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 brain injury society
Website: www.BISociety.org
Brain Injury Society Bikur Cholim--Click Here

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Newsletter 1998 Fall Issue

BI Society Website
Serving Acquired (Includes Traumatic)
Brain Injured Individuals and Their Families

Mailing & Billing Address Only:
1901 Avenue N - Suite 5E
Brooklyn, NY 11230
Clinicial and Administrative Office:
1517 Voorhies Avenue - Suite 1G
Btwn Sheepshead Bay & Q Train Station
Brooklyn, NY 11235
Telephone & Helpline: 718-645-4401


Volume 1   Number 4     Fall Issue 1998


Awards Dinner for Wednesday, October 21, 1998, cocktails at 5:30 PM and dinner will begin at 6:30PM at Mendy's West, 210 West 70th Street, New York City, NY. The award recipients are Leonard Diller, Ph.D., Rolland Parker, Ph.D. Rabbi Israel S. Kivelevitz and Marcia R. Eisenberg, Esq.. Leonard Diller, Ph.D. is being honored for his work in the United States and in Israel on behalf of adults and children with brain injury in the areas of acquired and traumatic. Rolland S. Parker, Ph.D., is being honored for his dedication to the much ignored area of Traumatic Brain Injury. Rabbi Israel S. Kivelevitz is being honored to his dedication to the Jewish and non-Jewish homeless and after understanding how the effects of brain injury can lead to homelessness. His special attention in an interview and then directing the brain injured to the proper agencies. Also, the Honorable Mention Category recipients are Yael Respler, Ph.D., Nachum Segal, Chava Schulman and the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists. The category notes persons who without hesitation assisted Brain Injury Society Chaina R. Hochman/Edythe H. Fogel Bikur Cholim without hesitation and have continued to do so. Yael Respler, Ph.D. has published articles from readers, had speakers on vision dysfunction after brain injury and always encourages people to call me when they desire to know about post birth brain injury. Nachum Segal is the voice of JM in the AM and PM and has always announced our forums and has requested speakers for segments on post birth brain injury. Chava Shulman for her editing articles at the Jewish Press on Brain Injury Society and then making sure that they get in for the week desired. The Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists through the consistent efforts of Elliot Udell and Moshe Wein promoted Brain Injury Society Chaina Hochman/Edythe Fogel Bikur Cholim at the 1997 annual conference at the Concord, the 1998 conference at the Neville Grand Hotel and throughout the year.


Joseph N. Trachtman, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O

In the previous Newsletter, a brief outline of brain wave biofeedback for stroke and accident patients as presented. More details of some of those topics will be given below. The brain produces four spontaneous brain waves, each of the four have Greek names. The brain waves have a frequency measured in cycles per second or Hertz, of the light bulbs they have a frequency of 60 Hz or the filament flickers at a rate of 60 times per second, which is too fast for us to perceive so it is noticed as constant. a. Delta - is the slowest waves with a frequency of 0 to 3 Hz are most prominent during sleep. b. Theta - has a frequency of 4 5o 7 Hz and is most prominent during falling asleep and upon awakening and is associated with creative thoughts and ideas. c. Alpha - has a frequency of 8 to 12 Hz and is related to being alert, attentive, and relaxed. An example would be the Zen state. d. Betz - is the fastest of the brain waves with a frequency greater than 13 Hz and is associated with the state of mind we have when we are rushing around and item appears to go too fast. There are two major theories of how the brain works: a. Specialization Theory - states that each area of the brain has a specific function, for example, the left temporal area is for speech, the frontal area for planning, and the occipital area for vision. b. Holographic Theory - states that each brain cell contains all the information for the whole brain just any point on a holographic photo contains the entire picture. The nerve fibers from the eyes cross over from one side to the other so that what we see to the left of our mid-line are from the left brain. As mentioned before, it is the occipital lobe of the brain that receives the nerve fibers form the eyes. We have two visual fields, one central and one peripheral. The central visual field is confined to a small area (about the size of ten thumbnails at arm's distance), and gives us our clear, sharp vision in color - and is called the macula. The remainder of the visual field is the peripheral field, which gives us motion detection and vision in dim illumination. While the peripheral field is subject to the affects of stroke and trauma, there is a protection feature for the central visual field as it is represented in both halves of the brain - and is technically known as "macular sparing". In other words, even with severe loss of the peripheral field, usually the macula will remain functioning allowing a very small field of very clear vision. Joseph N. Trachtman, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O., Brofeedtrack, Inc., Brooklyn, NY


