Bruce Alterman Memorial Webinar Series

New Webinar series at BIAA by people with brain injury for their peers

One of the many highlights of this week, was getting to listen to Maria Romanas, MD PhD talk during a Butch Alterman Webinar through the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).

The webinars are FREE.   You must register for them.    You can download handouts even if you did not watch or register to watch.

I will provide the links at the end of this post so that you can learn about future webinars, and download handouts from past ones.

Before I write down what I learned from the webinar last week, I want to step back and explain about this new webinar Series through BIAA.

The Butch Alterman Webinar Series:

The Butch Alterman Webinar series is a relatively new series.   It was started in 2014 and there have already been 4 webinars (including Maria Romanas’s)

It is a webinar series for people with brain injury by people who have gotten better after brain injury and who have been selected to share their understanding, strategies or knowledge from their journey and from their hard-fought experience and learning about what helped them.

The series was created by Mo Alterman, in memory of her husband, Butch who had had a brain injury.   Butch Alterman was a teacher by profession.

After he died, the series was created by his wife to honor her husband’s belief in the importance of teaching.

I am fortunate that I got to meet Mo Alterman years ago.   Mo was the President of the Board at BIAA in the early 2000’s.   I started volunteering at BIAA in about 2003, after  we returned to Washington DC.   At the time, I could not get help matching the skills I had post-injury with a job opportunity.   After I met Robert Demichalis, a volunteer at BIAA, he invited me to share his office and use a second desk in his office.   I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn what job skills I actually had and learn about the Brain Injury Association of America.

Back to Mo.   I was impressed by her because she was tough and outspoken and a tireless advocate for people with brain injury.  She believed in the importance of improving the lives of people with brain injury.   Of course, she was not alone in that belief at BIAA, it was just that she was passionate and I “got her” immediately.   My experience working with the staff and people who volunteer their time and energy to BIAA is that they all want to improve the lives of people with brain injury.   I have over 10 years of experience volunteering at BIAA and I have both received tremendous support in my journey to recovery and I have learned an incredible amount of helpful information from them.   I have also contributed from my perspective as a person with brain injury  in many ways.   (My volunteer work is another blog post which still needs to be written!)

One last thing about Mo.   I felt very drawn to Mo as a leader, just like many others did.   Her dedication and passion were inspiring.   And her knowledge about brain injury and her own personal journey to help her husband get the resources he needed were obvious in her command of  the issues.

Here are the links to get information and register for the Butch Alterman Webinars:

Some tips about the links and technology:

With my cognitive and visual issues from my brain injury, I often have a difficult time finding information on many websites.   To summarize, I often cannot even find where on the website the information I need lives, trying to find it may increase my frustration to intolerable levels, and I leave the website empty handed, frustrated, and angry.   Worse, being on a really busy website may set off headaches or other symptoms and depending on the stage of recovery I am in, and thus I may have to get emergency cognitive rest, or change my day in order to get over the damage that the busy website has done to my wellness.

On any given day, I can have problems with the Brain Injury Association of America’s website because it is very busy.

So I want to help others who may have some of the same issues with finding and using what they need on websites the information that may help them.

Having been empowered by my accessible technology team at Cognizant and my advisor, Joseph Karr O’Connor, I want to pass on what I have learned so that you may be able to take advantage of this excellent Webinar series at BIAA and the resources that it makes available to you.

Before you click on any of the links below, please read through to the bottom so you will know what to expect.

Writing down the steps before you press a link may be helpful.

Writing things the steps for yourself on a blank piece of paper will help imprint the steps in your brain.

You may want to rearrange the steps once you have written them down,  depending on what makes sense for your deficits and the way your brain works.

And remember, in trying to sign up for a webinar, you are both doing something new and trying to follow many steps.

Give yourself plenty of time and space to do this, and recognize that you may not get it right the first time, and that is okay.

As Dr Maria Romanas will tell you in her talk, doing anything that is new, is harder.

As Dr Maria Romanas recommends for starting any new task,  take two deep breaths before you try to execute these steps.

