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Brain injury impacted our family

We were in a bad car accident about six years ago. He was in a coma for 13 days. We were in a care center for two months. He was diagnosed with a severe traumatic brain injury.

My name is Sasha and I'm from Battle Lake, MN. I am a mom of three amazing boys. I'm a jewelry stylist.

Heath is my husband. We've been married eight years. We were in a bad car accident about six years ago. He was in a coma for 13 days. We were in a care center for two months. He was diagnosed with a severe traumatic brain injury. When you get a diagnosis like severe traumatic brain injury and you're a month out and you've never known someone or experienced a brain injury, you have no idea what to expect. The doctors tell you, "It'll be a long road." Well, you have no concept of what that means. You're told by doctors that at about two years out, you really kind of reach the max physical recovery ... Like his brain is going to regenerate or heal itself about to the maximum. But, just like anybody else, I can still learn things. My brain isn't still developing, but I can still learn things, and Heath still can, too.

 Well, the brain injury changed everything because it made him, in many ways, a completely different person. He still has some of those same quirks, of course, still has his humor and all of that. But it changed it because he's not able to work full-time. We were in school. Both of us were in college at the time of the accident. He was in school to be a special education teacher. I was in school for cosmetology. When the accident happened, of course, all of that quit. He works part-time, very part-time. It definitely changed the way we live day to day and the things that we're able to do.

The fatigue is probably the worst part of it and his memory. So, that part is maybe the hardest for me, even over the fatigue, because you can only have so much patience when someone asks you the same question four times a day or immediately within minutes after telling them, you know? So, that part's hard to keep a smile and act like it's the first time you've told him. That's really kind of hard.

We started Progressive Therapy Associates with our therapist in September, I believe, and then it was the following January, and that was about the time that things had started to really flow a little better. His sleep was in check. It felt like he had kind of got caught up. I got back from a conference for work and I was talking to him. It was like it was the first conversation we'd had in three years. It was actually like I talked to him, he had feedback, and then we were actually communicating and having a conversation instead of me just telling him how it went and him saying, "No, yeah. That sounds like a fun time." It actually was a pivotal enough point that it has stuck with me that long. It was like, wow, this is really working.

The care at Progressive Therapy Associates has really affected us, changed our whole life, really. I can't thank our therapist enough because Heath wouldn't have recognized it on his own. He wouldn't have known that, "Oh, I need a therapist to help me." If it wasn't for the neuropsychologist or for me to notice and to reach out and ask for help, who knows what our family would be like? Maybe we would be one of those statistics of divorce after brain injury that's so high and our family wouldn't be together. So, it just really makes ... It makes such a big difference. I'm just so thankful to Progressive Therapy for that, keeping my family together.

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Qualified therapists

Our dedicated team of speech-language pathologists are specially trained in speech therapy as it relates to cognitive-communication issues (how you listen, process, focus, remember, and communicate). We are also nationally certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, are nationally recognized by the Brain Injury Association of America and are Certified Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS). We are licensed to practice in both North Dakota and Minnesota. We believe every patient deserves the best treatment and support we can offer in every single contact and interaction with us.

Individual approach

We recognize that no two people have the same needs and that everyone has different learning styles. That’s why we like to call our approach “the Progressive way,” which means we will happily customize treatment plans to meet the unique needs of the individual and their family. We also believe in “the right fit” between patient and therapist, so will make every effort to match you with a clinician who connects with you, understands you, and utilizes a therapy style that is comfortable for you.

We are here to help

Depending on the goals you wish to accomplish and the learning pace that is most comfortable for you, we will arm you with the evidence-based strategies, proven skills and ample support you need to feel more organized, prepared and effective. Therapy strategies may range from recommendations for specific tools (such as timers or planners), one-on-one brainstorming and problem-solving to address concerns, therapeutic activities as well as computer trials or worksheets to help strengthen cognitive and executive functions like attention, memory, and planning.

Coaching with compassion

We know that working on cognitive-communication issues is hard work and that it can be easy to feel defeated or overwhelmed by the challenges of building a more efficient brain. However, you will not be in this alone. We are not just speech-language pathologists; we are fellow human beings who care about you, your journey, and your success. We don’t want an appointment to feel like you’ve been sent to the principal’s office. Instead, you’ll find a comfortable space where you’ll feel listened to and understood. And because humor makes everything more bearable, be prepared to laugh and joke a bit too!