The overlooked head injury disorder. As sighted beings, seeing is 80% of what we do. Even a small change in vision can have a powerful impact on cognitive and general functioning. There are vision trauma clinics that utilize in new techniques and rehabilitation therapies. there is also holistic vision care clinic specializing in rehabilitative therapies. Both treat vision related problems resulting from head trauma, whiplash and stroke. In addition, the specialists train the individuals' eyes to returning to a more normal sight restored and relief of eyestrain resulting from additional strain of reading and the use of computers'. If you feel there is a vision blurriness that "new" glasses and rest that has not cured, Please call our office and we will be refer you to a vision specialist.


Linda Costello-Roth, M.Ed.

The school aged victim of head injury presents a unique challenge on many fronts to educators. The areas of evaluation, assessment, needs and strategies both cognitively and behaviorally present a multitude of problems for both teacher and student. The successful school program is one which allows for a collaborative effort from teachers, therapists, parents and, when appropriate, medical personnel. An area, which presents potential difficulties for the TBI student, is the evaluation and assessment process. An inadequate battery of assessments will not provide the information necessary for a smooth transition to the school environment. Evaluations before re-entry or immediately following should include: a neuropsychological evaluation, a test of intellectual abilities, a general measure of academic skill, tests of memory, tests of fine and gross motor coordination, visual spacial skills, language processing, executive functioning and if possible, a psychosocial evaluation. The results from these evaluations and assessments will yield a strong basis for program development for the child. Unfortunately, several factors including cost and untrained personnel, force many students to re-enter the school community without the benefit of this information thereby leaving staff and educators "stranded" without adequate preparation for a successful transition. While these evaluations serve as a starting point for program planning, on-going assessment, both formal (standardized) and informal is necessary to adjust the program to insure the continued meeting of student needs. Problems during evaluation may also stem from a misdiagnosed or even an undiagnosed head injury in which the student "appears" normal physically but exhibits cognitive and behavioral deficits that inhibit Effective learning, i.e. the inability to attend and maintain attention over time(vigilance). The student who is physically disabled as a result of a TBI is one who elicits compassion, patience and understanding from most those around him/her. The physically able child, on the other hand, may invoke overly optimistic feelings, which will lead to unrealistic expectations. When these expectations are not realized, feelings of frustration in educators and professional staff, may follow. A second obstacle, which may arise, is the recognition and effective resolution of cognitive deficits. The TBI student may exhibit a variety of cognitive deficits, which affect learning performance. Deficits may include: organizational difficulties (encoding and retrieval of information), the inability to filter out irrelevant stimuli, difficulties in comprehension, motor deficits and a general decrease in overall processing speed. Some of the these may not be readily evident until the cognitive demands are sufficient to cause the breakdown. The traumatically brain injured student may, at times, exhibit a good retention of over learned material, leading again, to the creation of overly optimistic expectations. Cognitive deficits may not manifest themselves until the acquisition of new information is required. It is the recognition of these impaired areas and their avoidance that is necessary for the successful assimilation of new information. For the student with deficient cognitive strategies, there are many techniques, which may be employed to help compensate. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • modified assignments
  • alternate modes of responding
  • directions given both verbally and in written form
  • additional time to complete assignments
  • checklists for review of assignments
  • preplanners (what do I have to do?)
  • use of compensatory equipment (calculator, tape recorder, computer)
  • additional time to complete assignments

