Patricia K. Youngman is a speech/language pathologist, certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and licensed in the state of Washington. Her professional background includes working as a speech-language pathologist in the public schools, acute care and rehabilitation hospital units, and skilled nursing facilities, and providing home health care speech-language services to individuals who were homebound. Additionally, she has participated on the treatment and management teams in two outpatient rehabilitation programs designed specifically for adults with traumatic brain injury. Patricia managed the Mild Brain Injury Program at the Center for Cognitive Rehabilitation (Good Samaritan Hospital) in Puyallup, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, in the 1990s, coordinating the cognitive/communication, psychosocial, and vocational components of the services provided. It was during this period that she discovered a passion for working alongside individuals with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), treating their cognitive/communication deficits and learning from them about the changes in their lives resulting from the brain injury they acquired. A deep respect developed for these individuals and the issues experienced post-injury, as well as the price they paid for “looking good,” while struggling to participate in lives they had easily managed pre-injury. It was during her time at the Center for Cognitive Rehabilitation that she had the privilege of working with McKay Moore Sohlberg, Ph.D. and Catherine Mateer, Ph.D., two pioneers in the rehabilitation of adults with traumatic brain injury.
In 1995, Patricia opened a private practice in Seattle, focusing on the cognitive/communication treatment of adults with mild traumatic brain injury. Over the last twenty-one years, she has enjoyed working with high functioning adults to treat specific impaired brain processes resulting from mTBI. Therapy included hierarchical treatment exercises combined with compensatory systems and strategies to work around the deficits as well as teaching the habits to support use of all systems developed. It is her deeply held belief that the goal of treatment must be to facilitate functional change in the life of each patient, and that clinicians must accept responsibility to find and measure ways to effect these changes. Her presentation provides education regarding how the cognitive/communication, behavioral/emotional, physical, social, vocational and family unit changes are manifested functionally as a way to assist clinicians in becoming familiar with this group of individuals.