TBI self-help to return to I.T. work?
My partner has a very recent severe brain injury (42 days inpatient; 51 days until out of PTA) but is making great progress. Although he was injured whilst working in another area entirely, his passion was content-managing his website which has multi-authors and is very popular in Australia. The other authors maintained the content, but not the management, while he was in hospital and still help a lot whilst he is in rehab as an out-patient twice a week. He had a long gap in IT employment after a couple of years working in IT programming research in a university due to problems with doctoral program competition and funding. He lost confidence but was building it up with self-funded non-profit work, whilst working in a cleaning job for past three years. Now he is being retrained for the semi-skilled occupation he happened to have had when the accident occurred, but he is trying hard to retrain himself in content management and to try and create a test-bed involving several computers at home. He is worried that if he goes back to the cleaning job, he won't have any energy to do anything he likes. He is trying to make his drupal content-managed web-site more structured, maintainable and able to be rebuilt should it be hacked. He is also trying to build mirror sites, but is having problems working out whether he needs to transmit the sites in total to the mirror on a daily basis or whether there is a way to simply update mysql as well as jpg content. This needs at home a physically secure test-bed computer, preferably a Linux computer, which he is currently trying to get together. I feel that what he needs is others with similar experience of TBI and of computers who might like to form some mutual discussion and support for technical and TBI matters.
I am keen to link up and perhaps to link him up with others who may have returned to professional I.T. work, or be trying to do so.
I will also make contact with some locals who may give him some work experience.
He has scattered diffuse axonal damage focused in the left frontal subcortex, plus a query lesion in brain-stem (balance subtly off) and scattered diffuse axonal in corpus callosum, but he has a very big brain and lots left. His verbal memory is most affected and his processing is slow still (much faster in the morning). At the moment, of course (the accident was in mid-may this year 2010) his is still rather scattered, very weak, prone to terrible anxiety and insecurity, to put it mildly. He can also be quite focused and his continuous memory is building up better than I would have hoped. I love him a great deal and want to support him, but he does need to start interacting with and learning from others who have had the same experience so that he feels less of an outsider and can gain in self-esteem.
By the way, I am interested in some of the theories in the Brain that heals itself - what do others think?