And remember, that people with out brain injuries, may have a difficult time following these steps as they may not have been optimized as well as possible for someone learning for the first time and finding the right buttons.   I know that my husband, someone who works in on-line technology has told me that often websites will say press here, and they have not put a button on that page to press.   Frustrating for anyone even if your brain works fine.

Below is the link that tells you about the Webinars series:

Click on it.

If you want to register for the Webinar:

Click the link below.

Once you have clicked on it, scroll down to the midway down the page until you find the upcoming Alterman Webinair.

If you want to download handouts for the a Webinar, or a past one:

Click on the link below;

Scroll down to the heading that says Recording and Handouts of Previous Alterman Webinars.

Click on first link after the webinar handouts that you want.

Lastly, I have learned the trick of using Google to search the BIAA website.   I put “Butch Alterman Webinars at Brain injury Association of America” in the search bar and that worked.

I need your feedback!

Do you have problems with searching and finding information on websites?   Please leave me a comment and describe tips that help you.

Also, I will have to think about what the best way to give these links and improve them.  Please give me feedback if you were able to use them or better ways to write them so that they are easy to go to.

Having tried to make my website more accessible, I know that sometimes finding what works best is trial and error and I would like to learn more about what works best.

Read More - New Webinar series at BIAA by people with brain injury for their peers

People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy - Oliver Goldsmith

Empowerment from Role Models

One of the many things that I found empowering working with my Team AxIS and my advisor, Joseph O’Connor was that they used the computer so, well, easily.

I realize the descriptor easily may sound like a funny use of terms.  Of course designers, developers and usability experts would use the computer easily!

And, especially when compared to my computer use.

Because my team knew how to use the computer to create the website that we talked about, I could watch them do things in a short period of time.  What they were able to do was so far beyond my abilities.  I could literally see things that we talked about taking shape before my eyes.  Sometimes it wasn’t quite that fast.

However,  my team was in India, and their day was my night.

So sometimes they would work on the site while I was sleeping.

And so I would wake up and start my day and when I looked at the computer,  there would be an email to open.

And the email would show me suggestions that my team had for how to make the ideas we talked about the night before take shape.

Some days it seemed instantaneously.

Some days it might take longer.   Often I was just getting used to an idea when it was already mocked up.

Just to say something I have learned about myself and my decisions is that I definitely have delayed processing post-injury and so it often takes me awhile to get used to an idea.   I may have had slower decision-making prior to my injury, its hard to know.   What I do know is that my decision-making is slower post-injury and so getting used to that and working around that is part of my “new normal”.

Back to my website and my team.  From my point of view, my new website began to take shape very quickly.

To me part of the empowerment that I felt from participating in the Knowbility Open Air Contest, was that watching my team gave me hope that one day I will use the computer much more easily and much faster like I could see that they do!

I was an early adopter of computer technology before my injury and I know the benefits that the appropriate use of technology could give me to enhancing my productivity and quality of life.

However, with my slowed learning following my injury and the difficulties I have had with the distractions of the computer as well as the trade-off I face in terms of energy loss from concentrating in front of a screen, and countless other issues that I don’t have a grasp on yet,  I have had a difficult time with experiencing gains from the computer.

Watching what my team could do not only motivated me and gave me hope just by seeing what they could do.

They also broke down for me new learning.  I would get an email saying these are the steps you need to talk to do this.   In others words, they gave me procedural information that I could follow.

First you do this, then you do that.

And I can follow simple instructions that tell me what to do and when.

Often I cannot break things down for myself.

But if the instructions are good and precise (and do not skip any steps), then I can follow them.

And if I cannot follow them the first time, I can try again and again until I learn them.

And I feel so empowered when I am successful at doing step one and then step two and then step three.

When I have hope because I can see where others are able to do and when I have a complete step by step approach, I can use the computer (or mobile phone or ipad).  And I can experience benefits of technology.  And I feel empowered.

When technology disempowers me, it disempowers me much more than it disempowers someone without my cognitive issues.

When I cannot learn how to do something new on the computer, either because their are implied steps or there is an assumption of knowledge that I do not have, or because I am unable to break down the steps myself, I experience frustration, just like others.

