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Using a Progress Portfolio to Measure Brain Injury Recovery

Many brain injury victims were successful professionals before an accident changed the way they live their day to day lives. Where there is severe brain injury, the victim may never be able to return to their career. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t progress to be made. See how one brain injury survivor has used a progress portfolio to measure her recovery.

Carole Starr was a classical musician and teacher when she was in a car accident 15 years ago that caused her a serious brain injury. After the accident, though, she had to leave your job and focus entirely on healing. When she uncovered her professional portfolio, it opened up emotional wounds and left her feeling inadequate.

The professional profile records all the accomplishments and achievements of her professional career – all things she could not longer do. But what Starr eventually realized was that her recovery was full of achievements too.

“I had written a few poems, one of which had been published on a brain injury website. I had discovered a new, great satisfaction in using my hands to make crafts. I’d volunteered for about 30 minutes a week at an organization where I used to work.”

And so, Starr began a new portfolio called “Stuff I’m Proud Of.” She added photos of crafts she had made, programs from events she attended, speeches she had given, and other things that represented her progress toward recovery.

This progress portfolio helped Starr to redefine success and come to terms with her brain injury. Now, she coordinates a support group for other brain injury victims where she helps others to identify and measure their own progress.

“The more I focused on me and my process, the less I cared what other people said. At first I thought I had to prevent them from saying stupid things to me like, ‘You look great, when will you be all better?’ Those things hurt so much at first and I don’t care anymore. I’m ok with myself. Doing crafts was really instrumental in figuring that all out. It was a process.”

A progress portfolio can also help your attorney better explain your recovery to insurance providers and a jury. Your achievements can help illustrate the challenges you face and the need for ongoing support and restorative therapy. By sharing your progress portfolio with your brain injury lawyer, you will have a better chance at getting the benefits you need so you can focus on your recovery.

David Christensen is a brain injury expert at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He and his team work with the victims of traumatic brain injuries to get them the benefits they need from insurance providers to pay for their recovery. If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.