The phrase “piece of the puzzle” is often used to indicate that there isn’t just one thing required to solve a health issue, but many. This is especially true for conditions like learning difficulties and post-concussion syndrome where there is a combination of, often interlaced, issues contributing to symptoms. It can be difficult to pinpoint a single cause of symptoms and there are certainly several interlinking therapies and approaches required to identify and then manage, treat, and ultimately resolve the problem.
A multi-faceted approach to the analysis and treatment of health conditions is best, but how do you know what to do first? This question is often asked and depending on who is asked, the answers given are not always the same as not everyone is aware of all the various treatment options that are available.
For many, a professional case manager or family member is required help to navigate the system and determine the various options available to identify and implement potential solutions. This can cost both time and money and is not always an option.
Recently, I was invited to the "First Inter-professional Community Meeting for Learning Disabilities and Concussion" by the Clinical lead and physiotherapist at Neurologic Physiotherapy here in Ottawa. Their clinic sees many with learning disabilities and post-concussion syndrome and they understand the value in working together as a community. No one provider has all the answers: working together as a network of providers is how we will find the best solutions for clients.
The meeting was attended by specialists in the following fields:
· Assistive Technology Coaching
· Autism therapy
· Colorimetry (me)
· Educational Consulting
· Occupational Therapy
· Speech language pathology
· Vision therapy
As an exercise, we were asked to review a mock case and provide our suggestions on how to approach treating it. What a wonderful experience. With all these specialists reviewing the case, there were so many sound recommendations and options, it is certain that the right solution would be found, and the case solved.
It is through these types of collaborations that clients will get better answers to their question “what to do next” and find all the pieces for their unique puzzle. I hope that one day, more specialists will be aware of all the options available to address the whole picture and help people find all the missing pieces and resolve their health and educational difficulties.