A third area of potential difficulty is in classroom behavior. Behavioral challenges are also part of a traumatic brain injury, particularly when there is damage to the frontal lobe. Students may become deficient in inhibiting inappropriate behavior or comments, and/or reading social cues (body language and/or facial expressions). They may become more easily frustrated or disruptive, thus leading to further social alienation. Peer acceptance is an important motivator for behavior, particularly during the teen years when there is a strong need to "belong." The alienation from the group leads the TBI child to resort to other, often inappropriate, behaviors to gain attention from the group or adults. What the TBI child does not recognize in these situations, is that the behaviors or comments are not valued by the group. Because they do not receive this feedback, they do not adjust the behavior. The disruptive nature of these deficits is obvious within the classroom setting. There is much research on the behavioral aspects of TBI and its effective resolution. It appears that traditional methods of rewards and consequences may not be effective with this population. A more successful approach appears to be to redirect away from the situation that causes the behavior to be exhibited. That is, to identify and modify the source of the behavior. Finally, the successful school-based program is one in which the lines of communication between all involved parties are open and in use. Monthly meetings in which all participants meet, face to face, to discuss progress toward goals, methods that have been successful and those which have not, what can be changed within the program and how all can work together to reinforce strategies throughout all aspects of the students home and school life. For the TBI student it is necessary to use functional approach to therapy. The questions of "Why must I do this?" and "How will it benefit me?" must be evident to the student for the therapies and adaptations to be successful. For those involved in the education of the TBI student, there are many obstacles to overcome when transitioning to the school setting, these include: evaluation and assessment as well as cognitive and behavioral deficits. Many of these may be overcome with a coordinated, collaborative effort from all of those involved with the student. Without this sharing of information, the transition to and success at school will be difficult, if not impossible to attain. Linda J. Costello-Roth, M.S., Special Education, TBI Education Specialist, JT Finley Middle School, Huntington, NY


Harold Skovronsky, Esq.

My law practice has, for over 20 years, concentrated on assisting disabled persons to obtain the financial benefits to which they are entitled - Social Security disability, SSI, pensions, disability insurance, and similar monetary benefits. To this day I am distressed to see how many genuinely disabled individuals, suffering from debilitating illness or injury, are wrongfully denied their benefits by governmental or private sources. Equally disturbing, many of these unfortunate persons lack either the knowledge or the aggressiveness properly to pursue their legal remedies. Perhaps most frustrating of all is the plight of individuals whose claims for disability benefits are denied because their medical disorders do not fit the standard "textbook" picture. Government employees and insurance claims examiners are typically trained to measure a claimant's conditions against particular regulations or medical textbook standards. Physicians, called upon by the government or pension funds or insurance companies to review disability claims, often take a narrow "textbook" approach. And even the most well-meaning of physicians cannot possibly keep up with all of the rapid advances in diagnostic and clinical techniques. As a result, too many bona fide claims are denied simply because of lack of knowledge. Claimants are branded as malingerers or dissemblers; their conditions dismissed as non-severe and not disabling. A prime case in point is brain injury. The impact of such injury, physically and emotionally, can be devastating. Yet claims examiners, and even reviewing physicians, lacking specialized or updated training in neuropsychological disorders, will often fail to grasp the breadth and depth of the disruption to the victim's life and the diminution of his functional capacities. The mere fact that the CT scan of the brain does not look too bad, or that a cursory psychological interview fails to show any gross abnormalities, does not mean that the brain - injured person can adequately meet the demands and stresses of the workplace, or , for that matter, even day-to-day living. Knowledgeable and dedicated advocacy for the disabled is a matter equity and social justice. I urge all disabled persons, particularly those with conditions not fully understood by the "establishment," to be persistent in their claims and to seek professional legal help as early as possible. In so doing, these individuals will not only benefit financially but will also help to break down the walls of misunderstanding and misinformation. Harold Skovronsky,Esq., Brooklyn, New York, Social Security Disability Specialist and Disability Advocate, Brooklyn Bar Association, National Organization of Social Security Claims Representatives


Joel Verstaendig, Ph.D.

