cheers for the world of cyberspace!