What may not be like others however is that I am conscious that I am dealing with a lot of increased frustration in just going about the simple tasks of my day.   And in order to get through the day, I am already pursuing strategies to keep my daily frustrations from getting me down or getting me depressed.

So going on the computer to help me, and ending up with increased frustration, is often a risk that I cannot afford to take in my day, if I am already having a tougher time in my day than I am used to.

Or if my brain is not having a good day.   In other words, if my brain is having a harder time performing simple tasks that I normally can do.

What my team did for me was by help me by pass much of the increased frustration that working on the computer can do for me.

They were motivated to help me, and they wanted me to succeed.

They broke it down for me.

Step one is this.

Step two is that.

And they modeled for me where I want to be one day.

And when I couldn’t do a task they suggested, they broke it down differently for me.

Together we found a way for me to increase my appropriate usage of the computer.

Everyone needs models outside of themselves to inspire them and help them with the steps they need to go where they would like to go.

I needed them before my injury!

After my injury, I need them more.

Thank you Team Axis and Joseph O’Connor and to all those at Knowbility.

Thank  you, thank you!


Read More - Empowerment from Role Models

The Value of Revealing My Deficits

I attended the Knowbility Contest “Pit Rally” last Thursday to ask questions about the contest to the judges.

(If you haven’t seen my previous posts about the Knowbility Contest to improve website accessbility for non-profit organizations that I have entered my website in, please look at them. (I haven’t yet figured out a better way to reference them, but its on my list for things to cognitive challenges to learn about how to address!))

Several others from the accessibility technology community were there.

I got into a conversation with a woman named Glenda Sims who currently works for a company called Deque Systems.

Read More - The Value of Revealing My Deficits

New Learning and Website Design

I have written about the contest (the Open Air Rally) that I am participating in through Knowbility to make my website accessible.

We are in the final two weeks of the competition.  Its very exciting.

I had a great meeting with my talented and knowledgeable development team Team AxIS from Cognitive Interactive with my team leader Antonia and the lead developer Krishna and with my esteemed team adviser Joseph O’Connor on Wednesday night last week.

Read More - New Learning and Website Design

Happy Thanksgiving

I started writing more about automaticity last week.  But, I am not ready to post it, yet.

So my post today is Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving.

I love the food and the time to enjoy a good meal together with family and friends.

This year, we are going out for Thanksgiving lunch.

I plan to cook pumpkin pie later in the weekend.

I was reminded about my post last year about Thanksgiving when I looked for my pumpkin pie recipe.

There was so much going on last year for me that I forgot to remember to look for the easy pumpkin pie recipe that I make.

This year, I went straight to my recipe book and found the easy pumpkin pie recipe with ginger snap crust.


Its been a tough year, but I am doing much better now.

And, as far as Thanksgiving goes right now, it is all good!

Read More - Happy Thanksgiving

New and Better Website Coming!

Friday I got signed up for the Open Air Rally at Knowbility an organization here in Austin that promotes accessible design.

In the next couple of months, I will work with a group of experts on accessibility issues including web designers, programmers and marketers to improve my website.   I will be matched with a team of experts who will volunteer their time to help me develop my message and improve the accessibility of my website so that people with all kinds of disabilities as well as people with out disabilities can read it better.

At the end of the process, there will be a competition to see who’s website is the best with respect to a set list of accessibility criteria.

I am really excited for 3 reasons:

1) I know that I wouldn’t have been able to read my current website until years after my injury.  I have visual and cognitive and processing deficits.   I want others with my issues, and with other issues, to be able to read my website, if they want to.

2) One of the people who founded the Open Air Rally with Sharron Rush at Knowbility was Dr John Slatin.  Dr Slatin led what was then-called The Office of Technology and Learning at the University of Texas.   Dr Slatin found a place in his office for me after I finished speech and language therapy rehabilitation at St David’s Hospital.   He was a tremendous mentor of mine.  He provided the vision and direction for my post-injury speaking engagements.  He helped me understand the need for more and better information on cognitive deficits from his point of view as someone interested in accessibility, learning and technology.