Stress is all around us and there is little that one can do to avoid it. Nevertheless, a healthy sense of humor allows us to laugh at the petty annoyances of everyday life rather than be undermined by them. While humor cannot change the facts of life that cause physical and emotional pain, it gives us the power to view our circumstances from a different perspective. It is important to differentiate between ridicule, which has a decidedly negative connotation to it, and humor, which is positive and used as a healthy defense mechanism. The purpose of humor is not to laugh at someone else's expense, but rather to learn to appreciate our human frailties and to put them in proper perspective. Once we learn to laugh at ourselves, we no longer feel a need to be perfect. How important is a sense of humor? To paraphrase a famous quotation: "Although a man or woman may confess to treason, murder, arson, false teeth or a wig, how many would acknowledge not having a sense of humor?" Not only is a good laugh emotionally satisfying, but there are also physical benefits to laughter. The famous Biblical verse in the book of Proverbs: "A merry heart enhances the body and a broken spirit dries the bones," illustrates this point. Norman Cousins, the author of Anatomy of An Illness, who was suffering from a life threatening illness, found that two hours of hearty laughter brought him two hours of painless sleep. William Fry, a noted psychiatrist, wrote that laughing a hundred times day is the equivalent of ten minutes of rowing. Laughter also relaxes muscles throughout the body, releases endorphins which provide natural pain relief, and helps reduce blood pressure. Does one have to be a naturally gifted comedian to fill his/her life with laughter? Not at all. Just open your eyes to the many ludicrous aspects of day to day living. So, for example, the next time you misplace your glasses, instead of panicking and feeling overwhelmed with frustration, tell yourself that if you ever do find them you will dedicate your life to inventing a Lo-Jack device for glasses and become a millionaire. The next time the radio and television meteorologists mention the possibility of snow and every newscaster in town makes this the top story, instead of getting caught up in the media engineered frenzy, remind yourself what has transpired in previous winters. With each such prediction, hundreds of people will drop everything, rush to the supermarkets, and empty the shelves of toilet paper, water, and bread, only to have the same meteorologists sheepishly explain the next day that the "storm" took an unexpected turn to the west and spared us the "ordeal." If you are still fearful of being stranded in the house by a couple of inches of snow, remind yourself of the worst snowstorms you experienced in your youth, and ask yourself "Did it ever not melt?" To be honest, however, there are those who will insist that no matter what they do they will never be able to find any humor in life's everyday disappointments. The daily pressures of life are just too much. To these people I have suggested that if they are depressed about not being successful at coping, they can hone their skills to succeed at moping. Towards this end, I offer my ten rules to insure success at moping:
      Maintain constant vigilance for any signs of disrespect or insult from any acquaintance, friend, coworker, or relative.
1) When slighted, hold a grudge forever.
2) Consider every problem or dilemma to be a matter of life or death.
3) Always expect the worse to happen.
4) Always expect others to do things your way.
5) Take any situation or circumstance as a personal affront.
6) Berate yourself endlessly for any lost opportunities.
7) Try to control or be responsible for everything and everyone in your environment.
8) Take every aspect of life extremely seriously and never smile or laugh.
9) Any time you have accomplished any of the above, dwell on what you have done and congratulate yourself for finally being a success at something: moping!
Once you have mastered this, success at coping is relatively easy. All you have to do is take the ten rules for moping and do the opposite!
Have a good laugh and try to enjoy life.
Joel Verstaendig, Ph.D. - Psychologist, Plainview, New York


K. Menucha Fogel, B.S., A.B.D.

Just because we have a skull does not mean that it can prevent injury to the brain. The skull is not a protective gear. It is part of your body and therefore must be taken care of. Just as there are various types of impact, so is are there various types of injuries that occur to the brain itself. The degree of impact often does not determine the dysfunction that will occur to the brain area impacted upon. The brain lies within the skull also know as the cranium within a protective liquid. The brain runs by interexchanging messages or signals that are passed from one nerve cell to another by means of a network of billions upon billions of cell connections. Though the different sections or regions of the brain what a person does is controls by these different areas. Each has a specific function. There are four sections of each side of the brain; frontal lobe (over your forehead), parietal (top back of the head), temporal (over the ear) and occipital (back of the head). Each of these areas or regions has a responsibility. For instance, the temporal lobe controls speech and hearing. The frontal lobe is responsible for some behaviors. The brain stem, at the base of the brain, controls heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure and regulates temperature. An area that is injured, hurt or damaged often causes loss of function, thus the person has a dysfunction. A brain that is injured often causes the person for temporary span of time to have losses in functionality. Depending on the area that is injured or damaged, this can produce dysfunctions in the ability to move correctly, be coordinated, understand sensation, process information and inability to concentrate or remember. A typical injury can not be described so easily, as there is no such thing as a typical brain injury. When there is an injury or damage to the brain, the severity depends on the location and the impact to the brain area. Recovery of a brain injury is also variable and not easy to determine. Many factors determine this. Premorbid conditions, external support systems, internal motivation system, family, friends, financial situation, insurance coverage to name a few. The final outcome of a person with a brain injury is often variable. A brain-injured person also can suffer from other symtomologies such as physical, emotional, intellectual, or psychological disabilities and dysfunctions. What determines a positive outcome is proper referrals inclusive of a neuropsychological evaluation, a visit to a physiatrist, care from a social worker, various therapies and follow-up. With all this in place, a positive future with realistic goals for the brain injured or brain damaged can be achieved. K. Menucha Fogel, B.S., A.B.D., Founder and Executive Vice President, Brain Injury Society


