Okay, so “we” now know that gist reasoning is a more accurate indicator of how well folks with TBI / concussion can live their lives, than other sorts of testing, like memory and IQ.
Those of us who have been working through TBI issues, lo these many years, have known it a lot longer… A hearty Welcome to those of you in the scientific / academic community who are just now catching up.
However, there seems to be a dearth of actual exercises you can do online. That’s odd. Because:
A) Folks with long-term TBI issues can be profoundly marginalized from the mainstream, and the Internet is their one reliable connection to the rest of the world.
B) Online training is incredibly easy to put on the web. It may be difficult to design, but once you’ve got it designed, publishing it is a relative breeze. There are many, many people who do far more complicated things on a regular basis. Finding decent developers is not rocket science.
C) You’d think that everyone in the country would be falling over themselves, getting gist reasoning training online, because helping people with TBI better handle their lives can translate to improved daily functioning, which can translate to higher employment rates, which can translate to more tax revenue and lower needs for social services.
That’s what comes to my mind, anyway.
And yet, looking around online (granted, I only spent a few hours between yesterday and today, but I’m a skilled searcher, and if I can’t find it… well, it’s really hard to find), I’m not seeing any gist reasoning training readily available, other than some that are intended to teach kids how to read, think, and understand.
There doesn’t seem to be much developed for adults, especially those recovering from brain injury.
I did find a Gist Template for kids, which I have modified for TBI-surviving adults and posted on my site here: https://brokenbrilliant.wordpress.com/brain-injury-recovery-tools/gist-template-for-tbi-recovery/ You can print it out and use it to practice your gist reasoning. It’s very simple, but I’m going to try it myself and see if I notice a difference.
Sidebar: You know, I realize now that a lot of what I’ve been doing with my neuropsych over the past 7 years, is working on my gist reasoning. We spend a lot of time with me talking about my days, my experiences, my future plans, and then summarizing them at the end. At times, it seems so tiresome, to have them repeating back to me what I think I just said, but now I understand the method to that madness.
And I’m glad I did not just get up and walk out on them, like I wanted to do, so many times.
I’m glad I just went with it. Because it works. My deficits that were found, 7 years ago, are still pretty much there without change. However, my ability to live my life fully as well as engage with things around me and also have a higher quality of life than ever before, has dramatically increased. Phenomenally, in fact.
So, being all incensed about the lack of online tools for TBI recovery, I’ve started adding gist reasoning tools to this site. I’ve found some really intriguing ideas, that I think can be replicated… and possibly improved. And there appears to be a massive gap in online gist reasoning training, specifically for TBI survivors. Plus, a lot of this is not rocket science and it can be replicated — even improved upon — quite easily.
Of course, in the coming months and years, I’m sure there will be a flurry of products to help people with this stuff… In fact, there already are tools out there, like Lumosity and BrainHQ. But what about those of us who don’t have all sorts of money to drop… or who have difficulties navigating online payments… or who don’t have (or want to have) Flash on our browsers? Or who just want a “quick hit” of a test to help us sharpen up a bit?
A lot of us are getting left behind – and for no good reason, other than that people either aren’t aware, or they haven’t bothered to try and fix the situation.
But never mind that. I’m going to do something about it, rather than just bitch and moan.
So, in summary (here’s where I work on my own gist reasoning):
- I’m really encouraged by the recent research that shows that the degree of TBI recovery is demonstrated by a person’s “gist reasoning” ability — the ability to “get” the point of a mish-mash of details from situations. I’m also very excited by the fact that gist training can — and will — help us to recover.
- I’m frustrated by the lack of online information about gist reasoning, along with exercises to strengthen it. I’ve searched… and I have not found much.
- I don’t understand why there aren’t more tools online — especially for TBI survivors, whose main contact with the world may be their computer and Internet connection. Online publishing is actually quite simple, and it could be a great way to alleviate a lot of suffering.
- Never mind what others are doing/not doing. I’m going to put together my own tools and post them here.
- This is my first contribution towards fixing a situation that exasperates me: A Gist Template for TBI Recovery
More to come.