Why You Should Replace Worksheets with Mice
Worksheets are useful tools within a practice. They provide instant exercises and materials that can be used directly in the session. The only problem with workbooks is you have to have a lot of them to be successful. In this article, we discuss the positives of switching to a digital tool.
Digital tools offer a wealth of material in one place. Some tools are web-based, while others are in the form of downloadable apps. Platforms frequently have a guide of exercises, which can help the therapist and patient navigate the software to find material to practice cognitive skills.
Consolidating material into one location avoids having to sort through numerous workbooks and other print materials to find the right exercises for your clients to perform. This will save the therapist time, which will allow them to spend more time working with their patient. Some platforms may allow a therapist to pick and choose different exercises to make cognitive “workout” plans, which can be developed and accessed ahead of therapy sessions.
Pro Tip: When you’re considering a tool, explore if they offer a homework aspect. A segment of the program where you can assign cognitive tasks in between therapy sessions.
Content Varieties and New Materials:
Workbooks and print materials have a finite number and variety of exercises. With digital tools, especially the tools that are subscription-based, update their content without requiring you to buy the newest addition of books. This allows therapists to constantly have new material at the tip of their fingers. that touches upon different cognitive domains. Offering new material may allow patients to stay engaged more. Studies show that patients who repeat exercises increase their performance, but may become bored. However, patients who have a variety of different exercises may engage more. The variety of skills improve their ability to incorporate the skills into numerous tasks.
Research shows that the best way to help patients generalize skills is to use different exercises the target the same skills. If a patient can succeed in one exercise, but cannot in another similar exercise, then it gives the therapist a better insight into which elements of the skill the patient is lacking. This will then allow the therapist the ability to adapt their patient care to help the patient learn how to transfer skills to different situations.
Opportunity to Learn and Engage with Technology:
A common concern of many therapists is using technology with certain populations, such as the elderly. Using a computer or tablet is new for many people. With guidance, learning how to use a computer can be a huge confidence booster for patients. Recent studies have actually shown how teaching TBI patients how to use a smartphone actually helps their overall healing process. When a patient’s confidence increases it may help boost a patient successful complete exercises. An additional benefit of using technology with older populations is the ability to provide immediate feedback. By using touchscreen devices, which can reinforce technological learning and engagement during device use.
For younger populations, using a tablet or computer is more engaging than hardcopy material. Using technology can help keep these populations engaged in therapy, as workbooks and print materials can be forgotten about. By using materials that are website or application-based, therapists can take advantage of a person’s affinity for technology. These platforms are familiar and the instant gratification of results increases positive reinforcement of therapeutic activities. The use of technology can be transformative to the therapeutic process for both young and elderly populations alike.
Trying a new tool can be frightening for therapists as these tools are new. It is important for the therapist to try these tools themselves and feel comfortable with digital tools before using them with patients.
Here at HappyNeuron Pro, we strive to meet and excel past these elements. We are a powerful digital tool that provides 45+ exercises clinicians can use to help their clients build and practice cognitive skills. With a trial, clinicians can also get free onboarding with a product specialist to access HappyNeuron Pro for free for 30 days. You also will get instant access to printable homework or warm-up sheets as well as insightful articles such as this one and many more. We hope to become not just your favorite tool but the family member you always wanted.