It was suggested that I write on the goings on for the future of Brain Injury Society. It is amazing how far Brain Injury Society has gotten. My home phone on my desk with a small pc and today …to a listed number and a Manhattan physical presence where we see patients. BIS has indeed grown from the small cognitive project that I was given. Weekly there are calls for assistance, information and referrals, as well as wealth of thanks from the people we are helping or for just being there for information and the shoulder. People have told me what a track record is and for our first year (a year with us has several starting points) no matter where we select our starting date is a WOW!!! So I am told and told and told. We have gained many friends and have a client waiting list. So, from a first thought, as I saw that the association in Albany was not caring for New York City, the largest population of the state to where have presently received over 3000 calls including e-mails and which is constantly rising each month. We have been approached to open a housing unit and it is in the plans to open the Brain Injury Society Facilitating Center in Brooklyn and Manhattan in the every near future. The capital project is very much in the works. We are working on the vocational and education after therapy ends to combine all learnt strategies and techniques of the recovering person. We have had many inkind donations, what are needed now is several benefactors and philanthropies to help us with the mundane things like paying our bills. Anyone out there who would like to donate heavy monies (I have a brain injury, I come to the bottom line quickly, sometimes). We are here with a deposit slip with and a our heartfelt thanks and a plaque waiting to have your name to be imprinted on it. We have opened our intake and interview division. We will have the following staff upon opening, a medical and clinical director, physiatrist, social workers, speech therapists, vocational counselors, diagnostic administrator, service coordinator, community integration counselors, home, community support counselors and plus the usual support staff that people can depend on for information.


Harold Lifshutz, Ph.D. of our advisory board, has graciously accepted to be program chair for the Israel/International Conference. It was a great opportunity to visit Israel and see how another country deals with various methods of rehabilitation after a person acquires brain injury. Israel since 1948 has had the most brain injuries and due to being completely surrounded by four aggressive enemy nations as been in this area the longest Relationships are important and vital in all personal and professional areas. Brain injury is not alone in this. Needed is more physical communication with resources with brain injury rehabilitation clinics and services to explore methods of improving techniques for the brain injured. In the development process is such a conference for February '99 in Israel. Distinguished medical professionals who have agreed to speak are: Rolland S. Parker, Ph.D., Edwin F. Richter, M.D. Harold Lifshutz, Ph.D. Raphael Cilento, M.D., Neera Kapoor, M.S., O.D. Martin Begun and Menucha Fogel will be the officiating master of ceremonies from the US, so far. Conformation of speakers from Israel and other countries are being to come in. More speakers in the field of brain injury, sponsors and funders and volunteers. If you fall in one of these areas, please call 718 645-4401 and 212 726-0078 daytime and evening telephone and 718 645-4401. Let us not forget the victims of brain injury who are valiantly attempting to recover and return to a "normal" lifestyle. We are looking for sponsors and donations for this conference, so call if you know someone or a firm that would be interested. Vendors are also being solicited. They are welcome and we have a room set aside for them to offer to display their equipment. See you next issue. Please remember to wear your protective gear and always remember the Golden Rule. K. Menucha Fogel