My first post-injury speech was to John’s undergraduate class on improving the accessibility of the web.    I spoke about my cognitive deficits at that time, and the difficulties I had with using the computer and what had helped.  That speech was the first of many on what my cognitive issues were, how they were changing and how the computer could help me.   After the speech, John told me that he could see my economics training in my descriptions of my brain.   It made me so happy to know that my economics was still in my brain somewhere and that I could continue to develop that skill now that I knew it was there!  I wanted so desperately to be reconnected with my training in economics which I loved.

When I knew John, he had had to learn to compensate for adult-onset blindness and he worked hard to increase accessibility for UT students.   Sadly John passed away from Leukemia after we left Austin for Washington, DC.

For me, connecting with Knowbility and entering the Open Air Rally are steps in honoring how important John’s mentoring has been in my life.   I know it would mean alot to John, if he were still alive and could see how things he began years ago are helping me now, and how the work will help others with cognitive and visual disabilities.

3) The mission for my blog has evolved and changed since I started writing it over a year ago.    My original idea was to develop a community, but its primary focus has evolved to be mostly the blog.   Because the mission has changed, the current website is not the best for my mission.  In technical terms, the User Experience (UX) design is bad for everyone. Bad UX design is frustrating and bad for people without disabilities, and can be exponentially more frustrating for people with disabilities.   I am glad we can finally take steps to ameliorate the frustration that my current website currently creates.   We had to start somewhere, and I am ready to take the next step, with such dedicated help.

And lastly, I am hoping I will learn a lot compensatory strategies for my computer use in the process of working on improving my website with people who are knowledgeable about accessibility issues.

Here’s the link about the Open Air Competition through Knowbility:



Read More - New and Better Website Coming!

More on Neuroplasticity

In last week’s post, I talked about how experiencing and believing in neuroplasticity gives me hope and helps me be optimistic about my continued recovery.

But neuroplasticity gives me so much more than that.

So I want to say more about what the changes that I am still experiencing are like.

I have had several exciting conversations about the neuroplasticity that I am experiencing this week.

One with Maria Romanas, an MD, who was interested in the neuroplasticity I am experiencing and how my vision therapy promotes that.

And another conversation that I had was with a friend from Thatcher Freund, a memoir writer.  I have known Thatcher from Junior High on as he is the brother of one of my best friend’s and the three of us did a lot together–in fact people used to ask if we were triplets.  Thatcher has been researching vision and neuroplasticity and what is known and utilized  in the dyslexia community.

I have been telling people that ask me how I am doing after my setback that I am in the midst of experiencing intense neuroplasticity and this week I feel full of energy and “clear as a bell”.

When I told Thatcher that I was experiencing neuroplasticity and felt clear as a bell, he almost jumped out of his chair and said “I am so excited you said that.”   He said, he could “see” how much clearer and more articulate that you are compared to the last time we had lunch (in December).

So we had a very animated conversation about what was going on for me.  Because of his research and interests and background as a memoir writer, he asked very probing good questions that I had a difficult time answering.   Its hard for me to get to concreteness on describing how my brain is changing sometimes and what I am feeling and how the neuroplasticity is changing my thinking right now.

But one thing I have learned in my journey to recovery is that if you give my brain good questions, it will eventually come up with answers.

My brain cannot come up with answers, quickly, so I don’t expect it to.

But I know that my brain will come up with them if I am patient and let it come up with them on it’s own time.

So my brain will give me the answers later.

Answers may come up when someone says something to me that “cues” me.  (And with a brain injury I have certainly learned how to look to others for “cues” to help me think or to help me stay on task.  So I know how to cultivate stimuli received from others to help me think.  I have been practicing doing this for a long time.  More on this later.)

And I know that answers may come when I meditate, so I cultivate a meditation practice.  And I know that answers may come up randomly during my day.   So I know to look for them to cultivate and harvest.  And I know to just let one of these processes happen and to be patient with my brain.   And they may come up as I write my blog.

A couple of things to say that I have harvested since these conversations about the neuroplasticity that I am experiencing:

1) The gains that I am having right now are specific to the deficits that my brain has been having.

