Tests & Treatment Manuals

ASSESSMENT

 

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The Awareness of Social Inference Test- Revised (TASIT- R)
By McDonald, Flanagan, & Rollins (2011)

“The Awareness of Social Inference Test” comprising two video tapes (Forms A and B), manual, pp1-15, Response Cards, Response Forms, Summary Scoring Sheets. Pearson Assessment, Sydney, Australia. ISBN 1 874261 02 4

Many clinical conditions including acquired brain injury, frontotemporal dementia, developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia lead to impairment in the ability to identify emotional expressions in others, deficits in the ability to understand the intentions and thoughts of others and problems understanding indirect language (such as sarcasm). These problems are disabling and a major target for remediation. TASIT was designed to provide a systematic assessment of these difficulties using naturalistic video vignettes employing professional actors in everyday exchanges.

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TASIT has three parts examining the ability to recognise basic emotions (Part 1) the ability to discern whether someone is being sincere or sarcastic (Part 2) and the ability to determine whether someone is lying or being sarcastic (Part 3). In parts 2 and 3 it is also possible to assess how well the participant can read the feelings, thoughts and intentions of the speakers.

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Austin Maze

The Austin Maze

The Austin Maze is a spatial learning task that is based upon Milner’s earlier work examining maze learning following brain lesions. The Australian version, originally developed for use at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, traditionally comprised a mechanical box with stepping stone maze and was a popular assessment tool for neuropsychologists although not always easy to make/acquire. This new version is a computer program that is easy to use and the path is easily modified for re-assessment.

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REMEDIATION

 

Improving First Impressions

Improving First Impressions: A Step-by-Step Social Skills Program
By McDonald, Bornhofen, Togher, Flanagan, Gertler and Bowen

This manual provides detailed program notes and handouts for 12 sessions that address training of basic areas of social skills. The manual represents the cumulative efforts of a number of psychologists and speech pathologists working with people with severe traumatic brain injuries over 15 years. Although developed specifically for people with severe traumatic brain injuries, the techniques are generic, arising from a vast social skills literature. This manual is, however, specifically tailored for people with cognitive impairments, especially difficulties with new learning and executive control. Consequently, the manual encompasses a great deal of repetition and structure in order to maximise learning and minimise reliance upon complex cognitive strategies. Because of this, the manual has wider applications for people with any kind of clinical condition that results in cognitive impairment, including mild intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, schizophrenia, autism and Aspergers syndrome.

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Reading a Smile (and Other Great Expressions): An Emotion Perception Treatment Program
By Bornhofen and McDonald

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“Reading a Smile (and Other Great Expressions): An Emotion Perception Treatment Program” is a treatment kit designed to address emotion perception deficits. Originally designed for rehabilitation of people with traumatic brain injuries, the program has proven evidence for efficacy. The kit is also suitable for a range of clinical conditions including developmental conditions (such as Aspergers), psychiatric conditions (e.g. schizophrenia) and other forms of acquired or developmental brain injuries.

The kit provides a rich range of resources including colourful packs of photos of actors portraying emotions, a DVD with audiovisual vignettes of emotions and conversations, and game boards to engage and interact with clients. The kit comes complete with a step by step manual with detailed instructions for 14 therapeutic units and handouts.

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TBI – Express: Social communication training for people with TBI and their communication partners
By Togher, McDonald, Tate, Power, Ylvisaker & Rietdijk

This exciting new practical resource is designed to provide speech pathologists and other health professionals with a comprehensive resource to improve the conversational skills of communication partners of people with TBI, and also to provide conversational skills training for people with TBI directly to improve everyday communication skills. Thus it entails two separate programs that are described in detail in a manual and CD. The program for Everyday Communication Partners (ECP) comprises seven modules over 10 sessions. Each module is divided into pre-session preparation (aims, resources to bring, what to do before, during and after the session), and appendices including participant and homework handouts). The program for people with TBI who attend treatment without a communication partner also comprises seven modules over 10 sessions. It is also divided into pre-session preparation (aims, resources to bring, what to do before, during and after the session), and appendices (participant and homework handouts).

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Managing social anxiety following traumatic brain injury: A cognitive behavioural program
By Hodgson, McDonald, Tate & Gertler

This nine-session cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program is aimed at improving social anxiety following acquired brain injury (ABI). The program is designed to be used by clinical psychologists. It incorporates the same procedures and theoretical principles underlying CBT programs designed for use and proven to be effective with non-ABI populations. However, it has been adapted so as to minimise the impact of neuropsychological deficits characteristic of this group, including difficulties with regard to attention and concentration, memory and learning, and executive functioning. To this end it contains: frequent repetition of information, visual aids, cue cards, session summaries, audio tapes, role plays, simplified cognitive techniques (i.e., self- instructional strategies), and in-session planning for the completion of homework tasks. The manual provides step-by-step instructions for each of the nine sessions and handouts for in-session and out of session homework.

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The Comprehensive Assessment of Prospective Memory (CAPM)
By Shum and Fleming

The CAPM was designed to assist in the clinical evaluation of prospective memory function among individuals with acquired brain injury, and to assist in the evaluation of rehabilitation programs designed to serve these people. The CAPM is a self-report questionnaire which focuses on prospective memory and has three scales to collect comprehensive data on the process of prospective remembering.

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