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New Program Helps Patients Drive Toward Success

Driving is a skill that many patients want to regain after their injury.  Special Tree’s new Pre-Driving Program helps individuals take the first step toward driving again by making sure they’re safe and ready to get behind the wheel for on-the-road training. 

“We all spend so much time behind the wheel that we take for granted the underlying skills involved,” said OT Bev Zimmerman, who helped develop the program with a multi-disciplinary team at Special Tree.  “A TBI can alter many off-the-road skills needed to be a safe and successful driver such as concentration, memory, physical stamina, visual perception, problem-solving, and more.” 

The Pre-Driving Program helps rev-up those essential off-the-road skills through a six-week program that includes a clinical assessment with an OT, speech pathologist, and/or psychologist and a multi-disciplinary, clinician-led treatment plan with individualized goals to address skill deficits.  Individuals are reevaluated after six-weeks with recommendations from the therapy team for more treatment or a behind-the-wheel evaluation with a Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist.   The program officially launched in August and is being offered at Special Tree’s Troy, Romulus, and Midland outpatient clinics.

In addition to individualized OT, speech, and psychology treatment, the program also encompasses Special Tree’s Vision Therapy program which includes (if needed) a formal evaluation with a Behavioral Optometrist and Vision Therapy with a Special Tree OT.   The therapy team is also using advanced technology to provide data-driven assessments and treatment including CogniFit Brain Fitness and Simulated Driving Computers at each outpatient location.

Stay tuned for more updates about this exciting new program at Special Tree!