I realized that its probably that since ” if you have seen one brain injury, you have seen one brain injury”, my gains are about me and are not necessarily true for others.  In other words, every brain injury is different.  In my mind, it follows that the experience of neuroplasticity will be different for everyone, which is why its important to hear how others experience neuroplasticity also.

2) That my gains from neuroplasticity are specific to the deficits I am experiencing right now.

Earlier, when I was getting treatment for attention and concentration issues, I was experiencing neuroplasticity around attention and concentration and by conquering those problems, I was able eventually to have more abstract thinking because my brain had changed to support more abstract thinking.

When I realized that my current neuroplasticity is specific to my current deficits, I figured out more about how to describe it more concretely.

This summer, I was sleep deprived and was getting head aches from muscle tension and thus I was at a lower level of functioning.

Now that I have resolved those issues from my setback, I am experiencing repair (neuroplasticity) around my “executive functioning” (which I was having before the setback).   Or at least I think its my executive functioning.   Someone described executive functioning as the “executive” in ones brain making decisions about priorities and what to filter out and what to filter in and how to do decide to do things in order and figuring out the steps to line things up.  A researcher at the Smithsonian in DC called it the ability to “get the trains to the right stations on time”.

So one way I am experiencing neuroplasticity right now is about categories and my ability to categorize.

Over the course of my brain injury, I have had a difficult time sorting things into categories.    An overly exaggerated example might be, if I were to sort out red and blue sock, post-injury I would inevitably sort some red socks into the blue and some blue in the red.  This happens because I wouldn’t notice that some red are in the blue and vice versa.  I just couldn’t see what keeps the category pure or in tact.  And it also happens because I may forget my sorting rule in the midst of the task (and not be aware that I have forgotten it).

I would compensate for this issue, by taking a second pass at sorting the red and blue socks, and I would notice some of the red in the blue and the blue in the red.  But I would not notice all of them, because of the same problems above.

So suddenly, I experience neuroplasticity around my sorting, and I can look at the red and blue sock piles, and suddenly see that oh!  there are still more blue socks in the red sock pile and still more red socks in the blue sock pile and I can “see” the things I couldn’t sort before and consequently make the piles more pure.  So suddenly I want to reorganize so that all the reds are together and all the blues are together.

The reason I used the example of red and blue socks is because its exaggerated.  You can imagine how unorganized my house looks after moving, if I cannot organize something like blue versus red.  In reality, its a little more subtle than that– its beige versus white or kids bowls mixed in with kids plates or its papers that belong in one category versus another.  So its not just my house, its my writing and its my organization of my day and its organization of my projects and on and on.

And the irony of it is, is the less distraction I have, the more I can focus and be efficient and think better and more efficiently. But my injury means that I have a lot of distraction going on in my brain that I don’t yet have the skills to filter or the procedures to filter out.

And when I experience neuroplasticity, I suddenly can see how to filter things into better categories.  Since I have better categories, I can do things more efficiently and because my brain can do things more efficiently I both have more energy to use toward problem solving and I can solve more problems (because my brain has more energy to solve problems.)   Both the energy and the increased abilities bring a sense of accomplishment and a kind euphoria.

(And, not to mention, I don’t have to spend time employing the compensation strategy of going back and doing the work again,  I am more likely to get the categories right the first time, and thus save time doing the task.  That is if I am aware enough that I can drop the compensatory strategy. More on this later too.)

And another more on this, later catagory too.   I need to add briefly that the neuroplasticity isn’t all good.  It comes with “costs” that I have to be willing to tolerate in order to embrace my brain’s ability to change  and get the benefits of the neuroplasticity .

There is a down side of the sense of accomplishment and euphoria of the neuroplasticity.   It can be depressing to grasp just how poorly my brain was functioning before.  So I have to be able to take that in without judgement.  And I have to be able to let myself cry and grieve and feel the losses that I now suddenly am aware of that I wasn’t aware of before the neuroplasticity stage kicked in.   Sometimes its too much to take in, so I have to take it in slowly.  Sometimes when I experience the neuroplasticity and the new “seeing” it makes me feel vulnerable and unsafe because I am suddenly aware of how others could take advantage of my deficits or in some cases, how I actually was taken advantage of with my deficits.   Or it makes me realize places where I couldn’t stand up for myself as a result of the fact that I didn’t have the brain skills to do it, and I have to be easy on myself, and know that I did the best I could then, and that in the future, with increased skills I can do it better now.

