Ellie is a truly remarkable teenager. She had a road traffic accident in November 2018 where she was hit by a taxi as a pedestrian. Following the accident, she was in a coma and in hospital for four weeks. Ellie has an acquired brain injury and suffered from a pelvic fracture and spinal cord damage as a result of the accident.

Ellie has continued to engage with Specialist speech and Language Therapy from ATtherapy since January 2019. Her communication profile required highly specialist support from a speech and language therapist trained in traumatic brain injury and social, emotional, mental health needs, due to the nuances and subtleties of her subsequent language difficulties.

After the accident, Ellie struggled with her social skills, and regulating and expressing her emotions appropriately. By using the Chimp Paradox model, by professor Steve Peters, Alex Kelly’s hierarchy of social skills and Kari Dunn Buron’s resource, A 5 is against the law!, Ellie has made progress with her rehabilitation whilst also developing compensatory strategies.

She has developed an awareness of her needs, and the ability to reflect upon her emotions and adverse behaviour. Ellie is re-learning and strengthening her social understanding and social communication skills.

This has been further consolidated by Ellie’s positive therapeutic rapport with her therapist. Within sessions, Ellie will discuss real life social and emotional events or incidents that have occurred, so the frameworks of therapy can be applied to real life scenarios. Ellie trusts her therapist, and this relationship has allowed for strategies to not only be taught to Ellie, but also empowered her to generalise these strategies outside of therapy sessions.

Alongside direct therapy with Ellie, her therapist liaises frequently with her family, has coordinated contact with her secondary school and ongoing liaison with the multi-disciplinary team. This has ensured a holistic and person-centred approach to Ellie’s rehabilitation, to allow her to achieve her goals and aspirations. 

‘I think you’ve helped me because now… my life’s kind of going back to how it was before and it’s not all messed up because if I didn’t have you then I wouldn’t know the differences and stuff like that, and I wouldn’t be able to get my social life back. ‘