The opening ceremonies; We had by various estimations at to the amount of people who attended. Estimates were from over 50 or close to 100 people. The ceremonies completely stopped pedestrian traffic and to come degree street traffic. Of the Executive Board who attended, Martin Begun, Reva Rapps, Malkah Illovitz. Of the Advisory Board attended, Raphael Cilento, M.D., Neera Kapoor, O.D., M.S., and Harold Lifshutz, Ph.D.. Our attorney, Marcia R. Eisenberg was there as well. Ms. Eisenberg answered all the legal questions. The Mayor of New York sent special greetings via Michael Lessor, MD the Medical Director of the Office of Mental Health, Pat Green from NYSDOH came from Albany, Manhattan VESID Office Manager, Social Security Administration of 33rd Street sent an official, Senator Catherine Abate sent a Special Assistant as did Assemblyman Griffin and Collins. Several rehabilitation services attended and offered7 their congratulations and wanted to know our procedures for referrals to us. Other support services came and offered their support, to network and brainstorm on the issues of brain injury and healthcare in general. We received special messages from Vice President Gore. The Vice President is interested in our forthcoming forums and to keep him updated as to our activities. Governor George Pataki, Senator Alfonse D'Amato, and Daniel Moniyhan sent regards and special messages. Assemblywoman Una Clark will be meeting with us and other politicians have expressed the same Other metropolitan politicians have shown interest in us and asked to keep them posted as to our activities. The Westchester and Rockland County Legislators have expressed meeting with us. I will be arranging meetings with the Social Security Office, VESID and Office of Mental Health on related issues. Please do not hesitate to inform me of your concerns and interests. I have already expressed concerns on No Fault, Worker's Compensation Medicaid, Medicare, HMO and popular insurance company reimbursements and payment schedules.


Said to Menucha Fogel, the founder of Brain Injury Society.
"… anyone who starts a brain injury organization has to be brain injured."
Menucha simply said… "Yes."


Yael Respler, Ph.D. asked for a speaker for her radio show, Neera Kapoor, O.D., M.S. of BIS Advisory Board agreed for the second year to speak on vision dysfunction after brain injury and vision prevention. Yael Respler, Ph.D. radio audience was duly impressed with Dr. Kapoor. The national and local media have called us for speakers.


BIS have graciously accepted the invitation of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientist on the subject of Stress and Brain Injury at the Nevele Grand Hotel in the Catskill Mountains for their annual conference during the weekend of August 7-9, 1998. Rolland Parker, Ph.D. of the BIS Advisory Board will be the noted speaker and Menucha Fogel, B.S. will be the facilitator for the hour session. It is the second year that BIS has been invited to speak on Traumatic Brain Injury. Brain Injury Society was an absolute success at the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists where Rolland Parker, Ph.D. was the main speaker and Menucha Fogel, Executive Vice President of Brain Injury Society was the moderator. Brain Injury Society has been requested a three session program for next year's conference. The room held over 50 participants with others expressing that they were sorry there was not a second session as to follow-up on the discussion. We have been asked to develop a session series on acquired and traumatic brain injury for their 1999 conference and to assist in Sunday program on acquired and traumatic brain injury, to be held in Manhattan.


Programs for our special children are for children under 17 years of age that have been diagnosed with brain tumors. Here children can chat with one another in the comforts of their home. This website provides an outlet for children with cancer to tell their stories to the world. The site will give the child their own WebPages to explain what they are going through in their own way. Additionally, they can put a picture of themselves on the page. This is fantastic therapy for these special children. For additional information contact [email protected]. "Cancer Kids" Website address: http://home.att.net/~TillisonC/programs.htm



Our deepest thanks to Dr. Al Musella, President of the Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research & Information, for donating his services to create, host and continually upgrade our new Web site, http://www.virtualtrails.com/bis. He not only has kept BIS in hyperspace but also has built the most important brain tumor site http://virtualtrials.com, and set up a company, World Wide Websites, Ltd., which creates, designs and hosts Web sites. He can be reached at 516 295-4740.