Do you know when you are experiencing neuroplasticity?

Can you describe it?  Or begin to describe it?

Does it make you feel euphoric and optimistic?

Or do you feel scared or frustrated?

Do you feel losses with it?

Read More - More on Neuroplasticity

Making the most of technology while my brain changes

This has been a crazy good and crazy bad week for me.

I both want to write about it, but haven’t processed it because the wide swings that I have expereinced this week are just hard for me to integrate.  I am very aware of how slowed my processing is this week.  Even slower than its been with this setback.

And as I reflected about my experiences this week in order to write my blog post, I realized that part of what’s going on is that visually I am trying to learn how to organize increased “space”.

I have talked about the reorganization and neuroplasticity that I am having right now in my last posts.

It feels like my brain can now support taking in more space in my peripheral vision.


So it is taking in more space visually.

But my brain has to learn how to integrate that space.

And so the wide swings that I have experienced this week and that I cannot integrate well yet, are consistent with what’s going on in my brain, also.

I am taking in more, yet my brain has difficulty prioritizing.   And so my brain is trying to take in more which means to me that it is trying to prioritize more information when it cannot prioritize information well.

Prioritizing what to take in and what not to take in is part of executive functioning skills and its something my brain does quite poorly post-injury as compared to pre-injury when I wasn’t even aware that prioritizing information to take in and what to ignore was part of what my brain did!

Since I am having a harder time dealing with the big screen of my computer this week, I am going to stop writing and post-this and then come back to it later.

I am limiting my computer use in general to get cognitive rest.   When I need to use the computer, I am using my iphone which is some easier than the big screen right now.

I don’t know how to post my blog on my iphone yet, and I know that trying to learn new things right now is ill-advised for me when my brain is undertaking so much change.  It takes too much concentration and too much energy.  I need to use the energy to help my brain change right now.

I have so much to say but the computer technology is an even larger limitation for me in saying it right now!

Read More - Making the most of technology while my brain changes

Cultivating Neuroplasticity

I having been writing about the big setback that I have had following a dentist appointment to fit a new mouthguard and what its been like to go through this setback with the increased awareness and insights that I have developed from my previous recovery journey.

I am clearly in the final stage and I am experiencing the neuroplasticity that I hoped I would get coming out of this.  Goind through what I am going through is “not pretty”– in that my brain is making mistakes and going through some growth pains right now.   But its exciting.   I know beyond a doubt (from my previous experiences with neuroplasticity) that I am going to come out of this better than I was before June 2 when this setback started.

My uncertainty about the outcome of all this is gone!  Yahoo.   I still don’t know when this final stage will be done, but my job right now is to cultivate, entice, do everything I can to allow my brain to change in the ways that it wants to.  I want to get the most benefit I can from this neuroplasticity phase that is finally happening for me.

In other words I need to get out of the way of my brain’s ability to change for the better!

That may sound a little dispassionate.  Who ever heard of getting out of one’s brain’s way before (!)

I have learned from my years of recovery to separate myself from my brain and what my brain is doing.

Before my injury, my brain was who I was.  My brain could support me being a Phd Economist and that was my identity.  I was what I did.

After my injury, I did not have the skills to do my job anymore.  I didn’t know who I was because it felt like I was no longer me.

Having learned a lot of the tough lessons of recovery, I know that the more I see my brain as separate from me, the better I can be dispassionate about what my brain is doing, and the better I can not take what my brain is doing personally!

And not taking my brain personally, means that  in this case that I can step out of the way and let things happen for my brain, so that I will continue to experience long term recovery.

Here are three ways that I know that I am in a period of neuroplasticity, right now:

1) I can feel my brain reorganizing.  What that means is that I suddenly start seeing all of the disorganization that I could not see around me before.  For example, I will look at my clothes drawer, or any drawer, which has previously been as well organized as I could get it.  Suddenly, looking at the drawer I can see a better organization.  I can also see that my shirt drawer shouldn’t have pants in it, for example, or that like shirts can go together, so that I can find them easier.   Since this is happening all over my house, it feels good to start taking advantage of the better organization that my brain will allow.

