Our ability to learn new processes and information is a highly complex skill that we underestimate in our everyday lives. We tend to learn through trial and error throughout our lives; we recognize where our mistake was and adapt it for the future.
After a brain injury a persons learning ability is often affected and can have a significant impact on their day to day function. The normal trial and error method of learning that we apply can be difficult if one doesn’t have the ability to recognise why mistakes are happening.
An alternative method of cognitive rehabilitation, that is highly regarded post brain injury, is a technique called errorless learning. It works by a person repeating an activity with support, or instructions that prevent them from making a mistake so they learn the activity correctly.
As Occupational Therapists it is part of our core skills to be able to analyses and break down an everyday task in order to help our clients eg. Something as simple as drinking a glass of water has many component parts for the brain and body to negotiate. When using a technique such as errorless learning, a number of strategies can be used eg. Hand over hand assistance or verbal/written instructions for an individual to follow. In order for this to be successful, it requires an in depth knowledge of the individual and their cognitive presentation, so their errors can be predicted.
At OT Partners we offer comprehensive cognitive assessment and treatment programmes which may include techniques such as errorless learning. If you would like to discuss further please feel free to contact us.