People like you have been spreading the existence of Brain Injury Society around. The need is tremendous, which is why BIS need volunteers like you. We have much to do and to accomplish. You can work from your home, come to our Manhattan or Brooklyn office, neither which is Menucha's apartment (actual office). Make the time. Call today 718 645-4401. We really do need you! Newsletter Name Selected. "PATHFINDER" Many thanks to those of the over 1700 votes that came in for selection of the newsletter name. Did anyone notice that the names in the final runoff were similar to SUV (Suburban Utility Vehicle). This was noticed and mentioned by Jane Rodriguez, secretary to Edwin F. Richter, MD at Rusk Rehabilitation Institute. Jane has a keen eye for details, details, details. And the name is . . . "PATHFINDER". Tie for Second place: Explorer and Trailblazer, Third place: Forerunner. Fourth Place: Brain Injury Society Newsletter

S   P   E   A  K  E   R  S


"BIS is the Buzz." As the saying goes. "BIS" is often paralleled to the bumblebee. This incorrect and atomically impossible creature that G-d created shouldn't do what it does so well. The bumblebee has a huge body, its wings are short and it should not fly, let alone be able to do any formable work, but it does. The bumblebee does the impossible. To many, the bumblebees are the favorite species of bees. The founder of Brain Injury Society, K. Menucha Fogel, confronted with many obstacles, established a successful organization. The saying is "She as a brain injury, she didn't understand it couldn't be done. She did it anyway! She has an aphasic problem with words such as; can't and no. Her vestibular dysfunction which keeps her "balanced" and to add to all this she has a vision dysfunction, she sees she can do the impossible, then gets it done." She has a new lease on life; she calls it a sense of humor and positive attitudes. "Could you imagine, if I didn't have to deal with this on daily basis, life would be so dull." Is her response.


It takes great pleasure to announce that Menucha Fogel founder of Brain Injury Society received her Bachelors of Science in the field of Speech and Disability Studies (Education and Psychology) in January 1998 from City University of New York - Brooklyn College Campus. Graduation ceremonies were at the Manhattan Community College where members of the Executive and Advisory Board were at the ceremonies to applaud her accomplishments. …and the Speech Department at Brooklyn College said it couldn't be done and then put barriers in her path. Let it be said "Never underestimate the motivation of a person after brain injury!" On June 3rd Menucha Fogel's son, Yehoshua (Josh) married Simi Semel of Brooklyn, NY. She is an aspiring Speech Pathologist and works for the New York City Board of Education elementary level. Rumor has it they were in the same Speech classes. Advise to the daughter-in-law, always say wonderful things about your mother-in-law. You may work together one day.


"Share your knowledge and information to all that seek it."

Contributions helped start our library, including from advisory members, Rolland Parker, Ph.D., Jonathan Silver, M.D., Mark Ylvisaker, Ph.D. The next step is up to you. All written, audio, software, visual matter pertaining to head injury and trauma, we are interested in. Books, journal materials, booklets, information on all levels. Material packets on community integration, activities in daily living, etc. Call 718 645-4401 and/or 212 726-0076. We'll arrange for pick up, with thanks.


Our book list is growing and soon will have an actual inventory of books. Watch for announcement Articles by Rolland Parker, Ph.D. and Mark Ylvisaker, Ph.D. available for sale. If you know of titles and/or journals that would be appropriate for us to sell, please contact us. We are working to be standard bookstore and mail order.


It is not often that BIS endorses a product or organization, but Medic Alert is a different story. The bracelet or necklace has saved millions of lives. A person with a brain injury should consider a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace. This internationally recognized symbol speaks for you. The symbol alerts medical professionals to your condition. Medic Alert maintains a detailed database of member's medical information with international translators available. A call to the phone number listed on the bracelet sets this lifesaving system into action. For more information on Medic Alert, call 1-800-432-5378.


Brain Injury Society in conjunction with St. Mary's Hospital for Children is sponsoring a FAMILY DAY on Sunday, September 27, 1998 at St. Mary's Hospital for Children in Bayside Queens. The day was filled with Recreation, Support, and Education for Children and Adolescents with brain injury and their families.


Anita Adamski, K. Menucha Fogel, B.S., A.B.D., Harold Lifshutz, Ph.D., Sonya Strassfeld

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