2) I get a burst of energy.  I assume that this comes from the fact that I can see how to reorganize things that were previously poorly organized despite my best efforts.   It suddenly takes less energy to do a task because all the steps to do it are now obvious to me, suddenly.  Because I can do things more efficiently, the energy I have can go farther in my day.   The increased energy makes me want to take on more things that I am noticing should be organized differently.  (In fact, I have to work hard not to overdo it and get too exhausted from this surge of energy that I get.)

3) My vision is inconsistent, along with reorganization and the energy burst.  I can see well far away with my current level of correction for my contact lenses.  But my near vision isn’t good and  my vision is not very stable. It is changing.  But, that is okay.  I am learning how to integrate more space, and it is what it is.  I want to use the brain injury strategy of “riding this out”.  This means, tolerate it until its over.  (And I am limiting my driving in order to keep everyone safe. I am only driving when I need to and at low speeds to familiar places nearby that I cannot walk to.)

Dr Franke, OD, my vision doctor extraordinaire told me what to expect with a transition and it is indeed happening.

Have you experienced neuroplasticity?

What do you experience when you are experiencing neuroplasticity?

How do you know when its happening?



Read More - Cultivating Neuroplasticity

My proposal for a panel at SXSW Festival

While I have been trying to get cognitive rest and rest and trying to get better from my setback, my dear husband, Michael, has put together a proposal for a panel at SXSW festival.  (If you are not familiar with SXSW, its a local festival here in Austin and I have more info about it below.)

This week, I have been helping send that out to get votes for my submission.  Its been an interesting week of trying to minimize my computer use to help me get better and at the same time connect with others through my husband’s online mailings.  I have managed it pretty well by only being on the computer for 20 minutes at a time and then coming back to it again later after cognitive rest and doing that off and on during the day.

I have found that the small iphone screen is actually easier for me to get feedback than my wide screen monitor right now, so I have taken advantage of that learning too.

Here’s my request for help to be selected for SXSW Festival and info on my topic.

The voting stops on Sept 5, but anyone can access the first link to see what I am proposing and background info.  I think my husband did a great job with this!

Please vote (voting instructions detailed below)  if you like it by Sept 5.

Otherwise, check out the panel description (by clicking the link posted below) and give me feedback about my panel on my blog!

I will post it on the blog if I am selected to do the panel.

Help Me Get Selected For SXSW Festival!


I need your vote!

I have submitted a panel for SXSW Festival about concussion and the brain.

Your vote for my panel will help me get selected to present at the Festival.

It’s a very competitive process. There are 3000 panels submitted this year and only “a small percentage” are accepted.

Please take 5 minute to register and vote to help me.

Thank you!

Here are the details:
Some of you are familiar with the SXSW Interactive Festival already.

SXSW stands for South by SouthWest and the Interactive part is the fastest growing part of the festival. Interactive is the technology part (interactive=different kinds of media).

SXSW is an international festival and a global audience comes to Austin in March to hear speakers and see demonstrations.

Festival participants are interested in all kinds of subjects and how they can be improved through technological tools.

SXSW is a pretty amazing concept and the Interactive part has gotten a lot of media attention in the past years.

I have proposed a panel called:
Welcome to Your New Brain: Lessons from Concussion.

At this panel, I will talk about the learning I have had to understand how my brain functions, how my brain changes over time (neuroplasticity) and how to overcome cognitive deficits and diversity.

The lessons I learned and tools I use are useful even for those without an injury. In fact, I wish I had had them before my injury.

Here’s the link for the full text of my panel including supporting info like my cameo on NBC News and The Washingtonian article:

Voting Instructions
So here is how you vote for me:

1. You register to vote here:
Once you have done this first step, you have done the hardest part

2. Then you vote (vote = thumbs up)

Thank you for your help! I will let you know how this turns out for me.


Read More - My proposal for a panel at SXSW Festival